The new school year often feels like a new beginning. Time for a fresh start and to implement a new schedule and routines. As kids return to the classroom, parents should consider getting them involved in helping around the home with chores they’ll actually enjoy while also teaching them the value of earning their own money. The best place to start is with educating your kids on financial literacy and the importance of understanding how money works at an early age.
What is financial literacy?
Financial literacy is a pretty big concept for the kids to grasp, but essentially it means teaching your kid about money and how to manage it responsibly. After all, it’s a skill that will help kids throughout their life. It can be as simple as introducing the concept of wants vs. needs, the value of saving for a long-term goal, and the pros or cons of paying with cash or debit versus a credit card. Encourage teenagers to save for their education and be transparent with your household budget, so they understand the real-world costs of living independently.
Teach kids to earn and spend their own money with Mydoh
One of the best ways kids can learn financial literacy is to put their knowledge into practice by earning their own money. Mydoh is a free money management app for parents and kids as young as 8-years-old. Kids receive a digital Smart Card, which you’ll have access to and can see their spending activities and encourage good choices. Here’s how it works:
Set an allowance
Create a weekly allowance for your kid’s everyday expenses. This allowance will be paid out every Saturday (Pay Day!).
Add a task
Help your kids be more responsible and earn some cash by doing chores around the house.
How having responsibilities benefit kids (really!)
Research shows there are real benefits for kids as young as three-years-old who take on tasks at home. These include higher self-esteem, better able to deal with frustration and delayed gratification. Helping out when they’re young leads to long-term success at school, work and relationships with others.
Encouraging kids to complete tasks at the same time each day (such as making their bed in the morning or clearing up after dinner) helps to create structure in their day and develop responsibility. Aside from becoming acquainted with how a washing machine works or that bathrooms don’t clean themselves, household tasks also provide kids with a sense of meaning in the family; that they’re part of a team.
12 ways to make daily chores fun for kids
Making chores sound fun might seem like a stretch. But you can add a little play to household work. Giving kids set chores throughout the day helps them to establish a routine. And breaking up chores into smaller tasks is less overwhelming for kids – as anyone who ever sat aside a full day for housework will know! While we’re not suggesting your child does every chore on the list, here are some tasks they can complete throughout the day.
- Start the day off with making the bed. Even younger kids can do this by straightening pillows and pulling the covers up. Ask them to choose a special stuffed toy (or ten) that sits on top of their made bed every morning. Give older kids a say in choosing a cool duvet cover or sparkly pillow, so they’ll have a bed they want to lie in.
- Give kids the responsibility of getting themselves ready in the morning. Have them choose their clothes and dress themselves, brush their hair and teeth, as well as tidy up in the bathroom after themselves.
- Task kids with putting their clothes in the laundry basket. There are plenty of fun laundry hampers on the market that makes putting dirty sox away more of a slam dunk!
- If your child is learning remotely, they can be responsible for making their own lunch. Filling a bento box with delicious snacks is one way to make it more fun. Encourage kids to be creative with making wraps, fruit kabobs, cut softer foods like cucumbers or bread into shapes with cute cookie cutters or make their own trail mix.
- Checking the mailbox or taking the family dog for a short walk are other quick tasks kids can fit in during their lunchtime.
- Enlist younger kids in helping with dinner by washing vegetables, mash the potatoes, or set the table. Provide them with their own apron and plastic utensils. Older kids can take on more responsibility for the evening meal. Task them with making the salad or a side dish, helping to chop vegetables, as well as to measure and mix ingredients. As their skills develop, let them plan and prepare dinner once a week.
- Equip younger children with their own kid-sized broom and pan and challenge them to sweep up around the dinner table or kitchen.
- Before bedtime, do a 10-minute tidy. Set a timer for ten minutes, put on some upbeat music and set about clearing away the day’s clutter.
- With more time on your hands, have older kids make breakfast for the family, like blueberry pancakes or french toast with fruit. Siblings can get involved by setting the table as if they’re at a restaurant. Have them serve the rest of the family and clear up afterwards.
- What could be more fun than a big bucket of soapy water and a garden hose? Have your child help wash, rinse off and polish the car.
- Your kid might be too young to drive, but there’s another motor they can get behind – the lawnmower. If your child is old enough, give them responsibility for cutting the grass. Younger kids can help in the garden too by raking leaves (see how big a pile they can build) or watering plants with their own watering can.
- Give your teens a lesson in financial literacy and show them how to pay bills then give them the responsibility of paying household bills online.
Success with money and in life starts at home
No matter whether your kids are back at school – or learning remotely this upcoming school year – doing chores will help establish a routine and lead to long-term success. Mydoh will continue to be here, helping teach kids about money and keeping them busy in those off-school hours. Sign up for Mydoh and begin teaching your kids about financial literacy today.
Read more about fun money management activities for kids.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.