10 years old is a great age to teach kids how to earn extra money — they’re still young enough to listen to you, but old enough to do some actual work. Here’s the story of J’s first side hustle — selling Christmas cookies to family and friends.
In the spring, J will be eligible to test for his black belt!
The cost of this particular test is $430.
Hold the phone. What?!
Cost of Karate
J has been training for about four years now. There are lots of costs associated with karate including:
- Tuition ($95 per month)
- Testing fees ($60-$75 each time; initially four times per year, then later two times per year)
- Tournaments ($50+ each; around twice per year)
- Uniforms ($40+ when he needs a new one, about every two years)
- Other incidentals like patches, bags, fundraisers, parties, etc.
I split the costs with J’s dad and so far we’ve footed the entire bill.
Benefits of karate
There’s no denying that karate is a great activity. J learns responsibility, leadership, personal protection, coordination, focus, how to get along with others, commitment, personal development — the list is endless.
Because karate is important to us and because J gets a lot out of it, we’re fine with the cost.
Pitching in towards the test
But because he’s getting older and I want to engage him, I told him that he was responsible for 10% of the testing fee.
Do you know how much your parents made (or make)? Or how they really spend their money? I don’t.
What about your friends? Even the close ones?
I can think of just one person whose salary I know (my signifiant other), and even then, I don’t know the details of how much he’s saving or spending in various categories or what his big picture looks like.
We tell our kids not to worry about what other people are doing, so why should we be concerned with what other people make, have or spend?
For MANY of reasons, but here are two.
In one of my very first posts, I shared a short-term savings plan for Christmas gifts. Kids can totally learn to save for Christmas gifts and purchase them by themselves. I’ve found that it makes J feel good to save the money, think of thoughtful gifts, make the purchase and wrap gifts on his own.
Because we’re using FamZoo cards now, we decided to utilize both the budget and additional account features for J’s yearly Christmas gifts list.
For two years now, J has been using cash, paper and pencil to manage his money. I’ve been paying monthly interest and bi-weekly allowance in cash. I’ve been calculating interest payments in Excel and emailing statements.
My goal was to help him understand cash (and math) by using hands-on, practical examples.
It’s been awesome. J started with $40 in his savings envelope in April 2016 and had over $500 by June 2018. (Pretty good for a kid with no job.)
Time to move on
When he turned 10 a few months ago, I knew it was time to learn something else. Cash is great, but how many of us really use cash and only cash every day? His financial education needed to include the responsible use of cards.