When it comes to teaching kids about money, most parents go with a lemonade stand. But one TikTok user recently shared her hack that’s leaving some folks with a sour taste in their mouths.
Would you charge your child rent and utilities? This mom does, and she says it’s the best thing she could have done for her child.
This Mama’s Money Minding Hack
TikTok user @CraftedAndCozy shared her controversial hack earlier this summer. Since then, her post has garnered over 400,000 likes and 10,000 comments—some positive, many negative.
In a follow-up video, she gives examples of her son’s daily tasks. They include making the bed, brushing his teeth, and putting dirty clothes in the bin.
“At the end of the month, he realizes that he has bills to pay. He pays those bills to me.” Bills include rent, electricity for his room, and internet for his iPad. “He understands that throughout the month, he has two buckets.”
She explains that her son chooses between “fun money” and “bill money” buckets. “It’s up to his responsibility to categorize his money. I don’t do anything with his money but put it right back into his savings account.”
@CraftedAndCozy says, “it has taught him the value of a dollar and responsibility. I’m so pleased with the results. Hopefully, it’s something that can help you out as well.”
Some People Think It’s Extreme
Hundreds of commenters were quick to condone this mom’s hack. “Okay, but he’s seven,” one user wrote. “Why not just let him be a kid and then do this when he’s a teenager or something?”
“Never too early to indoctrinate your kids into a capitalist hellscape,” commented another.
Some users implied such strict parenting would cause strained relationships in the future. “It’s going to be so funny when, 20 years from now, he replies to each one of your Christmas calls with a, ‘what do you want?’”
And others still encouraged the hack, but cautiously. “This is such a great hack.” @Barbie_Clique wrote. “But for those of you with spoiled kids, don’t do this. They will tell you not to come in their room because they pay bills.”
Others Wish Their Parents Would’ve Done It
Conversely, there were hundreds of commenters supporting the method, too. Many TikTok users said they wished their parents would’ve done the same thing.
“I wish my mom taught me this at an early age,” commented one user. “She never taught me but expected me to learn. Way to go, Mom. He will be excited to see his money grow.”
“I was never taught how to budget and save money,” @Kelsey wrote. “Neither was my husband, and we have struggled in life so far. But we’re getting better, and we plan to do something similar with our kids when they’re old enough.”
Other users responded directly to naysayers. “Some of y’all don’t know the role of a parent, and it shows. Kids can be kids. But learning responsibility at that age is healthy for them,” one comment read.
The Importance Of Financial Literacy
Experts stress the importance of learning financial literacy. “Without a working knowledge of money, it is extraordinarily difficult to do well in life,” Sam X Renick, Sammy Rabbit co-creator, told Forbes. “Money is central to transacting life, day-in, and day-out.”
Sammy Rabbit is a fictional character that teaches children financial literacy. Renick told Forbes the earlier you teach kids about money, the better.
“Lessons should begin before age seven,” Forbes reports, “because research shows that money habits and attitudes are already formed by then.”
Renick also says that an allowance might not instill the same value of money. “Just about everyone values money they earn differently than money they receive,” he says. In this way, @CraftedAndCozy’s parenting hack is spot-on.
Every Family Is Different
However, that doesn’t mean that this mom’s way is the only way. She acknowledges in her follow-up video that “it worked wonders in my household. It may not work in yours.”
“But he’s paying himself,” she continues. “That goes into his savings. He’s going to get that one day.” She goes on to explain that his total ‘expenses’ are reasonable compared to his ‘earnings.’
Her son’s rent is $5. His utilities, electric and WiFi, total $4. So, her child pays $9 in expenses. Assuming he completes his daily tasks every day, he earns $30 a month. That makes his expenses 30% of his total income.
@CraftedAndCozy addressed the doubtful commenters, too. “If he doesn’t pay his bills, we haven’t run into that problem. But I truly can say what I believe I’ll do is give him an extension until next month and have a conversation with him at that time.”
She ends the video with a shout-out to her Overstock metal wine rack, proving that she is doing motherhood the right way in more ways than one.