How can parents teach their children some valuable money lessons over the summer?

From setting chores to dealing with ‘pester power’, here are some tips for giving kids a financial education over the summer break.

The summer holidays can be a good time to teach kids the value of earning money
A family cleaning together The summer holidays can be a good time to teach kids the value of earning money (Alamy Stock Photo)

The summer holidays are a time for some fun, relaxation and hopefully some sun.

But, like the Christmas break, the summer can be a time when “pester power” from children reaches a peak, whether it’s to have gadgets to keep them entertained, extra money for socialising or another trip to the ice-cream van.

For some parents, the summer months can be a good time to teach kids the value of earning a bit of extra cash to top up their holiday spending money.

Louise Hill, co-founder and CEO of debit card and financial learning app GoHenry says: “Encouraging kids to earn extra money over the summer holidays can foster a strong work ethic while also teaching financial responsibility, not to mention helping keep children occupied during the long break.

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“The easiest way to do this is by paying kids extra pocket money for chores around the house. It could be doing some gardening, washing the car or general household cleaning.”

Recent research from NatWest Rooster Money looked at how much kids typically earn from chores. It found that mowing the lawn pays £3.47 on average, cleaning the car pays £3.25 typically, cleaning the windows pays £1.63, and gardening pays around £1.36.

How much parents may decide to pay may depend on individual household budgets.

Hill suggests: “Whatever you decide, be up-front with them about how much you are willing to pay them per task so they know what to expect at the end.”

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She also suggests that, in general, parents should consider setting “clear, realistic boundaries”, to help manage their kids’ expectations on summer holiday spending.

This could include, for example, saying you can only spend up to a certain amount on treats per week, or by discussing the idea of a “trade off” where they choose between a few small treats now or a larger treat later on,” she says.

“This introduces them to the concept of delayed gratification, an important principle to grasp for adulthood as it will help them to make more thoughtful spending decisions,” Hill adds.

For requests that are completely out of parents’ budgets, she suggests helping kids to set a savings goal so they can earn money towards buying their heart’s desire themselves.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

This “cooling off” period also gives children time to decide whether they really want something.

“The reality is that by the time they have saved for it, they will probably have moved on to something new anyway,” jokes Hill.

And with all the time and effort that’s gone into earning their holiday money, perhaps they’ll decide to save their hard-earned cash instead.