Teaching Kids about Earning Money and Delayed Gratification

School’s out and summer has officially begun! It’s also the time of year when kids start looking for odd jobs to earn some spending money. And while earning money is one of the first financial lessons that parents teach their kids, it’s important to also teach the lesson of delayed gratification and how to resist from making impulse purchases.  Here’s some creative and fun ways to teach your kids about earning money, and more importantly, the lesson of delayed gratification.

Play Monopoly or Similar Games

If your child is old enough to play Monopoly, why not use this game as a lesson to teach them about money? Monopoly is a great way for kids to learn how to earn, spend, and save money. Plus, it’s a family fun event, so it’s a win-win! Here are some other great board games for teaching kids about money!

Set Up the Lemonade Stand 

Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time for lemonade stands. Not only does this teach your child how to earn extra money, it also lets them have some fun while doing it! They will also experience a sense of achievement for working to earn their income. Or, if you think a lemonade stand might not work, there are other options such as a candy stand or a popsicle stand. Buy the goodies in bulk, and sell them at a little higher price to earn profit. Make it a fun, yet educational, experience for them!

Open a Savings Account in Their Name

It’s never too soon to open a savings account for your child. When they get old enough, let them know about it. Encourage them to put a little bit of money into it as often as they can. This will help them learn about savings and understand how important it is to save throughout their life. Education First offers a C.A.F.E Youth Program that is designed specifically for kids ages 5-12. This program uses online games and a monthly deposit incentive program where kids can earn cool prizes for making deposits into their account! Programs such as these are also a great way to teach children about the importance of savings.

Teach Them Delayed Gratification

So, you have started to teach your child how to earn money, and even opened a savings account for them, but now what? Well, the next step is teaching them the rewards of delayed gratification. Even as adults, don’t we all have those big-ticket items we would go out and buy right this moment if we could? Raise your hand if so (and yes, we are raising our hands at Education First). Yet, as adults we’ve learned that if we want that big-ticket item, we have to save for it. And how do we save? By prioritizing our money and learning how to cut out impulsive purchases. The same lesson can be taught to your children. Maybe your child is saving up for an Xbox, or a Barbie Dreamhouse, or an iPad. Whatever the item is, as your child learns how to save for it, they will learn the future reward, also known as “delayed gratification.” Consider making a calendar to let them plan out how much they will save by the week, month, or any amount of time! This teaches your child that if they want to purchase the big-ticket item with their hard-earned money, they need to plan for it.

Make it Worth It

As you spend time with your children this summer, be creative and help them discover fun and effective ways to earn money. After they have put aside some of their money toward savings, you can begin to teach them about delayed gratification and remind them of the final reward that comes as a result. And once they have saved up enough to purchase that big-ticket item they want, they can celebrate like these girls. We promise, they’ll thank you later!