The summer holidays are well underway and many parents and grandparents will be suffering from complaints of boredom or working out how to keep young people entertained (and away from their devices) without spending a fortune.
The break in the academic year, however, can provide a valuable opportunity to put into place a financial bootcamp, to encourage your children to earn money, manage it and keep them occupied all at the same time.
Step One: Get the piggy bank set up
Bank accounts for young people have undergone a radical transformation in recent years. GoHenry offer an interesting way to give your children pocket money, by allowing an account for you and a linked account for each of your children. They get a debit card, which allows them to spend only the pocket money you have added to their account. It costs from £2.99 per child’s account, which you as the parent pays.
The major banks also offer accounts for children and you can click here to see a summary of some of the most popular ones. Or, you can of course opt for the good old fashioned piggy bank.
Step Two: Set the money-making tasks
The key to success is to negotiate some tasks that your child will complete in return for money, and to ensure that these are tasks they will complete, so they can then enjoy the reward of receiving the money, while also appreciating the effort that went into earning it. Tasks around the house are one option, such as cleaning the car, washing up etc. but these options often fail if the children don’t get on board with doing the tasks. You may have more success if you think of other things, for example, spending time with older relatives or volunteering at a nearby animal sanctuaries, might encourage them to learn new things as well as helping in the local community. You could also consider encouraging your child to set up a new enterprise, such as growing vegetables in the garden and selling them on an honesty stall in the front porch, or setting up a garage sale with their old toys. Older children can also help to babysit or read with younger children over the holidays.
Step Three: Set goals
Encourage your child to set a goal for how much they want to save. For example, they may wish to buy a new game, or save up for a special day out. Having a goal they can work towards will give them a real sense of accomplishment and encourage them to keep going when the novelty of earning their summer funds wears off.
Step Four: Mark progress
Having a chart or weekly catch up or ‘pay day’ to see how much they have earned will also help to keep your child going. With any luck, by the end of the summer holidays, not only will they have reached their goal and avoided the dreaded boredom, they will also have gained confidence and an awareness that they can go out and bring in more resources to enjoy the finer things in life, as well as developing a greater appreciation for the effort and persistence that is generally involved in earning money.
The Money Advice Service also have some helpful videos which can help you to share financial wisdom with the younger people in your life.