What Does My 9-year-old Kid Need Money FOR?

Ever wondered should kids get allowance, or otherwise handle money? One woman wonders what her kid needs money for, and I explain that below.

I had an interesting conversation with a Work at Home Mother of a 9-year old + twins under 2. I asked her about her kid money system (aka, if she gave her kid an allowance, did she use chores to pay commissions, or does her child otherwise have money of his own to spend). Because I feel it's so important to teach kids about money, I'm always curious to hear what others say.

She responded with something like, “I will give him money when I can answer the question, what does my 9-year old child need money FOR?”

I totally got what she was saying, and at the same time really wanted to address this one. So, here we go!

I’m Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com, where I teach kids aged 8-13 years how to save money through educational adventures, like the Mt. Everest Money Simulation.

Have you ever wondered, “should kids get allowance…” or any money for that matter?

Today I’d like to talk about what the heck a 9-year old, 8-year old, or fill-in-the-blank year-old needs money for.

What's Kids DON'T Need Money For

Because I can certainly tell you what they DON’T need money for (and I’m sure you can, too): they don’t need money for another box of Pokémon cards. They don’t need a dime for more candy. And they certainly don’t need money to spend on snackie-type foods at lunchtime instead of the awesome lunch you are probably making them.

What Kids DO Need Money For

Should kids get allowance?

Here’s what your kids DO need money for: to make choices, face the consequences, learn from the mistakes + successes, and repeat the process.

You see, all those things I just said they don’t need more money for? Those were judgment calls made by me, a 35-year old with a heck of a lot of experience with money + purchasing things + budgeting.

But your child? They have almost no experience with it. Especially if they don’t actually get to touch the stuff.

They don’t know about trade-offs, that making a decision to buy one thing means they have less to buy something else.

They don’t know the power of its value from doing something like not spending it all in one week, and watching it accumulate to the next week, several weeks, or even month.

They don’t know what it means to work 8 hours at a job just to pay for that pair of designer leggings they’ve got their eye on, nor do they have the wisdom yet to do the calculation and decide if it’s actually “worth” it.

Should Kids Get Allowance?

By handling actual money and having some control (within a controlled environment) to spend it as they please, they’re going to get a taste of each of these things: trade-offs, understanding the value of money, decision-making in general, and budgeting.

Keep them moneyless? And the stakes just get higher and higher the older they get to get their money decisions right the first time.

And, let’s be honest, how many of us have gotten OUR money decisions right the first time?


Are you on the fence still wondering about why should kids get allowance? I'll explain why allowances (or lack there of) are a crucial money teaching lessons for your kiddos! Psst- It's not as hard as it looks, promise. #teachkidsaboutmoney #kidsmoney #moneyteaching #parenting #momgoals #parenthood #kids #parentingtips | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/kid-need-money-for/

Why Would Your Kid NOT Think Money Grows On Trees?

Are you unknowingly reinforcing the idea that money grows on trees? Let’s take a look at what you can change if you are.

We’ve all heard our parents ask us if we think money grows on trees, and many of us swore we’d never say this to our own kids.

Well…sometimes history repeats itself, right?

Hi, I’m Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com where I’m teaching kids aged 8-13 how to manage their money through educational adventures like the Mt. Everest Money Simulation.

And today? We’re tackling the issue of whether or not your child thinks money grows on trees because of something you’re unknowingly doing: keeping them on the dole.

What is the Dole Method?

I’ve taken the last six months to study the allowance landscape, and to read up on the various systems out there. I created something called the Kid Money System landscape, and categorized each of the allowance systems along a plot based on how much control they gave the parents versus how much control they gave the kids over both the spending and the getting of money.

The method that gives kids the least control, and parents the most control, is called the Dole Method.

It’s basically an on-demand money system where your kid asks for money as THEY see fit, and you give them money as YOU see fit, depending on your mood, the amount you’ve got in your wallet, and any other number of reasons.

The Dole Method is basically where every family starts with allowance systems.

But if you’re still using the Dole Method, versus setting up a consistent Kid Money System of some sort, then you may be unknowingly reinforcing your kid’s idea that money is a never-ending resource (hence why we say, ‘they think money grows on trees’).

Why the Dole Method Reinforces the Idea that Money Grows on Trees

Think about it this way: you and your child are at the store grocery shopping. You’re at the cash register, waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for your turn in line. And your kid spots some candy that is cleverly packaged to also look like a toy.

*sigh*. You know this is going to be a battle, and it’s only $1.25, so you say yes when they plead you for the item.

The next day, you head to your local library to pick up some books you’ve got on hold, and there’s a table of Girl Scouts selling cookies. Of course, you can’t pass that up (I’ll take a box of peppermint patties, thank you very much)!

