How to teach kids the value of money

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  • It’s one thing to give your kids a bit of pocket money, so they can buy some music or clothes, but how do you go about teaching them what money really means?

    We’ve got some great advice from experts and real mums to help you put a plan into action…

    Expert advice

    Get a part-time job
    Part-time jobs are the best way for children to learn the value of money; after all, apart from the extra cash they will earn, the reality check of hard graft, long hours and poor pay for menial work should be the biggest incentive to get teenagers to work hard for better exam results if ever there was one.
    Penny Palmano, author of Yes, Please. Whatever! How to get the best out of your teenagers, Harper Thorsons

    Working is good for you
    Earning their own money is character-building. It helps them to feel they have a separate identify from you. It also nurtures important social skills such as punctuality and how to relate to older people.

    It doesn’t necessarily have to be the type of work they want to do later on, but it might help them eliminate certain areas. If you’re unhappy about the work they’re doing, tell them.

    Young teenagers, say from 13 to 15, still need looking after. If they have a paper round, go over the route with them and talk about what they’d do if something went wrong.
    Gael Lindenfield, psychotherapist and author of Confident Teens

    Work on it together
    You can’t buy everything for your child, but is there a compromise? For example, those trainers don’t come cheap but may be really important to your teenager and how they fit in with their friends. Is there a possibility of sharing the cost with your older children? If they have a Saturday job or paper round you could offer to pay for half if they put in the rest. Or could you combine birthday and Christmas presents together if they were set on something?

    Again if your child is really serious about something can the family club together rather than buy individual presents? If you do this you may need to remind your child that they will not be getting as many presents if everyone clubs together.
    Parentline Plus,

    User tip

    When our daughter, Molly, turned 15, we got her a mobile phone. But we set her up with a ‘pay as you go’ account and told her she had to pay for it out of her own pocket money. She’s really careful how much she spends now.
    Jan Carruthers, 42, Stroud, Gloucester

    More help and advice

    Ways to encourage their independence
    Time to let go: how to deal with your kids getting older
    Teens and work: the facts