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To teach his kids the value of money and saving, Edric Mendoza doesn’t give them allowance to buy the things that they like but not need. Instead he gives them, especially the older ones, small jobs where they can earn money.
“We wanna make sure that we’re sending them the right signal,” the entrepreneur and financial planner pointed out during a recent PRUwise webinar. “Because the reality is, when they go into the real world, when they start working, no one’s going to give them allowance. They will have to work for it.”
Edric also makes it a point that his and his wife Joy Mendoza’s children are paid for jobs and not chores. They have six in their brood: Elijah, 17; Edan, 14; Titus, 12; Tiana, 10; Catalina, 7; and Caylee, 2.
He explained, “If they’re gonna fold their bed, sweep the floor to be able to get money, then what signal are we sending them? The reality is, chores are responsibilities which should be embraced. So you want to give money for jobs.”
It just takes a bit of imagination and creativity for both parents and children to make this approach work, Edric said. He, for one, gives special projects for the older kids, who are adept at technology.
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He usually tells them to make a design for a talk he’s giving or for a project related to his business, and gives them a fee for each effort. Other times, when he can’t figure out how to use a new device, he asks them to teach him, and he pays them.
"Just make sure the jobs are appropriate to the kids’ ages and interests," he said. “There may be little jobs that are obviously DOLE-compliant. We’re not promoting child labor here.”
There are also instances when Edric’s children would act on their own, showing not only their creative but also enterprising ways. He recalled the time one of his sons was asking for expensive markers to use for artistic pursuits. So he told the teenager to earn the amount to buy those markers.
The teenager then looked and found an online second-hand retailer. He bought some markers at a discount and resold them to earn an income that enabled him to purchase more pieces for himself.
“So he earned it,” Edric said of his son’s accomplishment. “It’s not really about allowance. The principle really is that money doesn’t grow on trees. This could be part of an actual life lesson for kids. Use that to reinforce what’s they’re learning.”