Later in the week, you head through the Starbucks drive-thru, and get an after-school snack for your kiddo after ordering your own beverage of choice – just enough caffeine to get you through the evening routine.

Your experience of these transactions is that you’ve worked for the money, you have prioritized these spending occasions (even if that means they’re a priority just to stop the nagging from your child about the candy), and you know that these are getting subtracted from the bottom line in your wallet or your checking account.

But your child? Well, they’ve observed all of these transactions as well, but without any of the context involved. They just know that they wanted something, or Mommy wanted something, and she pulled out the cash to buy it. End of story.

Seems kind of magical, right?

What to do Instead of the Dole Method

If you want your child to understand that money does not grow on trees, and that money is not spent in some sort of magical vacuum where there are no consequences or prioritization of resources, then you’ve got to put them in control of both some of the supply of money, and in some of the decision-making in spending it.

This is how they’ll begin to express priorities, to learn the “value” of money in context to having to work with it, or only being given a certain amount each allowance period, or however else they get money into their hands, and that once the money is gone, they’ll need to wait until next “payday”, or earn more to get more.

Suddenly, money doesn’t appear to grow on trees anymore! And then they’ll be able to make the connection that you work for your money, and that money does not grow on trees for YOU, either.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Curious about how else your Kid Money System might not be stacking up? Check out below where you can snag a Kid Money System Scoresheet to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your system.

You swore you'd never ask your kid if they think money grows on trees but they seem to think it does. Find out why that is and get what you can do to get your kiddo to think otherwise. #moneygrowsontrees #lifeskills #kidssavemoney #parenting #momgoals #parenthood #kids #parentingtips | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/money-grows-on-trees/

3 Critical Money Management Skills Your Kid is Not Being Taught at School

Many schools do not teach kids how to handle money. And the ones that do? Are almost certainly not teaching kids these 3 critical money management skills.

Do you know the stats of financial education in our country?

While I geek out about this kind of stuff, I realize not everyone does. I’ll keep it brief.

Seventeen of the 50 US states have financial education requirements built into their curriculums. So, not a great start.

And even worse? Over 60% of teachers and prospective teachers say that they do not feel qualified to teach their state’s financial education requirements (per the National Endowment for Financial Education’s study, Teachers’ Background & Capacity to Teach Personal Finance).

WOW. Does that give you an indication of how little money education is actually happening in school?

Hi, I’m Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com where I partner with Mamas like YOU to teach your kids how to manage their money through educational adventures, like the Mt. Everest Money Simulation.

And today I want to talk to you not only about the dismal state of personal finance education in our country but about the 3 critical money management skills your child is certainly not learning from school (and therefore, you need to be teaching at home). Money teaching for youth is important, so let's not leave them in the dark.

Here are 3 Money Management Skills for Youth:

Money Management Skill #1: Money Confidence

You might think this one is a bit fluffy, but hear me out. How is your money confidence? How long did it take you to get to the level you’re at?

By nurturing the growth of money confidence in your kiddo, you’ll be setting them up for a successful money life which includes things like negotiating their salary pay, working through situations life throws all of us without heaping on loads of debt, and saving for the goals they set for themselves.

The reason why this one is not being taught in school is because building money confidence in your child is mainly done through exposing them to real-life experience. And kids generally can’t get real-life money experience from school.

The best ways to nurture this in your child is to a) figure out your kid money system that gets money into their hands consistently so that they can start making decisions and learning money management skills that way, b) modeling confident problem solving of money situations for your child, and c) helping your kiddo appraise their money efforts.

Money Lesson #2: How to Delay Instant Gratification

This is really a precursor for successful goal setting for kids, and once your child learns this skill, the sky’s the limit as far as what they can accomplish with their money and with their lives.

Kids are impulsive by nature, mainly because their brains haven’t developed the necessary wiring for long-term processing and emotional regulation. But don’t fret; even if your child is very unable to delay instant gratification with their money, it turns out that this is a muscle they can stretch and grow.

I’ve got a play on the famous Marshmallow experiment on my site called the Chocolate Coin Delayed Gratification Money Lesson that will help you to start the process of growing your child’s delayed gratification muscle.

Money Lesson #3: How to Make Money Grow

Your child’s school education around money is likely to be learning how to count it, make change, and making purchases at/running the school store.

These are all very necessary money basics for your child to learn, but they don’t necessarily lead to the money management skills that will get your child ahead. Like learning how to make money grow.

Your child has the ability to be a millionaire one day. Time is on their side. But if they don’t understand this concept early on, then it will literally cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I can say this from experience. When I was 16, I was super interested in learning more about the stock market. I knew that somehow it meant that my money could grow, but that there were seemingly huge risks involved as well, and I had no idea where to start. I wanted to talk to a financial advisor in the family, but the meeting was never set up. Eventually I started investing in the stock market through a retirement account I opened up at 23, which was great. But do you realize how much more money my retirement account would be worth NOW if I had started when I was 16 – a full 7 years earlier?

