What is the best, easiest and least stressful way for kids to learn how to deal with money?
Sorry, I don't know the answers to all those questions but I thought I would share what we have done, and what has worked pretty well for us so far. That certainly doesn't mean that it is THE WAY to do it, it has simply worked for us.
When kids are little they don't have much need for money. We provide for all their needs and many of their wants too. As they grow older their wants tend to grow a little perhaps and also they have this desire to buy things on their own, with their own money. Also we want them to learn how to deal with it, after all that is part of growing up.
To be straightforward, we do NOT give allowances to our kids. Not that we think they are bad or anything, we just didn't see any good reason to just give out money like that. We are careful with our money and we expect to earn the money we have and so we thought our kids could learn to work for theirs too.
When our kids started wanting money, we decided we would come up with special jobs to let them earn money. These jobs are above and beyond their normal jobs of keeping their bed made, their room clean and general household maintenance. Sometimes there were jobs that just needed done at the time like moving rocks (that job is over now) but sometimes they are jobs like mowing the lawn, cleaning the vehicles and things like that that need done on a regular basis. If the kids ask to earn money we generally will try to think of some special job they can do.
We are not high paying employers and we do still want the job done well (we inspect!) but it is teaching the kids a little bit about the value of a dollar. It also gives them freedom to chose how to use their own money. We basically only buy toys for birthdays or Christmas but since they earn their own money the boys have been able to add several sets to their Lego collection this summer.
Giving our children opportunities to work for us (which does help getting mundane tasks done around the house too!) has worked for us. I would love to hear how you deal with this issue and what has worked for you! I would love it if you would share in the comments.
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