This often leaves people reflecting on both their own childhood and what they can do to help their children be better.
"I can’t count on genetics and hope they have his savings streak along with his blue eyes.”
I recently overheard my 7 year old son Eli tell his younger brother to cheer up as they packed up their toys last week. I couldn’t help but smile as he added “nobody gets paid to do a job if they have a bad attitude”.
Financial wellbeing was not a hallmark of my teenage years; however, my parents taught me the discipline of hard work - it was expected of me at all times.
From a young age, I saw a direct connection between work and money both at school and in the many small businesses my father ran. But I must confess I am a spender who hates delayed gratification.
From the age of 18, I was forced to be financially independent, with little to spare as I worked full-time and put myself through a university degree.
However, like most parents, I want more for my children. But I’d prefer them to be like their father - his working-class family know the per kilogram price of everything on the dinner plate.
If they are to develop that attitude, the research is clear: I can’t count on genetics and just hope they have his savings streak along with his blue eyes.
With this in mind, I have developed a system which - I hope - will help my children entrench the behaviours that go with being good savers.
The system we have implemented is a common one you see in many places and it works for us.
One, two, three
My boys earn pocket money by completing a prescribed list of jobs – from doing the dishes to cleaning to packing up the toy box. The jobs are negotiated and tracked on a chores board.
They can only earn a maximum dollar amount to the equivalent of their age and if they’re short on jobs, they don’t get all of their pocket money. Eli has been known to make everyone’s bed on pocket money day if he is on track to earn less.
Moreover, we only pay money for a job done with a good attitude - a tip I picked up from another Mum.