Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. You do your best to cover the basics, but since kids don’t come with instruction manuals, sometimes you have to get a little creative.
Georgia mom Essence Evans decided to get a little creative when it came to teaching her 5-year-old daughter Brooke about the real-world responsibilities of money management. She shared her tactic on Facebook, but not everyone agreed with her approach.
To begin with, Essence gives her daughter an allowance each week. Brooke is given seven dollars in cash by her mother.
However, to teach Brooke about the real world challenges of fiscal responsibility, Essence then has her daughter pay some of the allowance money back to cover expenses such as rent, food and utilities.
Essence charges Brooke $1 for five different amenities, which totals $5 in bills each week that the young girl must cover with her allowance. The remaining $2 is hers to do with as she pleases.
Essence also explained that the $5 she collects each week for expenses from Brooke secretly goes into an account for the girl’s future. When she is 18 years old, she will have an estimated $3,380 available to her.
(The post itself has been removed, but here is a video that features it. You may pause and read it at your leisure.)
The Facebook post went viral with more than 300,000 shares and more than 43,000 comments, even getting attention from various news outlets.
Part of the reason why it got so much attention was due to the controversy it raised over this mother’s means of teaching her child about money.
The most common criticism revolved around Brooke’s age, some arguing that it was too young for such a real-world lesson.
Others disagreed, praising the “genius” of Essence’s strategy and stating they were going to do the same thing with their own children.
According to a CBN article about money and kids, the average American child is so inundated with commercials that by age 3 they can “can recognize 100 different brand logos.”
Additionally, not only are billions spent on advertising to children, but even kids under the age of 13 collectively have billions of dollars worth of influence on family spending.
Financial guru Dave Ramsey told CBN that “the advertisers have a plan so you must have one too,” adding that it was “neglect” on the part of the parents to not give their children “the character traits necessary to live successfully.”
On his finance blog, Ramsey has advised parents to teach children as young as kindergarten age about money, including about the cost of things.
His strategy includes using money they have earned and saved to pay for items they want, so they can physically see their earnings disappear when spending.
Despite what some parents may think of this creative teaching tool, Essence’s daughter will no doubt have a better idea of how things work in the world.
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