Talking to and teaching kids about money isn't an easy task for parents.
But one mom on Facebook has shared her method, and it's taking the popular social media site by storm.
In her post, which has been shared more than 300,000 times, the mom, Essence Evans, talks about how she's turned her daughter's allowance into a lesson that will "prepare her for the real world."
"Every week she gets $7 dollars in allowance. But I explained to her that in the real world most people spend most of their paycheck on bills with little to spend on themselves," Evans wrote in the Facebook post. "So I make her give me $5 dollars back. $1 for rent $1 for water $1 for electricity $1 for cable and $1 for food. The other $2 she gets to save or do what she wants with."
The $5 is actually going into a savings account for the girl, which Evans said she'll give to her when she's 18.
While I applaud this mom for actively seeking opportunities to give her daughter a good start, I don't personally agree with the method. I feel it's too complicated for a 5-year-old.
And it made me wonder what other parents might think, so I brought it up to my sisters, Sara and Amy, who both have younger children.
Neither of them agreed with this mom's method.
“She’s too young to learn a concept like that and it won’t teach her the skills she wants it to," said Sara, who has a 7-year-old.
“How are you teaching the child to save if you didn’t even tell her what you’re doing?" asked Amy, who has a 9-year-old and a 5-year-old. "The whole purpose is get her to understand, and she can’t understand if you aren’t telling her the truth.”
Both of my sisters have started — to an extent — teaching their kids about money.
"I let him know nothing in life is free. No matter who pays for it, there is a cost associated with everything," Sara said.
One way Sara teaches about money is to let her son pick out presents for friends and family members. She gives him a spending limit and it's his job to pick out a present — or presents — that fall under that amount. Additionally, she told me if he wants something, he has to find a way to earn it.
"I’m not just going to give him money because he wants it," she said. "It has to be out of the ordinary and something he offers to do; something extra, such as vacuuming out the car, pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, etc. It makes him be creative."
Amy, on the other hand, doesn't plan to attach money to chores. Instead, she'll give her kids an allowance, part of which will be money they can spend freely and money they save.
“I think the only way they will eventually learn what is important to spend money on — and what is not important to spend money on — is for me to not control how they spend it.”
Amy shared an example about giving her daughter money for lunch at an outing with her Girl Scouts. She allowed her daughter to make her own decisions about what she wanted to spend it on, but reminded her that “just because you have $15 doesn’t mean you have to spend it all.”
Their money can also be used in a variety of ways, Amy said, including supplementing money mom and dad may not want to spend.
“I may be willing to pay a certain amount for something, but if the child wants an item that costs more, they’ll have to cover the excess themselves," she said.
In the end, both of them just want their children to grow into successful adults who use money wisely.
Sara wants her son "to be smart about his money." "It can only go so far," she said.
One lesson Amy wants her kids to know is: “You have to learn to make your own decisions about how you spend your money.”
Regardless of your method, finding ways to integrate the conversation about money with your children can greatly increase the chances of success as they move into adulthood.