I came across this article in our local paper about a month ago.
It really got me thinking.
Firstly, about teaching Munchkin about money (which I'd already been thinking about anyway). Then secondly, about ways we can help prepare him for the future.
We're not exactly raking in our millions, so finding extra money for him to earn by doing jobs at home isn't particularly feasible. Plus I want him to learn that doing chores at home is just what you do as part of being in a family and living in a house. You don't do it because someone's going to pay you for it. Heck, if I was expecting payment our house would never get vacuumed and we'd never be fed. But while I want him to grow up with a good strong work ethic, focused on doing what needs to be done for self and community, I also want to train him how to manage money well.
This article gave me some ideas...
If you can't see if clearly, it tells of a young family who help their children earn money each week. The 3 year old boy walks a neighour's dog for $5 a week. But he doesn't keep that money. It's going into a college fund for him. Sounds a bit mean? Short term pain for long term gain perhaps? But the thing is that this boy loves dogs. He's simply being paid for a hobby. And his parents are helping instil in him the ability to wait and to plan. Their daughter has friends over for baking lessons. Their parents don't mind contributing towards it because their kids get a fun activity that doesn't involve their time or their kitchen getting messy! I like how this idea is social, as it's time spent with her friends as well as saving money for her University fees. Now it really is work for the parents as well as work for the child. The parents have had to initiate this, and keep their children interested and persisting with their money earning. But I think I could handle walking a dog each week, considering I like to go for regular walks anyway. And I think I could bake or craft or something with a few children from time to time (perhaps not weekly though, I might lose the plot doing that!).
Imagine if we all took some of this on board as families? If we saved for our children's Uni fees, or their first home, but in this way that also actively involves the child so they learn to have ownership of it too? Imagine how much better positioned they'd be financially starting out as adults, but also how much more resourceful, persistent, and money savvy?
Now to think of things Munchkin and I (or his daddy, hehe!) could do to save for his first house....hmmm. Any suggestions?