Parents, Back Away From the Piggy Bank!

Tapping into kids' funds in hard times a bad idea

Teaching Kids the Basics
Turn it into a game.
Most kids are up for anything that’s exciting, so make learning fun. Instead of regurgitating the same information about saving and spending, turn money management into a game. Try creating a coupon challenge. Whichever child clips the most usable coupons will win an ice cream cone or gets to choose events for the next family fun day – you decide the prize.

Make them earn it. Giving your children a weekly allowance attached to household duties is a great way to teach them about money. Attach a dollar value to chores — sweeping for $3, washing the car for $10, etc. – to help them understand the value of labor – and a dollar.

Encourage them to find additional sources of revenue. When I was in seventh grade my mom (a junior high school social studies teacher) pushed me and two friends to sell ice cream at a local summer camp. She helped us find a cheap wholesaler and we put our money together for the initial investment, which wasn’t much. Encourage your kids to be enterprising, start with lawn care or helping neighbors clean their houses.

Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at

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