Kids learn about the concept of money from a very young age but often struggle to appreciate where it comes from. To them, their parents are an endless source of wealth that are ashamedly holding them back from buying a bag of lollies.
A great way to teach your kids about the value of money is to give it some worth. And the best way to do this is by making them earn it themselves.
When you put the ball firmly in your child’s court it’s amazing how they react. Once it’s clear to them that if they want something, all they have to do is find the money to fund it, it’s amazing how canny they can be. Watch your child’s inner entrepreneur blossom and find out just how much they want that bag of M&Ms!
A common concern among parents is “will my child be ok?” You want to know that you’ve raised them well, socially and financially, so they won’t have any trouble in the future.
By encouraging your kids to be entrepreneurial you’re also teaching them the benefits of independence. Once they see that they can stand on their own two feet the sky’s the limit. And even if you don’t want to raise the next Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) it’s nice to know you’re kids will be financially secure.
Once your child has a goal, help them work out a budget. Go through how much they’ll need to earn each week in order to reach their goal. This is a great start to encouraging healthy money habits. Saving, budgeting and goal setting are all good steps to becoming financially secure and independent.
Kids are the most creative people in the world. They have a completely different way of looking at things that isn’t inhibited by the social norms. Let them exercise their creativity and come up with new and interesting ways to reach their financial goals. They’re much more likely to be passionate about the idea if it came from them, and passion is the key to a successful business. The people who are most passionate about their ideas are more often than not the most successful.
Suggest things they’re interested in. Does your child love dogs? Maybe they could walk the neighbour’s dog during the week? Do they love cooking? Perhaps they could bake cookies and sell them.
Encourage them to seek opportunities where they see a need. Do any of their parent’s friends have overgrown gardens? Can they help out there?
So get the kids off the couch and into the business world. The chances are you’ll be able to find something that will inspire them into action. Who knows it might just be a bag of lollies!
Lyn McGrath is the Executive General Manager of Retail Sales for Commonwealth Bank, but more importantly she’s the mother of two.