I was dropping my children to school one day last week when a fire engine raced past, lights flashing and sirens wailing. My son piped up from the back seat:
“Who pays the fireman?”
While my son might be a little young for a lesson in taxation, he’s not too young to understand that we all have to chip in to pay for the amenities we share –
roads, pavements, zebra crossings, hospitals, ambulances, police, parks and even fire engines.
Put as simply as that, the idea of paying tax makes sense.
I’ve heard of parents who teach their children the hard way – by "taxing" their pocket money. I think a better solution is to encourage children to put a percentage of their pocket money into a savings account, so they can learn about saving at the same time as getting used to handing over a portion of their "earnings".
Lots of banks offer savings options for young people, like CommBank’s Youthsaver account. Every month that you put money into your Youthsaver account and don’t take any out, they’ll get bonus interest as a reward for being a good saver!