July 2022

Tips: Teaching Kids to Earn Money

One of the kids’ favorite shows was Apple and Onion on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately, it got canceled earlier this year. Fortunately, if you have HBO Max you can stream all the episodes. It’s one of the few shows that parents will enjoy almost as much as the kids.

My oldest recently saw a set of Pokemon cards at Walmart that he just had to have. He knows the difference between needs vs. wants, but it was a strong enough want that it felt like a need. Alas, he hasn’t saved up enough allowance.

He had a solution. He would invoke the Apple and Onion episode of Tips where the characters try to perform extra tasks for a hot air balloon ride. They have one day to do it.

There are pluses and minuses to parenting a kid with a photographic memory. This is one such time.

At first, it doesn’t work well. They are a disaster at earning tips:

Eventually, they learn how to be helpful:

Earning Tips in Real Life

My son knows that I write this blog. So he said, “Hey, by reminding you about that Apple and Onion episode, I kind of helped you with your blog, right?” I responded, “Yes, that episode is an entertaining way for kids to learn how to make some extra money.” He then said, “Can I have tips?”

Yep, I gave him a tip.

I then went to look when the next new episodes are coming out and I saw that it was canceled. On Twitter, I found one of the storyboard artists put together a guide of what it was like to work on the show – complete with Apple and Onion characters.

My 8-year-old loves art and cartooning, so this was a win. I saw that he was selling a physical for $5, but he was also giving a digital copy away for free, but via Gumroad where you can… give a tip. So I put in my credit card number and sent a few dollars his way. Both my kids loved it.

It seems that I’m a lot like Apple and Onion before they learned how to earn tips. I’m a lot better at giving tips than receiving them.

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth

What I Know About Teaching Kids Money

  • Customize Your Money Lessons – All kids are different. I have two very boys who are only 15 months apart. They learn in very different ways. This has made me realize that there is little one-size-fits-all advice for teaching kids about money. When I write an article at Kid Wealth, I hope that you process it and keep the parts that are useful to you and your family. You know your family better than anyone else. If it’s anything like mine, there is a lot of trial, error, revise, and try again cycles. That’s how learning works.
  • Actions Speak Louder than Words – Your kids are watching and learning from you. When you set a good example, you get a tremendous head start in getting kids to think positively about money.
  • Those Actions Can Cut both ways – If you have bad spending habits and it leads to money (and other) problems, kids can see the bad situation and may be motivated to avoid it. I know several adults who specifically told me, “My parents struggled with money. I didn’t want to be like that.”

    Alternatively, my kids see me being frugal and are quick to say, “Dad, you are being cheap.” They may be right. I tell them that Aruba timeshares and Disney cruises cost a lot of money, so we have to save money sometimes to be able to afford those tremendous life experiences.

  • Tools To Teach Kids Money – If there’s one article to read on the whole Kid Wealth website, this is it. I’ve summed up a number of tools such as kid money television shows and money board games.
  • I also highly suggest that you give your kids an allowance and let them make money mistakes. It’s how they’ll learn.
  • Teach Compound Interest – Kids have two awesome advantages over adults. Their brains are awesome sponges that are perfect for learning new things. They have more time for compound interest to make a huge impact in their lives. For example, a Teach Kids Investing At Any Age – The concept of compound interest goes hand-in-hand with investing. It might sound strange to teach a preschooler about investing, but it’s very possible.

One of the best resources are these money books for kids:

  • A Smart Girl’s Guide to Money – This is a great book geared towards teen girls. However, I paid my 9-year-old son a couple of dollars to read it and give me his thoughts and he said it was fine for boys too.
  • Grandpa’s Fortunate Fables – This is my favorite book for kids in elementary school and tweens. It covers about a dozen money lessons, making it a perfect foundational book. Add it to your summer reading list and have the kids read a chapter a night.

You can also look for ways to teach kids money by age:

Finally, I firmly believe in getting kids started on building a business. Here are three ideas to motivate your kids to start a business.

I realize that this article points you in a lot of different directions. I hope it’s not overwhelming. The most important thing is to pick one thing and get started. I’ll check back in another six months an update this with a lot more resources. I hope you can keep up 😉.

The title of this article is inspired by this Oprah Book. I haven’t read it, but the title stands out to me.

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth

Week’s Best in Kid Money (#9)

I hope everyone had a good Independence Day weekend. Independence Day is a great time to get kids started on financial independence. It might sound silly to start so young, but a lot of it boils down to some core life skills and letting compound interest do the rest. That article has tips such as learning to cook, which is something many parents do with their kids. You may also want to read If You Made a Million.

This past week, I like the following Tweets:

  • I don’t come across Walter the Vault’s Tweets often, but whenever I do they make me smile. It’s one thing to give sound financial advice, but it’s another to do it in rhyme. Here’s a great example:

  • I love Tweets that get dozens of useful responses and this is one case.

With so many tips to read in that last Tweet, I’ll cut this post short so you can get right to it.

Brian MacFarland has reached more than 10 million people on his personal finance journey to financial independence.  He’s been featured in the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, and Lifehacker.

Read more on the About page.

If you enjoyed this article please Support Kid Wealth