It’s great for parents to teach their child about money and how the ‘real world’ works, but do they really have to charge their kids rent to make their point?
Apparently, a mom from Georgia thinks parents should do just that.
Essence Evans, a mom from Atlanta, posted to Facebook about how she makes her 5-year-old daughter pay rent each month – and, not surprising, her post went viral. She gives her a $7 allowance each month, but the child has to give her $5 back to cover bills, just like as her Evans says, happens in the real world.
She breaks down the price for each ‘bill’: “$1 for rent, $1 for water, $1 for electricity, $1 for cable and $1 for food,” she says. The little girl can keep the other $2 to either save or spend.
What her child doesn’t know is that her mom is putting the $5 she receives from her each month into a savings account that she will be able to access when she’s 18.
“So if she decides to move out on her own she will have $3,380 to start off,” Evans says in her Facebook post. “This strategy not only prepares your child for the real world. But when they see how much real bills are they will appreciate you for giving them a huge discount.”
I understand why this mother did this, but doesn’t anyone else think 5 years old is a bit young to be stressing over bills and money? What happened to letting a kid be a kid?
I think there are other ways that parents can teach their young ones about the value of a dollar. When I was in elementary school, we had a local bank come to our school once a month to have a banking day. We were able to deposit and withdrawal money that day. The bank rep also showed us how to balance our ledgers to our savings accounts afterwards. At that young age, I learned how important it was to save my money.
Now, there are banks that have kid-friendly savings accounts that parents can set up for their children. I set up one for my son at PNC and they have a whole Sesame Street theme on their website; ‘S is for Savings.’
I can transfer money from my account to his account. When he gets old enough, he can do interactive banking, which according to PNC’s site, “helps your child learn about and practice saving, sharing and spending.” There is also a goal-setting option, so the child can have the option to save up for something in particular.
I just think this is a more kid-friendly way to explain the value of a dollar. When kids are old enough, you can explain it more in depth. My advice: let your kid be a kid as long as they can – and not stress about money.
What do you think of this mom’s money method? Tell us in the comments.