Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Pay Kids To Be Conservative

What separates a budding conservative from a budding liberal? Many factors influence whether a kid will grow up to be conservative minded or liberal minded including a parent's bias, living environment, a teacher's influence, the influence of friends, socio-economic factors, race, and religion to name a few. We will eventually explore all of these things in this blog, but a good detective always follows the money first. A very important factor is how money is earned, saved and spent.

Note that the amount of money a person earns or has is not a factor. Case in point, super liberals George Soros and George Clooney have plenty of it. Hey, maybe it is a George thing, George W. Bush spends money like a liberal. Conservative parents take note do not name your kid George. And of course there are those who make considerable amount of money just being liberal. Jessee Jackson and Ted Kennedy are making huge profits from spewing liberalism.

Conservatives have a healthy respect for what it takes to earn money. The main ingredients include hard work, risk reward and practical money management. To be clear, many Liberals are hard working but many are downright lazy. These lazy libs prefer scheming ways to get additional money or services instead of seeking additional work or improving their skills. They see the world as unfair and seek a redistribution of wealth from the hardworking rich. Two important notes:
  1. Not all poor people are lazy. My grandparents worked a 20 acre farm from dawn to dusk everyday. They were never rich. They also never ever looked for a handout.
  2. Also, there are many Republican Fat Cats who do their fair share of scheming and defrauding.
So how do you teach your kids to respect money: This is what I do:
  1. Give a weekly allowance. I give $1 per year of age per week. (14 year old gets $14/week) Your kids will jump at it if you include healthcare and a vacation.
  2. Give your kids age appropriate chores. I tie allowance to chores. There are opposing opinions on this. Many say that kids should do their part just because they are a part of the family. I agree but what then are you going to tie allowance to?
  3. Very important. Performance on homework each week should be factored in. If they're not doing their homework, they won't be out spending money anyway. Right?
  4. Every week without fail, gather around the kitchen table, review the work week and pay the allowance. (You get paid on a consistent basis right?) Compliment a kid for a great work week. Tell them how proud you are of their strong work ethic and good positive attitude. If your kid did not work hard, tell them that you expect better next week and dock their pay. Regardless of age. The world is a cruel place let them learn it now.
  5. Divide the allowance into two parts. Spend and Long term Save (The College Tax). My 14 year old is required to put $5 into college and has $9 to spend. I require that my kids save money for college spending money. I call it College Social Life Security. I plan to pay for tuition. Let them pay for the beer and pizza. I have considered adding a religious or charitable element to this plan but I have not yet. I think that charity needs to come from the heart not imposed.
  6. At the gathering around the kitchen table, it is important to count out the money and hand it to them. No IOUs. It is also important to count out the docked money too. Show them what they lost.
  7. Give your kids a chance to earn extra money with extra jobs like weeding or raking or washing the car. Don't forget to collect the College Social Life Security of 30% for this too.
  8. Mandate that 30% of all gift money (birthdays, graduations, Christmas, etc) goes into their long term savings. (College Social Life Security)
  9. I have also set up a car savings account at the local bank for each of my kids. We give the kids the option to put some of their spending money into this account to save for a car. If they do, I match it dollar for dollar, like an employer matchs a 401K. Unlike college this is a voluntary account. They can ride thier bikes as long as they like.
  10. I also think that it is important to show your kids the power of the stock market. Let them buy some Disney, Exxon or Procter & Gamble stock. And help them follow their investments on quicken.com or similar.
  11. Set guidelines on what you will pay for and what items you won't. Resist the urge to give your kids money for things that they should be buying with their own money. Kids will show spending restraint when it is their cash going into a video game or to buy that 10th Barbie.
  12. Also, resist the urge to give allowance that does not match the effort. This is counter productive. Your kids need to feel the pain of wanting and not getting immediate satisfaction. Plus the more money they have, the more junk they will buy and the more junk that you need to constantly clean up.
  13. Resist the urge to buy things for your kids with the promise that they will pay you at allowance time. You are not VISA or MasterCard.
  14. There are other plans on the web on teaching your kids money management. Pick one that works for you and your family situation.
I believe that this is helping my kids understand the connection between hard work with a positive attitude and making money. It is helping them to understand money management. It introduces them to the bank and to the stock market. It introduces them to the concept of social security (The college spending fund that they pay into and can get at a certain age). It introduces them to long term savings. This plan is rich with learning and life skills. Your local liberal school is not going to teach this. Besides the cost is minimal because you know that you are probably doling out the money anyway.

No comments: