At 9 and 6 years, our children are now at an age where they have some concept of ‘earning money’. We recently introduced pocket-money, in return for small jobs around the house. They help with dusting, vacuuming and generally keeping the place tidy. It is still a struggle getting them to ‘muck in’ but the chance to earn some pennies has definitely been an incentive.
They are very good at saving their money rather than spending it. We have always tried to encourage them that it is better to save up for something special rather than spend money for the sake of it.
Budgeting is one of the many things that our children need to learn on the road to adulthood. Here are some painless ways in which we can do this.
Teach them the value of money. Talk about how much things cost, even things like holidays. Also talk about how you have to work hard for money and how you need to save just as hard to be able to pay for nice things.
Show children how to earn money. Giving them the chance to do simple chores in return for pocket-money is a good introduction. We have a poster which shows how much each job pays. They know that the bigger, more difficult jobs will pay more money.
Let them make decisions regarding their money. I say this hesitantly but they need to do this to some extent to be able to learn the consequences. If they blow all their pocket-money on sweets it is going to take them a long time to save up for that DVD that they wanted.
Have a fun place to save. Thomas has a Star Wars R2D2 Talking Moneybank
which makes noises every time you put pennies in. He loves it and every time he has money it always goes in here. You could also make your own piggy banks or decorate ready-made ones as we did.
The bonus with these piggy banks is that they were decorated with bits and pieces that we had around the house. Another money-saving lesson there!