This past weekend my daughter at age 3 and ¾ took her first venture into being a saleswoman. At our two-day rummage sale she wanted to sell cookies and kool-aid so we put up the money for the supplies and let her have her shot at making some money.
During the first day she was amazing and stayed with it for almost 8 hours, which as most of you know is an amazing feat for an almost 4 year old. She was asking all of our patrons “Do You Want A Cookie” before they even got out of their cars, and most would favor her with some patronage. It was quite humorous and people throughout the day mentioned that we had a born business women on our hands.
This weekend made me start thinking about the right and wrong ways to teach our children about the value of money and the value of hard work. I mean I believe that I emulate the value of hard work in my every day work and show that to my daughters. Yet, I still want them to understand that money comes from hard work and that it mut be respected.
The money that Diva-J did make (just over $40) was provided to her and she had the choice of what she wanted to do with it (though we encouraged her to save at least ½ of it). She decided to purchase some Disney polly pockets and to save the other ½ in her savings account. All-in-all I do think that we taught her some about the money that she made from her work, but I do know that there is more that she needs to learn.
After thinking about this, I decided to examine this a bit more for resources that I could use with my own girls. I found the following resources:
We have been having this discussion a lot lately, trying to make the decision about whether to give Noah an allowance. Neither of us got them when we were growing up and Noah already has a ticket system that rewards his good behavior where he can trade up for things if he saves enough tickets. We also don’t know about whether allowance should be earned by doing things around the house because it seems to me that he should learn that certain chores you do just because it’s part of the family, not in order to earn money. We want to instill this when school starts so we have a lot of decisions to make before then.
Cute picture, and wow, $40 is great! A few months ago we started a system w/ our boys for earning money w/ chores & helping out. We have a chart on the fridge for each, and each chore they do they get a nickel stamped on their chart. When the chart is full it is worth a dollar. They get to decide whether they want to spend the dollar or if they want to save it to buy something bigger that they'd like to have. We're hoping that this is helping to teach them about using money, saving money, and the value of money and how much things really cost, etc. All the while also helping to get them to do their chores too. Not sure how well we're doing, but it has helped some in the "I want this, I want that" category, because now instead of us always saying "no" (or giving in), we can remind them that they can earn it and buy it themselves. The older one (age 7) is starting to learn to prioritize his wants.
Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says
This is timely – we were talking about letting the kids do a lemonade stand at the garage sale tomorrow. Maybe we’ll add in cookies as well. 🙂
I’ve had conversations with Abby a lot lately on this issue. She wants so many things (mostly Webkinz) and hasn’t seemed to understand why we can’t just buy her whatever she wants (not that we do, so I’m not sure why she thinks that would be the case). We’re starting to give the girls an allowance now, and although they can spend it if they want, I want to encourage them to save up for things instead so they can get something they really want instead of whatever they can find at the time for that amount.
It’s a hard lesson to teach – and to learn!
Jeremy (Discovering Dad) says
I hope my kids have the entrepreneurial spirit! It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s good to expose them to these opportunities to learn about it at an early age. Great post Chris!
Night Writer says
When our youngest wanted to open a lemonade stand my wife gave her a loan to buy lemons and sugar, then showed her how to make the “product”. I showed her the importance of “location, location, location” and offered some marketing advice (write “Fresh-Squeezed” in big letters on her sign).
When the first day was over, the loan was repaid (no interest) from the proceeds, and a similar amount was set aside to buy more raw materials. The next day she repeated the process, this time enjoying more of the profits because her start-up loan had been retired. She repeated this process several times and ultimately was able to use her earnings to buy an American Girl doll, with the satisfaction of knowing she’d done it herself. (We also incorporated tithing into the process, establishing an early habit).
Like Kristi, we think certain chores are part of the basic family obligation w/o pay, but we made it possible to do extra duties for cash as well to reinforce the connection between work and money.
Being entreprenuerial isn’t a “spirit” as much as it is a way of thinking. A book that we enjoyed as a family is “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” Check it out and see what you think.
This takes me back! My daughter was in first and second grade when she set up her first lemonade stand in a high traffic area – across from Packer training camp, nearly next door to Lambeau Field. Among other things, she bought an American Girl Bitty Baby doll and accessories – which she still has now, at age 21. oh, yes, and the memories!