The Barefoot Investor Scott Pape says it’s never too early to start imparting money managing lessons to your children. We assumed that meant displaying sensible spending behaviour, assigning chores in exchange for pocket money or perhaps just explaining that the ATM isn’t a magic font of unlimited funds.
But according to one US mum, it means charging your kindergartener rent.
Essence Evans shared to Facebook that she takes back 70 per cent of her five-year-old’s weekly allowance.
“Every week she gets US$7 dollars in allowance. But I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves,” the Atlanta woman wrote.
“So I make her give me US$5 dollars back. $1 for rent $1 for water $1 for electricity $1 for cable [television] and $1 for food. The other $2 she gets to save or do what she wants with.”
LISTEN: The Barefoot Investor shares a slightly less harsh way to teach kids the value of a buck, on our podcast for imperfect parents. (Post continues below.)
It’s a tough lesson for sure. But unlike in the adult world, the school girl’s deductions don’t go into the pockets of a cashed-up landlord. They go toward her future.
“What she doesn’t know,” the mother of two wrote, “is the $5 is actually going away in her savings account, which I will give back to her when she turns 18. So if she decides to move out on her own she will have $3,380 to start off. “This strategy not only prepares your child for the real world. But when they see how much real bills are they will appreciate you for giving them a huge discount.”
The post earned more than 180,000 reactions and 35,000 comments in less than 24 hours, some of which labelled the tactic “inspiring” and “genius”, others “cold”, “harsh” and “premature”.
“It would make more sense for the child to put the $5 in the bank every week, so [she] can see the results of [her] acts of saving. Then [she] will see it’s up to [her] to prepare for his future, not Mom,” one commenter wrote.
What do you think of Essence’s method?