This article is part of a series on Teaching Kids About Money.
My next suggestion in how to teach kids about money may seem a bit far fetched, but I’m pretty sure it’ll work. Tell them to get a job! Of course, I’m talking teenagers. However, there are options for pre-teens to start making their own income as well, which I will cover later. The best way to teach your kids the value of a dollar is to make them earn it themselves. No longer will they take your busy day for granted. If you cut them off from any additional income and they know the only way to survive is on their own, I’m sure they’ll learn to adapt quickly. It won’t be easy and it could get quite dirty, but it’ll work.
I believe it’s a misconception that all teenagers are lazy and would rather spend their summer playing rather than finding a job. Though there are a lot of kids out there that do prefer to let mommy and daddy pay for everything, there are also a good amount of teenagers out there who simply want their freedom and not have to rely on parental figures to supply them with money to have some fun.
Of course, having fun is great and a necessity (especially while younger), but you must keep insight the purpose of this exercise – teaching your kids about money management. Make sure they open up a savings/checking account. The great thing about banks nowadays is that you can check your balance online. There is a slight defect though, the transactions tend to have a day or two lag before it’s realized within their systems. So I recommend convincing your kid to manage their money within their checkbook or hard copy ledger. Make sure they set aside time (about 10 minutes) a day updating their debits and credits. This way, they’ll learn a good habit that helps ensure they won’t overspend.
Once a child learns how hard it is to make money and manage it, this will teach them to cherish and save their hard earned money. At the very least, if they’re still spending their money frivolously, you can at least have a sigh of relief that they won’t be depleting your money.