Pocket Money for Children: What Lesson Are You Really Teaching
Thanks to Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad, Poor Dad we have all become more aware of what financial lessons we are teaching our children. What lessons are you teaching your children when its comes to earning money?
Often children earn their pocket money, in that the expend labour rather than talents to ‘earn’. They are taught to work around the house doing chores and if they are a good worker then will get their pocket money for the week. This is believed to teach the child a good work ethic with the advantage of keeping the house tidy and giving the parents a bit of a break. In return the child gets a some money to spent of what they want and learns to become a good consumer. Although this is thought to be good parenting it is a fundamentally fault concept in which the lesson the child learns is they must work again and again and again to earn money and that money is solely to buy consumer goods. Congratulations you have just brought your child up and turned them into a life long slave to a pay check and a middle income lifestyle focused on consumption with money earned by effort. Once they realise they can only work so hard the temptation of easy credit to meet consumption desires means they will entangle themselves into slavery to the finance companies.
How about teaching children to start a business that will earn their pocket money again and again once it is set up. If you child is old enough to type and write more than a 1000 words then they are ready to build a website with your help. To it on a topic they are interested in, choose the pictures they like, the layout they like. Sign them up to google adsense and show them how to copy and paste it to their new site. Watch their excitement as they daily check to see what income they have earned. Now you have taught your child/teenager how to use their talents to earn “recurring income”. They will quickly learn the lesson of business building and setting up permanent income streams. You might even be surprised they might want to start more, or they might even earn more income than you! Forget monopoly and play money let them play the game for real money.
Teach them then to pay for the maid to do their chores for them and they will learn about real responsibility.
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