Chores earn high marks as financial teaching tools, parents agree
(BPT) - When you pay your child $5 to clean the garage or $6 to mow the lawn, you're accomplishing far more than just getting the tasks done. A majority of parents use chores to teach their kids that money should be earned, a new study reveals.
"Sixty-eight percent of parents believe kids should get an allowance for doing chores," says Troy Frerichs, director of wealth management at COUNTRY Financial, which sponsored the survey. "Assigning kids chores and paying them for accomplishing their tasks is one way parents can teach their children about finances and the value of money, in a way that they can easily understand. Paid chores also instill work ethic, impart an understanding of the value of money, and inspire financial independence."
In teaching kids about the value of money, today's parents appear to be trying to spare their children some of their own pitfalls when it comes to learning about finances. The survey found that nearly half of parents learned about money on their own, and only 39 percent were taught by parents or family members. Among millennials, 48 percent learned from their parents.
Chores are a powerful way to help children learn money management skills that will be valuable throughout their lives.
Using chores to teach
COUNTRY Financial, which recently launched the free ChorePal app to help parents teach children the basics of money, asked a panel of family bloggers how they use chores to help teach financial lessons to their children.
* Ari Adams, who blogs at www.lovepeaceandtinyfeet.com, suggests playing a grocery-themed game with children. Gather grocery items from home and put price tags on everything. Give children play money to shop with, making sure you have more groceries than they have money. The "shortfall" teaches children the importance of planning and making careful selections. Older children can use coupons to make their money go farther.
* Turn "no" into a teachable moment. "When a child asks for something in a store, instead of just saying no, take the opportunity to teach a financial lesson," suggests Paula Rollo of www.beautythroughimperfection.com. "Show your child something you want to purchase in another area of the store, and explain why that item, along with the toy he or she wants, is staying at the store. This helps children understand budgeting and smart spending."
* Establish a time for chores. Just as you have set hour for work, set kids up with a time of day for doing chores. "This will teach them how to plan ahead to get their responsibilities done," Rollo says. "It will also help them to start creating their own daily schedules so they have time to do everything they want to get done each day."
* Introduce spending, saving and giving concepts. "Giving teaches them to be generous first," Kristen Chidsey of www.amindfulmom.com says. "And saving teaches money management skills at an early age. If children can master these lifelong skills at an early age, they will have a better chance of being financial responsible adults."
* Teach children how fortunate they are by serving with them at local food banks, visiting nursing homes or children in the hospital, making cookies for a friend, or helping with a community cleanup project. "When your children see the needs of others, it opens their eyes to how blessed they are," Chidsey says.
* Tap technology to communicate money and chore-related lessons. The ChorePal app, which is available on Apple and Android devices, allows parents to set chores and rewards, helps kids see their earnings add up as the complete tasks, set long- and short-term goals, and even earn fun badges for accomplishments. Parents and children can discuss household chores, schedule them, and agree on rewards. Learn more at GetChorePal.com. To download the free app, visit googleplay.com or itunes.com.