Yesterday when my wife and I came out of laying down our youngest two kids for naps we saw our oldest son (7 years) on the computer. He had been surfing the web. To our dismay it was stuff that no kid should be looking at! He was Googling up, “How to make money fast!” You can imagine his mother and I’s shock! :)
With all kidding aside, it was pretty funny. He was actually pretty pleased with himself, because he is working to save up for something. His mom and I have challenged him this summer to save up for something he wants. It just so happens to be a Nintendo DS, which costs $170. We really want to instill in him that big gifts are saved for and not just given because you’ve been good or you’re entitled to it. He’s really taken to the challenge and is asking a lot of times if he can help with certain projects or chores. For any parents, that’s got to be encouraging. As a caveat though, that attitude isn’t ALL THE TIME. We’ll take what we can get though, right?
Unfortunately for kids and adults, making money isn’t something that always comes as fast as we want. It takes time and hard work. A good example that my son has taken this on is from the small book, “The Super Red Racer” by Dave Ramsey. We got a copy of the book when we visited our nearest Chick-fil-a in Sioux City (more than 90 miles away). Gotta love them not only for the great chicken, but also the quality kids toys! This great short story book tells the tale of a little boy who wants a red racer biker, but he has to get it the hard way. By earning money himself. It’s showed our son a great example of not being entitled to something, but working for it (Unlike most of our country’s values right now). If you get a chance, check your local library for it or Amazon.
Through this whole learning experience for our son, it’s really helped him 1) want to earn more money by doing chores 2) diligently work at saving, and 3) consistently knowing where he is at and how much more he needs. Funny thing is…while I was writing this story he came up to me with a graphed chart he made. It showed how he’s gone from $5, $10, $20, $30, $40, and how much more he needs to get to $170. :)
For a lot of parents (myself included) paying our children for certain chores is hard to determine. What are appropriate chores for the age? How much? That is a personal decision with each family. As for my family and I, here are a few of the chores we have setup with our son that might be a good starting point for you.
- The Classic Lemonade/Cookie Stand
- Taking out the trash or taking the trash to the curbside
- Putting away dishes
- Washing dishes
- Cleaning up the play room
- Sweeping out the garage
- Helps shovel the driveway
- Folds and puts away his laundry
- Good character at school (this is a green card at my son’s school)
These are just a few ideas we implemented in our family. What ways do you encourage your son or daughter to save, invest, or earn money?