Don’t get freaked out about having to teach your child to invest; you can just start small with showing them how money grows when left in a savings account through interest and compound interest. Once they grasp this concept (and their eyes might pop out of their heads when they do), then you can worry about moving onto the bigger stuff.

For resources on how to teach your kids these important money management skills and more, be sure to check out my site, MoneyProdigy.com.

Do you know if your kiddo is learning these critical money management skills in school? The answer is probably not. Don't fear Mama Bears, I've got you covered with money lessons and freebies, all to save the day! #moneyteaching #moneymanagementforkids #parenting #momgoals #parenthood #kids #parentingtips | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/money-management-skills/

Handing Over Money for Kids Freaking You Out? Let Me Help Your Fears.

Is handing over money to your kids kinda freaking you out? Money for kids is uber important to them learning the critical money management skills. Here are some ways to make this process less scary for YOU.

One of the reasons mothers are hesitant to hand over some money for kids to spend on their own is because they fear losing control over such a powerful resource.

I get it. I do!

But handing money over to your kiddo has got to happen in order for them to start the learning process of managing it – you know, the one you probably had to learn the tough way after you moved out of your own parents’ home?

I’m Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com where I partner with Mamas like YOU to teach your kids how to manage money through Money Educational Adventures, like the Mt. Everest Money Simulation.

And today I want to talk you through how to rethink the way you give money to your child so that you can feel more confident  in doing so and less fearful of what the outcome is going to be when handing over money for kids. It's important to teach kids about money  now so they don't make mistakes later.

Money Shift #1: Think of Money Handed Over as Play Money

I know, I know. It’s hard to think of ANY money as play money. I mean, you and I understand how valuable it is!

But if we can shift our thinking from, “my child is spending my hard-earned money on stupid stuff they won’t use past next week”, to “my child is using money play to start to understand the scary world of money management,” then it will make the process of getting money into your kids’ hands more meaningful and less stressful.

Remember, kids learn the most through play. And it’s not just younger kids. Studies show that middle school kids, high school teenagers, and even adults can gain some pretty amazing benefits from regular play in the form of creativity, better problem-solving skills, retaining information in new ways, growing in teamwork abilities, etc.

Suddenly, that $10/week seems like a steal now, right?

Money Shift #2: Tweak Your Kid Money System to Give YOU more Control

I created the Kid Money System Landscape as part of my 48-hour Kid Money System Makeover Challenge, by plotting each of the bazillion types of allowance systems out there by categories and by how much control the system gives to the kids versus the parents to make it easier to understand + choose what’s best for your family. It goes from kids having the least control (and parents having the most control) to parents having the least control and kids having the most control. This is for both spending the money, and getting the money.

The end goal of parenting is to get your child to the point where they have all control over their earning and spending of money.

But you know what? You don’t have to be there yet. You can start off further left of the chart, where you’re retaining more control over the money supply and money spending, and gradually loosen the reins as you feel more and more confident in your kid’s abilities.

The point is, just start somewhere. And “somewhere” being, getting money into your kids’ hands on a consistent basis so that they can start learning how to manage it.

Money Shift #3: Institute an Impulse Spending Limit

If you’re truly worried about your kid blowing all their cash on something that you would never blow all YOUR cash on, then you can institute some spending boundaries and limits to make things a bit more palatable.

Some examples include:

  • Setting a Spending Threshold: So, your kid would need to ask you before spending their money above a certain amount, say $20, $50, or really whatever limit limits your heartburn.
  • Setting an Impulse Spending Rule: Tell your child that for any impulse spending wishes they have, say for a new Pokémon accessory at the store, they have to wait at least 24 hours, 2 days, one week, etc. to buy it to make sure they actually want it.
  • Take them through a Financial Tradeoff Analysis: Each time they want to spend a bunch of their money, take them through a financial tradeoff exercise where they’ll calculate what else they could spend that money on (the tradeoff), and how much work they had to put into that money which they’re now transferring to the new gadget they want (is that life-sized Elsa doll worth 10 hours of babysitting their little brother? Not sure. They might think so).

I’ve given you three different money shifts you can make to hopefully get you fearing the idea of handing money over to your child a bt less. Try one out and let me know how it goes!

Handling money for kids may sound scary but it doesn't have to be! I'll show you how to confidently teach your kids how to manage their money and put your mind at ease Mama Bear. #teachkidsaboutmoney #kidsmoney #moneyteaching #parenting #momgoals #parenthood #kids #parentingtips | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/money-for-kids/

Building Confidence in Your Child? Use Money as a Tool.

