Money, Money, Money. Kids believe it grows on trees and that parents have unlimited amounts of it. Or, maybe that’s just my kids? I don’t know but my kids seem to think money grows on trees around here! I work very hard for my money, and even though I rarely spend any of it on myself, I take pride in what I do spend my hard earned cash on.
Recently I decided it would be a great idea to teach my two preteen girls who want all the latest in fashion, makeup and accessories what it’s like in the real world and asked them if they wanted to get a job. Now, Kyla is turning 12 on October 2nd and Ava 11 on August 12 so how could they get a job you ask? Well, a paper route! My son’s friend does it so I thought I’d look into it for them and as it turns out there were a few paper routes in our area in need of carriers.So, Kyla and Ava decided they’d like to do them and took on two routes each, and will be adding a fifth to split soon. With this I wanted my girls to know what it’s like to work hard for the things they want, my boys will be following suit as soon as they are old enough, and hopefully, they catch on as quickly as my girls.
This week marks week #4 and they’ve been paid once so far for two weeks worth of work. They both beamed with pride after calling the number on the back of their bank card, keying in their bank card # and hearing their accounts had money in them. It’s important to teach them all about bank cards, debit cards, and credit cards, and about how certain cards are tailored towards certain audiences. For example, how you can cards tailored towards those their age as well as other markets, like credit cards for new immigrants. It’s best to learn all about them while you’re young so that you don’t fall into the trap that some finance companies set up, and so that you can make the most of what they do offer. I took them shopping with their cards, and of course, they bought clothes. But they were able to see how much clothes cost, how it feels to make money, and then how it feels to spend it quickly.
Neither was a fan of the spending it quickly and have decided they have two more paydays coming up in August before school starts and they want to save their hard earned cash to buy more back-to-school outfits. I’ve already spent quite a bit to buy them some but I told them if they want more – this was their chance to do it!
I won’t make them buy things they need, ever. I am the parent that is still my job, but extras? Things they don’t need, but want? That is up to them. You’d be surprised to see how much preteen girls want to spend on makeup, clothes, and all the things. It will only get worse as they get older – so now is the time to teach them some responsibility and the value of their hard earned dollars.Here are some other ways I am taking advantage of this situation to make sure my girls are learning about money and money responsibility
- Let them do what they wish with the money they earn: This was a hard one for me but it worked. I let them spend their first pay on whatever they wanted. This is necessary so they can see how quickly it goes.
- Don’t give any extra: If an item they want is over the amount of money they have, don’t give in. They can wait until they have the proper amount or pick something else.
- If they ask you for money in between pay: Don’t do it. Seems harsh but they need to learn the value of a dollar, and in my opinion how to stretch it for things they want. Don’t get me wrong though, I did buy my girl’s ice cream and lunch after they had their little shopping sprees when we went out shopping, but other things they want nope.
- Help them budget: I make budgets monthly, sometimes twice a month depending on the income I get that month. Helping my girls figure out their budgets, what they’ll earn and what they want to spend it on – helps, and shows them how to plan and budget for the future.
I’m excited to say my girls haven’t asked me for money to go to the store or for anything! I will always provide for my children but I think this basic skill is wonderful for them to learn. They talk about their pay dates often, what they plan to do and buy with it and this gives them that feeling of more independence. It’s really great to watch.