Mom Shares the Parenting Hack That Successfully Teaches Her Son Financial Responsibility
You've probably heard it before from people older than you are, "Kids these days don't know the value of a dollar." And now that you're a parent, you may find yourself saying it, too.
One mom came up with a hack to teach her child about money and responsibility. She started using it two months ago on her 7-year-old son, and it's been so successful she decided to take to TikTok to share the idea.
The mom, who goes by @craftedandcozy on the platform, came on camera wearing a "cool mom" T-shirt and proceeded to live up to that.
"[My son] has a daily task list that he must complete," she said. "Should he complete everything on his task list, he gets $1 per day. At the end of the month, he realizes that he has bills to pay."
Say, what? Making your child pay bills may sound a bit different to some. One mom's "tough love" Facebook post about making her 13-year-old son pay for rent, food, and utilities drew mixed reviews a few years ago. But as if she knew her comment might raise an eyebrow or two, the mom put a text overlay on the video.
"Yup, I said it. He has BILLS to pay," it read.
The child pays the bills, which cover rent, internet, and electricity, to his mother.
"He then understands that throughout the month, he has two buckets," she said. "He has his fun money, and he has his bill money. It is…his responsibility to categorize his money."
Then, the mom dropped a priceless plot twist: "I don't do anything with his money but put it right back into his savings account," she told viewers. "It has taught him the value of a dollar and responsibility. I'm so pleased with the results."
She's hopeful it can help others out as well. Commenters weren't shy about putting in their two cents—and some of it was critical.
"He's seven. Why not just let him be a kid and then do this when he's a teenager or something?" one person asked.
But others liked it.
"This may seem extreme to some, but financial literacy is not taught at school, so where is it going to be taught? At home. This is a good way to start," one commenter wrote.
"This is a great idea. It prepares him for life," read another comment, in part.
One TikToker was confused by the criticism.
"Is it me, or is this not the same as an allowance and working for it?" wondered another.
After reading some of these comments, Mom clarified a few things.
"I appreciate everyone's opinion and their perspective on this topic," she said. "This is a small portion of his day. My son lives a very fortunate life, and I am beyond blessed to be able to. Be able to provide him with that lifestyle. However, he needs to learn responsibility, and this works for us."
Here are some other ways experts suggest teaching your children ages 6 to 8 about finances:
- Take them to the bank—and make a thing of it. Experts share it's good to give a child an allowance and help them open an account so they can deposit that money into it regularly. See if your bank has no-fee, minimum-balance accounts designed for kids.
- Keep an eye on the money together. As the amount of money in your child's account grows, introduce concepts like interest rates.
- Collect coins. Collecting coins has been a favorite hobby of people of all ages for years. Early elementary school is a good time to start, experts say. Talk to your child about state quarters and make a game of collecting them. The United States Mint website has a kids' section with age-appropriate ways to discuss the history of currency.