This Mom Means Business: Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility

Teaching kids financial responsibility

Teaching kids and tweens about financial responsibility can be tough. Do you hand over pocket money or an allowance every week? Do they complete chores for the allowance? Do you bear the responsibility until they’re nine years old, or wait until they’re 13?

We don’t have all the answers, but we have come across a brilliant way to teach your kids about money responsibility that may work for you – it certainly worked for Shaketha Marion McGregor and her children!

Money doesn’t come easy in life for most of us (a.k.a. the real world!) – we need to work for it! So what better way to teach your kids about how to manage their money responsibly than by letting them experience the real world, in an age-appropriate way?

If you didn’t catch it, Shaketha’s story went viral with her innovative idea and we are truly blown away by how simple, yet effective it was. We think we can all learn a little bit from her methods, and it’s easily adaptable for your family, regardless of your child’s age or capabilities.

We are so fortunate at Somewhere Between to have had Shaketha share the inspiration behind her novel idea, we think it’s something we can all learn from! 

The problem

We know it isn’t easy to teach tweens about money – the sense of feeling accountable for their cash often only comes when they’ve earned it themselves. As parents, this puts us in a difficult position; we know how important financial skills are when it comes to navigating life, and we know that our children should be earning it themselves. But how much responsibility can a 12-year old have? There’s only so many paper-route jobs available!

Giving them chores at home is a great idea that many of us have adopted (and research has shown leads to a happier and successful life); except we all know that if the dishwasher doesn’t get cleared, someone is going to end up doing it anyway (Mum or Dad most likely!)

Shaketha was in a tricky financial position herself, and was only able to give her children a few dollars in allowance a week. However, she found that her role-modelling sensible financial choices had already started to rub off on them a little bit.

“I was so amazed at how they were managing their money. They were checking prices, comparing prices and really trying their best to save money. I was blown away.”

Soon her kids started asking for more – phones, trips, clothes… we’ve all been there!

“I told my children that I’d heard their requests and I’ll have a big surprise for them when they came home from school…”

The solution: This Mom Means Business

A brilliant idea was formed.

“Since I had just found a new job, I figured I’d have my children do the same thing, so I created a job fair to allow them to apply for jobs around the house so they could EARN the money they wanted.”

She created the following jobs, and her children applied and interviewed for the position they wanted!

  1. Kitchen Manager: Will make sure the kitchen stays clean at all times during business hours. Also responsible for making sure everyone washes their own dishes!
  2. Lead Housekeeper: Responsible for the upkeep of the living room, hallway and bathroom. Also is responsible for making sure everyone cleans up behind themselves.
  3. Laundry Supervisor: Responsible for making sure room-mates keep their clothes and shoes clean and neatly put away. Also will keep clean towels and wash-cloths in the bathroom.

Interviews went well… including a random English accent (to sound professional) from one child, a lot of laughter from another (he needed to re-apply), and one surprisingly super professional 6-year old!

After applications were submitted Shaketha and her children ran into one little problem – two applied for the same job. Her solution? This kind-hearted, formal reply (with an added incentive):

We love this! What better way to teach kids about some of the real-life applications of finding a job, than working and then earning the money themselves?

The job fair Shaketha created went above and beyond, and we think that’s why it was so effective.

It included:

  • Various jobs to apply for
  • Applications
  • Interviews (with mum!)
  • A 24 hour response time
  • A credit union
  • New hire forms
  • Official positions with name-tags

We also love that Shaketha made this a fun experience for her kids, so their first experience with looking for a job (and getting one) was positive and encouraging.

“This entire process was optional. I simply told them the terms of earning an allowance and getting the things they want. I left the applications on a table and gave them the option of applying or not. To my surprise, they filled them out on their own. I interviewed them one by one and waited 24 hours to give them a response.”

Shaketha’s response to her children’s wants was simply beautiful; she managed to provide them with the things they wanted while at the same time teaching them some truly valuable life skills.

“It all started as a way to teach my children the importance of thinking about their futures. I didn’t think the post I made would go viral but it did and it’s amazing!”

They were even able to negotiate pay and received little bonuses for things like being available for immediate start (candy – the perfect choice!) 

Creating a ‘job fair’ where children can apply for certain jobs of their choice gives them total control over the process, just like the real world. This method teaches them about credit, time management and money management. What a brilliant response – lifting kids up to make their own choices gets a big tick in our books!

What do you think? Would you give it a go yourself?

Ready to give it a go?

You can check out Shaketha’s Facebook page “This Mom Means Business Inc” for more ideas, info and tips on teaching money responsibility.

If you loved this article you might like “Are your kids earning their pocket money?”.


Charmaine Chung

Charmaine Chung is one half of the lady boss team behind Somewhere Between, a resource for super mamas everywhere raising kids in the feisty pre-teen and early teen years. Beginning her career in retail fashion, before moving onto the music industry, working for major record labels, Charmaine eventually moved from Sydney to Laos to follow her dreams of starting a family. Four kids and 14 years later, she’s back in Canberra where motherhood has won her over, leading her to develop Somewhere Between - for mums just like her - raising kids who are navigating that space between their childhood and teenage years.

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