parenting, teaching financial responsibility

Is a Five Year Old Too Young to Pay Rent? That Depends…

Click on the link above to read about Essence Evans, a Georgia Mom who expected her five year old daughter to pay rent.  I only WISH I would have had the patience to start educating my children as early as this Mom did!    I read some of the comments and found that some thought it was a ridiculous exercise.   Some people feel that children shouldn’t have to worry about money.  Here is why I disagree:

Specifically regarding the issue of “paying rent”, the child was not expected to get a job in a sweatshop to earn her keep.  Her mother simply handed her the money to simulate a paycheck, then collected most of it back to resemble the real world.  It should not have been traumatic at all.  The fact that her Mom let her control nearly 29% of her “income” was more than generous!

Maybe your family doesn’t need to think about money, but plenty of other families do…Every. Single. Day.  Have you ever had to:

  • Put back groceries due to a cash shortage?
  • Change your plans because your car broke down and you had no repair fund?
  • Send your kids to school without the required supplies because you had no money to purchase them?

If your child has never had to worry about any of the above situations, then they are fortunate, indeed.  However, it is never too early to begin to teach that almost every decision has an economic impact. Unless you don’t mind the idea of having your offspring dependent on you well into adulthood, you might want to consider teaching with the idea that unless they learn prudent financial lessons when the stakes are low, they might be embarrassed or inconvenienced by some of the experiences listed above after they are no longer under your loving care.


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