Healthy Budget Habits for Kids
No Work, No Pay
This is one of the household values your children should understand from an early age. That’s the way it works in the real world: you can’t do half your job and expect your employer to pay half your salary.
You’re not going to let your younger kids “sink or swim.” For them it’s a positive reinforcement. So, do the chores with them, let them check-off each job after it’s completed, and as discussed before, put a sticker on the chart to show “ A Job Well Done!” For the older ones, however, it’s “Three Strikes And You’re Out”. You will remind them to complete their chores only three times a week. If they don’t do them, and don’t do them properly, it’s “NO WORK, NO PAY.”
The days of 5-cent sodas and fifty-cent allowances are gone. If you pay your children too little, you are telling them that their work has no value and you take away their incentive to work.
I make it objective and if you can afford it, I suggest that you pay your child his or her age in a weekly allowance – a four year old earns $4.00 a week, a ten year old earns $10.00. I’m sure you’re gasping for air right now because this seems like a large amount. (When I was a kid, I tried to convince my parents to pay me my weight each week. It didn’t fly.) This is really not a huge amount when you see how your children will learn to budget and save and spend their money. Very soon your children will understand that indeed, “MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES.”
The Four Jar Budget
Your kids have worked hard and earned money, now it’s time to learn to save, spend and share their money.
Get 4 clear plastic jars or pouches and label them:
10% Charity Jar
30% Quick-Cash Jar
30% Medium-Term Savings Jar
30% Long-Term Savings Jar
Hint: Make sure that you have rolls of coins and bills on hand so that you have the correct amounts for your kids to count out into the appropriate jars.