Most money experts agree that children should be given an allowance in order to learn financial skills at an early age. I disagree. Children should earn money just like we do. And, most importantly they must be taught what to do with the money once they receive it.
I speak on high school and college campuses monthly and to my astonishment, I meet young people who have never worked a day in their lives. At the age of 21 years old there are people in this world who still believe for some reason that money either really does grown on trees or that it magically falls from the clouds. There is a distinct disconnect between young people and the concept of earning money.
We have created a sickly bunch of young people. Their ailment? A false sense of entitlement. They’ve been poisoned by privileges afforded to them by parents who “don’t want their kids to go through what they went through.” If that be the case, we should use our experiences to empower our children with the tools and resources that will help them successfully navigate through this world; not give them a false sense of reality. Duh. That’s what reality TV shows are for. Doing this doesn’t help them. It enables them. And, it robs the world of the efforts of someone who will approach life’s challenges with independent creativity; not be complacent with the comfort of knowing that mommy and daddy are always just a phone call away.
Allowance VS Earning
A majority of the students I meet understand that they are in college to hopefully become productive citizens who earn a decent living. The problem is, however, they really have no idea of how that whole process works. Why? Because for their entire lives they’ve been given money for things they should technically do any way (i.e. be respectful, clean their bedroom, empty trash, and earn good grades). On top of all that they receive annual raises for simply getting older. Eh, let’s see. . . When’s the last time you got a raise for keeping a tidy office, showing up to work on time or just having a birthday? . . . Oh, okay. Just checking!
What happened to just being good for the sake of being good?
Why should anyone be paid to keep their room clean? You live there, don’t you?
Pay for good grades?
(Well, I got paid for good grades, but the reality is, I would have gotten them anyway. I was just that kind of kid. So, thanks, dad! All the money wasn’t necessary, but definitely appreciated!)
Here’s the deal with paying for stuff your kids should do anyway. Once they have other streams of income, like a part-time job or birthday money from grandma, they’ll draw a blank when you expect them to do chores at home. Why should they clean up for you when they just got “free money” for doing nothing? Duh.
Kids should earn money, just like you do. Sorry kids. Basic household chores are just your contribution to the family. It goes like this:
I feed you. You do the dishes.
I drive you to school. You wash my car.
You walk around my house. You vacuum.
You asked for a little brother or sister. I gave you one. Now, you babysit.
See where I’m going with this?