How To Teach Money


In my opinion, I think that today’s kids are spoiled. If I take my 2 children for example, I can tell you that they have their main playroom on the first floor and another one in the basement. They got so many toys at Christmas and for their birthdays, that in December, we made them give 3 toys each to charity. This is definitely a huge challenge for parents: learning how to teach money to your children. I experimented with something last week; let me share this money lesson with you.

How To Teach Money

My son, William, is 5 years old. He is about the age to begin to understand the importance of money in our lives. But I still find that teaching my son about money is still too early. I tell him that nothing is for free, that he has to take care of his toys and clothes and that I have to work very hard to pay for the house, food and so on. However, all these money lessons are pretty vague for him as “working” and “money” are not concepts he fully understands. This is why I thought of doing something different.

How To Teach Money And Values at the Same Time

Williams loves soccer. At the age of 3, he wanted to jump on a soccer field with the other kids and play. He started playing in a league when he was 4. I know he is my kid and I am biased when I say this, but my son is very good at soccer. In fact, during the winter season, he jumped up to the 5 and 6 year olds league. This year, he is dominant. The problem is, as with many children, he is not always motivated. He is sometimes “tired” or he thinks he can wait on defence and get away with a few breakaways in the game. This is how I thought of money to motivate him.

Money doesn’t mean much to him

Teaching money to a 5 year old boy is a hard task as I mentioned. So I decided to offer him a prize as a source of motivation. Just before we left for the game, I told him I wanted to make a deal with him. Here’s the deal:

–          If he scores at least 5 goals; we would go to the restaurant

–          He must not tell his teammates

–          He must pass the soccer ball

–          This is a one time deal only

He scored 12 goals and had 4 assists!

I didn’t expect him to perform like this; he was running all over the field and playing well on defence, in mid field and obviously on offence. We did go to the restaurant but I had a very important discussion with my son after the end of the game.

How to Teach Money Through This Example

I told my son that we were going to the restaurant not because he scored 12 goals, but because he made a complete effort. These efforts, this motivation were the real reasons why he scored so many goals. I wanted to teach him that when you really put all you have into something; it gives benefits. That often, effort = rewards. And obviously, rewards come with money ;-).

I can’t wait to see if my son will learn this lesson about money and motivation. Next Friday, I won’t offer him any deals… but I hope to see the same motivation!

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How To Teach Money | Experiments in Finance