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6 Ways to Get Your Kids Started with Money

Updated on September 2, 2018
Rita Gehman profile image

Rita is an education specialist who was homeschooled until she started college at age 16. She believes in family time and education.

Why Kids Need Money Education

Kids need to learn about money like they need to how to read and write.

Even families with rich, well-maintaining parents can be insufficient in their children's financial education. Learn how to get your kids involved with money NOW.

1. Ages 6-8 Years: Give Them an Abundant Allowance

From age 6 onward, your children should be accustomed to a real income coming in. This is necessary in order to get them feeling good and abundant about their financial resources.

Also, don't limit their engagement with money by giving them a small amount. Gone are the days of the $10 and $20 weekly allowances. When they start working for money, they need to have a strong desire to keep up with their current income, so make their income large. $50 to $100 per week is a good amount to develop this desire.

Count Money with Your Kids

Get money counting books and fun money games to play with your kids.
Get money counting books and fun money games to play with your kids. | Source

2. Ages 8-11 Years: Chores and Extra Tasks Now Bring in Income

Once your kids have reached age 8, they have been suitably amped up on money for a couple of years and feel the freedom of using as much as they want on a regular basis.

Now, implement the concept of working for their money. Do this by dividing their income up by various chores, and then by dividing those chores up into different days of the week.

Keep a chart on the days of the week and on each individual chore. Mark down all of the money they have earned for the week. A sudden dip in their income due to leaving out a chore or two during the week will really motivate them to keep up with everything perfectly.

Open a Bank Account for Your Kid

Help your kids enjoy the beauty and excitement of balancing their own checkbook from their own account at a real bank.
Help your kids enjoy the beauty and excitement of balancing their own checkbook from their own account at a real bank. | Source

3. Ages 11-14 Years: Make Them Work Outside the Home

By the age of pre-adolescence, kids have sudden spikes in their need for money due to their sudden need for extra clothes and gadgets to keep up with their peers.

Dock their chore income by 50% and insist that they earn any extra income they want to have by working outside the home.

Ideas for businesses they can run on their own:

- Parent-signed online courses, classes, selling, or marketing

- Lawncare business within a 4 neighborhood stretch

- Paper routes and helping professionals as a gopher

- Volunteering at a local business in exchange for experience and a small amount of cash

- Habitat for Humanity and other Non-profit organizations (any repairs made to your own home and land should receive full professional wages, in cash, from you)

- Handyman services around a 4 neighborhood area (painting, fixing, oiling hinges, gardening, watering, pet care, etc.)

- Babysitting neighborhood children on a regular basis

Have your kid come up with a few more ideas to add to this list and try out one at a time so that they can get a feel for income for which they are particularly suited.

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4. Ages 14-16 Years: Total Income from Outside the Home

By the time your kids have been learning how to earn half of their income outside of your home for 3 years, they will have a fine work ethic and deep knowledge of what it's like to pay for their own bills.

By the time they are 14 years old, they should be doing all of their household chores for free and be earning 100% of their income outside the home.

Be sure and let them get experience in expanding their current operations by taking them to visit local Small Business Development Centers and Free Business and Finance Classes given by your local college.

The more your kids can get involved with developing their own forms of income and expanding their operations, the more they will develop 2 sets of highly-important skills: 1. They will appreciate the position and respect of their boss once they start minimum-wage employment, and 2. They will feel a strong confidence in their own abilities to get and create money from their own ingenuity.

Get Investing and Money Management Books for Your Teen

Your teen will appreciate all of the extra effort and time you put into them and their financial education.
Your teen will appreciate all of the extra effort and time you put into them and their financial education. | Source

5. 16-18 Years: Self Supporting Income in the Real Job Market

Age 16 is when many high school students begin their after-school jobs. Insist that your teen is fully employed after school, all year round. Why is this so important?

Getting real-world experience before your teen goes out on their own (or begins paying you rent) will help them to keep a healthy dose of reality inside of themselves.

Abilities which they should have by now:

- Budgeting and planning their money for different allotments and categories in their lives

- Saving their money for major expenses (like a car or the down payment on a future apartment)

- Knowing how to take charge of their financial education and spending for college

- Understanding how to balance school and work so that both get done efficiently and fully

- Knowing how to have friend time, downtime, work time and school time and still get enough sleep every night

If your almost-adult is weak in any of these areas, sit them down and carve out time to discuss how they can implement these new aspects of their own financial education and experience.

6. 18-24 Years: Out On Their Own or Paying You Rent

At the age of 18, your kid needs very clear boundaries on what will happen next. And, yes, you must enforce these boundaries each and every time they start being stretched.

Here are some ideas for how to handle your newly formed adult:

- Some parents give their kids an ultimatum and change the locks on their 18th birthday. When this happens, the parents actually physically move their kid's belonging to the curb if they have not moved out by this time.

- Some parents insist on being paid rent if their kid stays home after the age of 18. This can assist them in learning how to pay for rent without the heavy bulk of an actual rent payment. However, the parents must be willing to act on a real eviction (complete with changed locks and moved belongings) if 2 months go by without payment.

- Some parents allow free houseroom to their adult kids if they remain in college and keep up good grades. Eviction can be a condition of dropping out or of allowing their college grades to drop below a certain level.

Whichever one of these things you choose, your kids have now received a full education on working and money so they should have no problem with any consequences you now leverage against them if they don't follow the rules.

This is the real world and they need to adjust quickly now. Allow them to come into their own at this point. Reconciliations can be made later when they have free time from work.

Conclusion

In conclusion, know that your kids will learn their money lessons one way or another. If they prepare them and adjust their expectations at a young age, you will be able to elevate them through the various financial levels as they age.

Remember, independence and knowledge are the currencies of today's world.

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