4 Money Lessons You Need to Teach Your Kids

Spread the Money



When I was around 13 years old I had my first job as a Penny Saver delivery boy in the winter time in New York.  For those of you who don’t know what a Penny Saver was, it was a little newspaper that had a bunch of coupons in it.  I would get literally hundreds of Penny Savers delivered to my house on Saturday mornings and I would then spend the entire day (from 8 AM to 7PM usually) rolling up every Penny Saver into its own plastic sleeve along with a bunch of other separate coupon pages.

I remember the inside of my hands and fingers would turn black from all the ink that rubbed off the Penny Savers.  On Sunday mornings at around 6 AM, I would load up one of those old granny carts with as many Penny Savers as it could hold and deliver them on my route. I needed to come back to my house and load up the granny cart multiple times before I delivered every single Penny Saver.  I would usually finish by 2 PM.

My boss would check up on me to make sure every Penny Saver was delivered in front of every house by driving around my route.  So I couldn’t just throw them all in a dumpster and call it a day.  Believe me, I thought about doing that so many times.

I got paid $25 bucks a weekend for all my efforts. My older sister would usually ask to borrow my $25 bucks and never pay me back. But that’s a different story.

You can imagine I hated this job because it really sucked. But it taught me what hard work was about and what the value of a dollar meant. I don’t really see that anymore with kids today, they just want to play video games all day.  I think kids need to understand the value of money.  I know schools do not teach them how to handle money, so it should come from their parents. Who else are they going to learn money management from? But if you are a parent that has a horrible relationship with money, your kids will pick up on that too.  If that is the case, you both can log onto my blog every day and learn from me about money.

I think kids today need to learn these 4 lessons relating to money so they can be better prepared for the world that they will eventually have to live in.


No More Free Allowances.  Give Them Chores to Do & Reward Them For It

Stop giving your kids a free allowance every week. This is not how the real world works. Unless you marry rich, but everyone else has to work to make money. If you start giving your kids $10 bucks a week for doing nothing, they are not learning how money is really earned.

Maybe your kids are too young to get a crap job like I had delivering Penny Savers, but it’s never too early to teach them the value of a dollar. Instead of giving them free money every week for doing nothing, assign them some chores to do around the house.  Let them clean the windows, mop the floors, and mow the lawn just to name a few. After they do a satisfactory job, then pay them the $10 bucks at the end of the week.

When they are younger, give them toughest job you can find. This will teach them what hard work really is about and they will respect and appreciate the people that do that kind of work. They will also quickly learn that they never want to do that type of work again, which will propel them to work and study harder so they never have to be in that line of work ever again.  I know I never want to deliver Penny Savers again in this lifetime.


Save Half the Money Your Kids Receive as Gifts

When your kids receive money for their birthdays, holidays, graduations, etc . I think they should save at least half of the total amount. Let them know that they should save half instead of spending it all on one or a few things.

I would not save all of it though because your kids will then hate the concept of saving money. By saving just half of their gift monies, you teach them about balance and the important lesson that as soon as they receive some money, they shouldn’t spend it all immediately on one thing.

They need to learn that saving money is just as good, if not better than spending money.


Teach Them about the Stock Market 

When I was in high school, I remember enrolling in a simulated trading application that taught me about the stock market. It was called Stocktrack.

It was so fun and exhilarating making stock trades and watching my money go up and sometimes down.  It kind of changed my life now that I think about it. If your kids’ school offers this program, then I highly suggest they participate in it. If not, go ask their school if they can start implementing this program.

I heard a story where a teenager wanted his dad to buy him a car. Classic tale right?  His father said, ‘I will not buy you a car, but I will give you $2K. I want you to invest that money into the stock market and if you can pick winning stocks that will double your money or more, then I will buy you a car.’  The teenager feverishly researched stock quotes, charts, P/E Ratios, etc. so that he could do what his father had asked.  He was determined to double his money so that he can get a car and in doing so, forced himself to learn about the stock market.

I don’t know how the story ended, but I thought it was a great lesson for the teenager.  It was a genius idea for the father not to buy his son a car just because he asked for one. And he introduced the power of investing and how the stock market can benefit his son.


When the Weekend is Over, Teach Them Going Back to Work or School is a Good Thing

After spending a glorious weekend or vacation with your kids, the last thing either of you want to do is go back to work and back to school for them.  I personally would love to go back to work after spending just one day with noisy, bratty children, but that’s a different story (I know all kids are not like that, right?).

I get it though, I usually hate Mondays too.  But if you constantly perpetuate how much you dislike going back to work in front of your kids, they will despise it as well.  Instead, you should tell them that they are lucky Mommy and or Daddy has a job to go back to so you can afford the fabulous weekend you had just experienced together.

By doing this, you are teaching your kids that having a way to earn an income and then enjoying the fruits of your labor is being a responsible adult and contributor to society.


Related Content:

The One Thing You Need to do to Become a Better Saver 

7 Habits of Highly Successful People 

College Students: Follow the Money and Do Not Study What You Are Passionate About 

I’m Too Cheap to Have Kids 


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