Money is a really useful tool when building confidence in your child. Not to mention, learning how to manage money is an incredibly important life skill they need to learn anyway, so you get a two-fer here.

I was talking with a Mama Bear a few weeks ago during open gym time with my little guy. I mentioned what I do for a living – partner with mothers to help teach their kids how to manage money – and I could see immediately that the subject of money and her own kids had given her a few hours of late-night worries.

But then she said something to me that immediately made me think.

She said something along the lines of, “I was going to start giving my child money, but then I thought, ‘what does my 9-year-old need money for? When I can answer that, then we’ll start with money education.”

Hi, I’m Amanda L. Grossman from MoneyProdigy.com where I partner with Mama Bears like YOU to teach kids aged 8-13 how to manage their money through educational adventures, like the Mt. Everest Money Simulation.

And today, I want to talk to you about how you can build confidence in your child using money.

How Do You Build Confidence in a Child?

You gain confidence when you master something. Not when you get it right every time, but when you get it right enough and understand it enough that you not only can work yourself through any situation that comes your way, but you KNOW that you can work through whatever life throws your way.

In other words, it’s the absence of fear, and the presence of a certain amount of trust in yourself.

And once kids master one area in their lives, their self confidence builds. Which also happens to motivate them to start mastering other areas in their lives!

It’s rare to master something without actually using it, playing with it, and practicing with it. Think about it – how many pro baseball players book-studied their way onto their national team?

You need to have practice handling whatever you’re trying to master – being put into situations and learning how to think on your feet with the tools + resources you’ve been given.

That’s where money comes in.

How Your Child Gains Money Confidence

Building self confidence with money is such an important life skill – the kind they don’t teach in school.

It’s likely that either a) it took way too long for you to feel confident in your own money abilities, or b) you still don’t feel overly confident in the money arena of your life.

And I know for sure you don’t want your child to go down the same path as you. I know this because I’m a parent, myself, and we always want better for our kiddos! Who wouldn’t want a confident child who feels certain about handling their money?

I’m going to share with you 3 confidence building activities for kids to jumpstart building confidence in your child:

Confidence Builder #1: Complete the Money Training Triangle

Reading about money is great. Talking about money is better. But handling money? Now you’ve completed the three-pointed money triangle for how to teach your kids this critical life skill.

Your child needs to get money into their hands as soon as possible so that they can enter the money-management learning cycle (decision-consequence-tweak-try again) where they self-discover the money goals + lessons you have for them.

Now’s the time to nail down your allowance for kids system (what I like to call, your Kid Money System) to do just that. You can figure out your current system’s weaknesses and strengths with this free Kid Money System scoresheet to see where you might need to change things up.

Confidence Builder #2: Model Confident Problem-Solving Behavior with Money 

Don’t run from your money struggles, don’t hide them from your children (or at least not all of them), and don’t walk around anxious about money.

Your kiddo is smart, and they’ll pick up on all of these things.

Instead, model confident problem-solving behavior to your child by pointing out a money frustration or problem you’re dealing with, then sitting down with them to work through your different options.

You don’t have to hide the fact that you’re unhappy about the situation. But you do need to show your kiddo that you’re still choosing to confront it dead-on and with an amount of confidence in your own ability to figure things out.

Hint: Make sure you choose a money problem that a) isn’t too scary for a child to learn about, and b) you are moderately confident you know some sensible options to solve it with. This could be fixing an automatic payment snafu with a company, deal searching your next hotel stay to make sure you’re within a certain budget, or calling a customer service rep to fix a problem on your last medical bill.

Confidence Builder #3: Help Your Child Constructively Appraise their Money Efforts

This one works best when your child has been working on a savings goal, money goal, or when the entire family has created a savings goal project.

In the middle, or towards the end of your child’s goal, sit down with them to help them work through their strengths and weaknesses in regards to their effort they put forth.

Notice how I said their effort? Kids make mistakes and the outcomes they’re hoping for will not always happen. They’re basically in money training wheels right now. So, what you want to do is have them and YOU focus on the positive efforts they’re putting into their money goals (and everywhere else). One day, those efforts will yield the results they’re hoping for. But for today, you just want them to keep up the efforts and work on the ones that need it.

Just remember that building confidence in your child takes a little time; that’s probably why it takes 18 years to raise your kiddo! And you don’t need to know how to explain confidence to a child. You just need to work on doing it (and believe me, you’ll know a confident child when you see one!).

I really want my child to be confident in his abilities, but never thought about helping boost his confidence by letting him use money so that he can get really good at it! Building self confidence with money is such an important life skill – the kind they don’t teach in school. #raisingconfidentchildren #selfesteem #motherhood #confidence #parenting #momgoals #parenthood #kids #parentingtips #kidselfesteem https://www.moneyprodigy.com/building-confidence-in-your-child