Now Reading
The Financial Chronicles: A Money Guide for Kids

The Financial Chronicles: A Money Guide for Kids

  • Illustrations by Adrian Bittner
One Hundred Dollar Bill Illustration

What kids are really thinking about money.

I didn’t know how expensive it was to be an adult until I paid for my first oil change and tire rotation for my shining silver Nissan. When the mechanic rang up my $40 oil change and the $30 tire rotation fee, my soul died as I meekly asked if he could put the tires back to where they were (a joke that he did not find amusing, I might add). That was an awakening for me — now every time I pay a bill, my bank account sheds a tear, and I yearn for the days that I could put my lost tooth under my pillow and wake up with a wrinkled, green dollar replacing it. 

On one occasion, the Tooth Fairy forgot to leave a dollar under my pillow, and I woke up feeling betrayed. To make up for the slacking fairy, my mom handed me a worn-out Ziploc bag of nickels and pennies. I was rich. Well, at least I thought I was. 

My experience with money as a child, and even now as an adult, is vastly different from others. After sending out a questionnaire to parents around Columbia to learn more about what kids are thinking about money, I must say, my Tooth Fairy did not appreciate my pearly whites nearly enough.

Illustration of young boy thinking about how to spend or save his money

How much allowance do you pay your kids?

  • We deposit $20 per paycheck cycle per kid to a savings account. Then they can earn spending money on chores. 
  • They receive room and board.
  • Nothing, but we do talk about earning toys.
  • It depends on the age — 8 to 11 gets $20 to $25 a week; older than 11 gets $25 to $40 a week.

How old should kids be when they start earning an allowance?

  • Any age after 6.
  • Nine or 10 — depending on the chores they do.
  • Ten years old.
  • Fourteen years old.
Debit Card Drawing

How old should kids be before they are allowed to have a debit card?

  • Twelve for girls and 18 for boys.
  • Dad says 13, but mom says 14.
  • High school, at least.
  • College.

Ask your kids this: If you had $100, what would you spend it on?

  • Legos and LOL Dolls.
  • A Nintendo Switch for my 8-year-old. (It’s written on our fridge, and she is patiently waiting for me to match her $100 that she already has). The older boys say candy and spending cash when they’re with friends. 
  • Gaming equipment or in-game currency.

If your kids save money, what mechanism do they use?

  • A bank account with both parents’ names on it, plus a big jar for pocket change.
  • A piggy bank.
  • What’s savings?
  • A bank account.

Do you expect your kids to work while they’re in school?

  • No, they have enough on their plate with school.
  • Yes, go get your own money and leave mine alone!
  • Yes, but only when they’re not in sports.

What is the going rate for a babysitter?

  • If it’s more than $30 an hour, we will never be leaving the house.
  • It depends on the age. Our 28-year-old babysitter with an early childhood degree who works as a teacher makes $20 an hour, but $15 is more of an average rate.
  • Fifteen dollars an hour for each kid.
  • Ten dollars an hour.

Have your kids accidentally purchased things from Amazon or an app?

  • Yes, $400 on apps from iTunes. 
  • Never. They know way better than that. 
  • Yes, $300 for toys in my cart.

Ask your kids this: Who’s in charge of money in your house?

  • Dad makes it and mom spends it.
  • Mom — she’s in charge of everything.
  • Mom and dad, but mom mostly pays the actual bills. 

Ask your kids this: How much is a candy bar?

  • A dollar. 
  • Probably just $3.
  • Ten dollars.

Ask your kids this: How much money do you need to have to be rich?

  • A thousand dollars.
  • Infinity and beyond.
  • I don’t know — I’m not rich!

Ask your kids this: What are you saving your money for?

  • My college and other needs. And my house. And a phone. 
  • To buy toys.
  • To buy a movie production company.
  • I’m saving money just to save so I know I have money if I need something.

Ask your kids this: How much do you think a house costs?

  • The price varies depending on the house. Some cost $1,000, but I’d say on average $100,000 to $150,000.
  • Around $25,000.
  • Thousands. 

How much does the Tooth Fairy pay in your house?

  • It can range from $1 to $10. Whatever is handy when I wake up and panic because I forgot, or whatever the older siblings have handy to loan me. 
  • Nothing. Usually because they forget to come, but sometimes a dollar. 
  • Twenty dollars. 
  • Negotiations are still ongoing, but I’m willing to go as high as $1.
What's Your Reaction?
Not Sure

404 Portland St, Ste C | Columbia, MO 65201 | 573-499-1830
© 2023 COMO Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Website Design by Columbia Marketing Group

Scroll To Top