Teaching kids about cash

Joey GarciaWhat is the best way to teach a child about money? I want to give my 8-year-old daughter a weekly allowance out of the $50 per month that I budget for the birthday gifts that she and my 4-year-old son give friends and family. She would then purchase such items herself. My girlfriend says my daughter should do chores in exchange for the cash. She says my approach teaches my daughter that she can get money without working. My girlfriend was upset that my daughter doesn’t even feed her own pets at my house or my ex-wife’s. I think 8 years old is a bit young to expect that. Your thoughts?

If she is old enough to attend school, she can handle simple chores and begin money management lessons. However, the experts I consulted suggest you tackle each separately. “Give your daughter an allowance as a way to learn that money is a universal currency for taking care of what matters to us,” says Dr. Shirah Bell, a personal finances coach in Alameda, Calif. “Chores are part of the responsibility of living in a community. I don’t recommend that you pay for them.” Marybea Varvel of the House of Numbers, a tax preparation and bookkeeping service in Roseville, agrees. “An allowance is a learning tool, not a paycheck for doing chores.” She encourages parents to be guides. “Before you give her any money, discuss the amount and the intent. Help her to research a budget by taking her on a shopping expedition so that she can write down the cost of things she may want to purchase. Visit several stores to show her how the cost on the same item varies. Read newspaper ads together. Armed with this information she should be able, with your help, to write a budget for the coming year. As she spends, allow her to make mistakes. Don’t bail her out. The mistakes we make are the lessons we learn best. Lastly, if she wants something that exceeds her budget, she should earn the money for it; whether it’s by extra chores at home or working for a family friend or relative.” Bob Dreizler, a chartered financial consultant and author of Tending Your Money Garden, said parents must also be conscious of whether they only discuss money in loud, shouting voices. He added that neither chores for cash nor providing allowance and assigning chores resulted in much help from his kids.

How can I stay detached but still have passion and desire?

There is a difference between detachment and fear-based distancing. Detachment is the immovable trust that all is well and will remain so without your active intervention. So if a friend were in a crisis, for example, you would trust that God was at work in their life. You might pray for them, even offer assistance, but you would not try to save them from struggle. This is because you have willingly completed the laborious but joyful process of gleaning the goodness from your own difficulties. Once you understand that crisis can inspire healing, you would not keep the experience from someone you love. But if you’re keeping yourself from someone you love, then you are restricting yourself either emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically, thereby squelching your own passion and desire.

Meditation of the week
This is the dawning of the Age of Infinity. You have another millennium to play with, an opportunity to develop a new relationship with time. Will it be another rush of “not enough” or a slowly unfolding romance that you savor gratefully?

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