Kids should work for their pocket money, says Barefoot Investor

Composite image of Barefoot Investor Scott Pape, alongside his Barefoot Kids book
Barefoot Investor Scott Pape has released a new book for kids. (Source: supplied)

Money guru Scott Pape, the best-selling author of The Barefoot Investor, has just smashed more sales records with the launch of Barefoot Kids, an “epic money adventure” to inspire children to go on their own epic money adventures.

The new book is written for kids aged 7-13 to read themselves, and features Pape’s top tips (approved by his own four children) as well as 45 inspiring stories of Aussie kids who have become slime queens, social media stars, charity startups and mini investors.

Pape said he wrote the book after hearing from many Australians who told him they wished they had learned more about money as children.

“After I wrote the Barefoot investor, so many people asked me, ‘why am I only learning how to do this now at 30, 40, 50 or even 60?’”

With no formal finance education in the Australian school curriculum, Pape said that, after initially trying to set up a money movement via schools without success, he decided to put his advice straight into the hands of kids themselves.

Launched on November 7, Barefoot Kids sold more copies in its first week than beloved kids’ book the 78-Storey Treehouse, highlighting the appetite for more money skills for kids and their parents.

Pape told Yahoo Finance that, while many people put off dealing with their money - because they thought it was too hard or only for people who were good at maths - when money should be thought of as a language and a life skill. He also said it was important to understand that, while money could be a fun way to work on getting what you want, it was important to be generous too.

“My biggest fear is that my kids could become spoiled brats, but there are two ways to guard against that,” Pape said. “Learning to work hard and … to be generous and use your money to help others.”

As for that thorny topic many parents cannot agree on - pocket money?

Pape said kids that while kids should be paid pocket money they should be working for it. He said even little kids could do age-appropriate tasks.

“My little four-year-old daughter helps collect the eggs - some of them end up scrambled but that’s OK.”

By working on specific chores, Pape said not only did children get to enjoy the satisfaction of ‘earning a buck’ but this also helped to educate kids about how money worked. He said basic house chores shouldn’t count, but allowing your child to help select a specific task that they wanted to do would not only help them learn the value of work and enjoy the responsibility but would put them in the driver's seat and in control.

He said giving kids money without linking it to work is common but could lead to lifelong problems with money. Pape said he had met 30-year-olds who still didn’t understand the basics.

Other top tips in the book include how kids can:

  • Set up their own money buckets

  • SAVE for (and get) anything they want (that their parents approve of)

  • Turbocharge their savings by running their own mini business (with real-life stories from kids who did just that!)

  • Learn why they should use their GIVE bucket to make a real difference to other people (kindness counts!)

  • Kick-start a lifetime of compound interest by investing, with as little as $5

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