There are many ways to teach your kids about strong work ethic and money management skills, however, this is the way we have found to be most effective in our family, and BONUS, our kids love it too!
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I’m sure you’re a lot like us.
You want to set up your children for success in life.
This DOES NOT mean fame, or coming from wealthy parents, but more so, common-sense principles and skills that will guide them through their lifetime.
There are many principles to teach a young person, but today, I’m talking about teaching your kids about work ethic and money management skills.
Now, finances can be a rather “sticky” subject for some families, but it shouldn’t be. Especially with our children.
Our children should be learning from a young age about managing their money, finances, saving, budgeting, and most importantly, being a hard worker!
From a young age, it’s important that we as parents instill common sense, truly actionable financial principles, and a strong work ethic in our children.
They need to know that money does NOT grow on trees, and that money shouldn’t AND won’t always just be handed to them for doing nothing.
We want our kids to know about finances and money management NOW!
Our children need to know that how they manage their money will impact their lives and the lives of their family members one day.
That’s why we’re heavily teaching them basic money management principles from a young age, and working hard to instill a hardworking attitude in them.
The Strong Work Ethic and Money Management skills we are teaching our children:
- Setting financial goals and making them happen
- Staying out of debt!
- Not leasing things like vehicles, and taking out loans EVER! (a house is an exception)
- Not maxing out credit cards, or better yet, not having them at all if you can’t pay it off before it’s due each month!
- Budgeting and using their money wisely
- Learning about Financial Responsibility
- Working for money (whether it be for family, neighbors, or within their own home) because, HELLO, one day they’ll have to have an actual job in order to receive money for a living.
- Being a giver and not being greedy! Blessing others is a must!
- Working without complaining. Because we all know that at many times in our lives, we will ALL be asked to do things we DON’T want to do, and yet, we still must have a good work ethic.
- Doing our best when working. Whether it be the dishes, or mowing a neighbors lawn, we are teaching them to do all things to our best abilities.
How we hired our kids, and how you can too!
I was first inspired by this concept from Jessica Smartt, author of Let Them Be Kids (a must-read for ALL parents!), so this is where my initial inspiration for this idea came from.
I’m sure by now you and wanting to learn more about our way of teaching your kids about work ethic and money management that goes above and beyond the typical household chores idea. Let’s dive in!
Step 1- Creating Work Duties Charts
The first thing I did was created Work Duties Charts for each of my children (current ages; 4, 7, and 10) and decided on giving them 5 work duties per day (and 3 duties a day for my 4-year old).
Now from the offset, I will say that this isn’t the only work they do around the house, as they are expected to still do basic housekeeping in order such as dishes, keeping their rooms clean, helping wherever needed, etc.
Not to mention, at times, they will also have extra work duties (extra chores), added.
These NEW 5 work duties they have been given each day are new duties I’ve assigned to them. Jobs that young kids are capable of doing, and ones that are teaching them to be great workers around the house and keeping a tidy home.
Here are some screenshots of my children’s work duty charts:
Roman (age 10)
**The older kid usually gets more advanced jobs.
Vitaliy (age 7)
Viktoria (age 4)
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As you can see, even young children can have many work duties to do around the home, along with your older kids.
You can create your own work duties charts by using my FREE template
Or you can create your own work duty chart, of course!
Step 2- Create a Family Contract
Remember how I said that we wanted to instill a work ethic in our children?
This is the key!
We wanted to treat our children’s new work duties charts as a “real job”, as opposed to the typical “chore chart” that most families do. So we created a family contract because we were going to “hire” our kids! I’ve used the template from Jessica Smartt and modified it to fit our own family.
Here’s the breakdown of what’s in our contract
- Complete your work duties chart Monday – Friday.
- Get my initials after the job is completed and checked.
- Each initial is ONE point
In Return, every Saturday you will be paid:
- 24-25 points: $8 (FULL AMOUNT)
- 23-18 points: $5
- Anything less, you will not be paid. (A great money lesson for them! If they don’t work hard in real life, they will get fired from their jobs and not receive any money).
Funds are paid weekly via the (insert name) Family Bank on Saturday.
- You are responsible to keep track of your account in your printable bank account.
- 10% goes to Tithes
- 5% goes to Offering
- $1 (minimum) a week goes to your savings account
- The remaining money is yours
- On-The-Job Training: The first ONE week consists of (paid) on-the-job training by Mom. During this time period, the employee will be instructed and shown how to complete the job effectively.
- Extra jobs: Ma or Pa reserve the right to add additional work duties at any time.
- Daily Responsibilities: These are not the only jobs you will do around the house. You live here; you work here.
Your normal EXPECTED daily responsibilities are the following:
✓ Washing the dishes
✓ Picking up after yourself
✓ Keeping room clean
✓ Taking care of farm animals
✓ Putting away laundry
✓ Taking out the trash
✓ Anything else at all
What Is Expected From You:
- Just as in a real job, there are consequences to doing work with a poor attitude or not accurately.
- You will continue to do the job until it is right, and if you have a bad attitude you lose the chance for an initial for that job.
- Whining or complaining will result in losing ONE POINT from your weekly points for the week.
- You may receive a weekly pay raise of $1 a week at certain times.
- On your birthday, major holidays, and when you’re sick…you get excused from your daily work duties for that day, and will still receive the 5 POINTS.
