Teach My Kids About Earning and Spending
Decide this is the summer to start teaching my kids about money
More than any other time of the year, summer, offers lots of opportunities to teach kids about money. In the summer, you and your kids are not focused on school and extracurricular activities. There is time to think creatively about how to earn money, and how to responsibly spend and save. Here are few ideas to jump start the process.
Ideas for children of all ages to earn money
Go through all of their toys and games with them. See which ones they have outgrown and no longer use. Clean and wipe up any toys that may need to be spruced up. Have a yard sale, list it on Facebook or Craigslist. Let your child keep the proceeds of the sale of his or her items.
Note: If they are too attached, consider taking pictures and making an album of their favorite toys.
Kids can have their own business with parental support. Types of business can be dog walking or caring for an animal when the pet owner is on vacation.
You might have tasks that need to be done around the house, for example, cleaning out the garage for a garage sale or they can offer to help a new mom as a mother’s helper. Teenage boys can play and or teach sports to younger boys.
Tutor another child or teach a skill to an adult. Tutor younger children in reading, math, science, or history.
Teach an adult how to use their smart phone or social media sites, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Help them choose and set up apps for their phones. And yes, there are still lots of people, many seniors, who struggle with simple tasks on their phone and computer.
Wash cars include vacuuming and detailing the inside, run errands for neighbors, offer to water plants indoors and outdoors when a neighbor is away on vacation.
Ideas for children on how to spend and save money
Begin early to teach your kids about money, since they form their opinions about money as early as 4 or 5 years old. Help them imagine how would they play with the toys. This is a good opportunity to introduce the concept of wants vs needs. You can make a board with pictures of “wish” items. Steer them towards items within a realistic price range.
At an appropriate age, write on the board how long it may take to save enough to buy what they want. If they are receiving an allowance, explain how long it will take to save and why they might want to do some extra chores or why they may want to work for the extra money.
Encourage your children to really think about what they want vs. what they need. Understanding this difference at this age is a wonderful life lesson.
Children at this age may want to express themselves individually, with clothing, shoes, jackets, and jewelry. They will a better understanding of saving towards specific expenses. Define what you will veto, particularly, if they are spending their own money.
As a parent, encourage them to save for transportation, whether it’s a car or using services such as Uber and Lyft. If they are college bound, teach them to save for college spending money.
Explain to them how credit cards work and how to keep track of the balance in their bank accounts. It’s important to instill the concept of saving for the future.
All ages, including adults:
It’s important to know how to balance your saving and spending. Saving every penny can be just as binding as spending every penny. There must a balance. Teaching a balance and being a good role model will tremendously help yourself and your children.
In summary, at every age, there is an opportunity to introduce how to manage money. As parent, it is necessary to teach good money management skills. If you find you are lacking in the skills yourself, first do not let it stop you from teaching your children. And second, educate yourself on how best to manage money. This can be through reading books, following blogs, or hiring a professional.