- SIGNING BONUS- If the employee accepts the job offer, as an incentive, $10 will be immediately deposited into your account as a signing bonus.
Signature and Acceptance:
I, ____________________________________, do hereby accept job offer from (insert name) Family Bank.
I understand that my payment is contingent upon completing jobs, getting jobs signed off, and submitting my weekly work duties chart.
I understand that jobs may be asked to be redone if not done well.
I understand that if I have a bad attitude, I will not receive an initial.
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Each and every family is different and has different needs. I’m simply sharing what we are doing in our family, and if you need to add more, do less, or whatever, that’s fine. This is simply to help inspire you!
Step 3- Hire your kids!
After I had their work duties charts created and our family contract finalized, we sat the kids down for a job interview.
In this “job interview”, we made sure to teach them about real job interviews, how one should dress during an interview, how and when to speak, etc.
And then we presented them with the Family Contract.
We read over the details of the Family Contract with them and made sure they understood everything and that we answered all their questions.
Next, we handed them their work charts for them to familiarize themselves with it and answered any questions they had.
Once they agreed to everything, they each got their own contact and signed them to be hired on as family employees!
Step 4- On-the-job training. Setting up your kids for success in their work!
In the first week, I went through each of their work duties with them, showing them how to do them accurately and how their jobs were expected to be done.
This is really where instilling hard work and working with a great attitude really shone.
I explained to them how I understand it’s not fun to scrub a toilet, but in life, we will all have to do some work duties we don’t like and we need to make sure we still do them with a good attitude and spirit.
I will say this though, since my kids were hired on as employees, and they knew that each job they completed was equal to ONE POINT, which in return gets them one step closer to getting their FULL PAYMENT at the end of the week, they surprisingly have had pretty good attitudes about working on their work duties. Not to mention, I’ve noticed a great improvement on how effectively and hard working they have been on their work duties.
This is what really sets this “Hiring your Kids” idea apart from the typical chore chart.
Our children have a sense of entitlement, knowing they’ve been hired on. It’s great and it’s a great learning experience for them!
Step 5- Pay Your Kids!
On the day you set to be your family’s “payday”, this is when you want to go over their work duties chart, calculate their points and pay them their money.
After you hand your kids their money, this is where the smart money management skills begin, so don’t skip the next step!
Step 6- Teaching kids about money management
Our children shouldn’t be forced, as adults, to figure it out for themselves, therefore, financial education doesn’t have to wait until your children become adults.
After your children have been paid, this is where more real-life lessons come in.
Paying the important things
For us, paying our tithes and offering always comes before anything else, so, in our family, this is absolutely the first thing we do whenever we are paid.
Our children set aside their tithes and offering in a tithing envelope to bring to church on Sunday.
(Whatever is important in your family, this is where you will have them pay or set aside this money first before moving on).
Put money into Savings
Whether your kids have an actual savings account at a literal bank, an envelope, or a piggy bank of their own, this is the time to add their money to savings and is wonderful for teaching kids about savings.
We set a $1 a week (minimum) limit, but you choose what you think for your family.
Set a Savings Goal
This is optional, but a great way for teaching kids to learn about goal setting and reaching goals.
Have them set a monetary goal for something. It could be a toy, an amount to spend at their favorite restaurant or outing… you fill in the blanks.
Here is the FREE Goal Setting Printable that’s included in the teaching your kids about work ethic and money management printable pack. (which you can download below!)
Financial Independence – But teaching kids to use their money wisely
After they’ve paid the important things and set aside money in their savings accounts, what’s left is theirs!
Now, for the kids who aren’t used to having money all the time, this might take some trial and error.
But ultimately, you will want to teach them that once their money is spent, it’s gone, and sometimes that’s a lesson they won’t understand until they’ve spent all their money in one place! Let them know that they only have (insert amount) to last them all week.
You should also teach them that just because they HAVE money, does not mean it needs to be spent. Explain to them when wanting to reach a financial goal, it’s important to put as much money towards that savings goal as possible to reach their money goal faster.
The younger kids, ages 3-5, might not be able to fully understand the benefits of this yet and they will more likely be interested in impulse buying some candy or a toy at the Dollar Tree.
Personal Finance- Teaching them to Keep Track of their Money
And let the real money management and financial literacy skills truly begin!
Using the FREE kid printable bank ledger (included in this FREE printable pack), is where your kiddos are going to start keeping track of all their deposits and withdrawals.
Not only is this a great way of teaching those financial concepts to our kids, and to keep track of their personal finances.
This will also help instill good money habits in your children from an early age, as they will see where all their money is going.
Using these printable bank ledgers will show where they’ve been spending their money, which really helps!
Here is a screenshot of our bank ledgers
It doesn’t need to stop here!
Great work ethic and money management skills do not need to stop here with only hiring your kids within the home!
More ways kids can make money
A lemonade stand in summer never hurts anyone, better yet, anything that your kids come up with to make money, help them achieve those goals, and make them happen to create young entrepreneurs!
Investing- If you personally invest your money in something, this would be a great time to teach your kids a little something about investments.
We invest in cryptocurrency, and our children want us to help them invest some of their money into it as well.
There are many ways to teach your kids about strong work ethic and money management skills, but most importantly, just make sure you teach these incredibly important life skills to your children.
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How are you teaching your kids about strong work ethic and money management life skills?