Turn Your 4th of July Party Into a ‘Kidpreneur’ Money Lesson

Nurture your child’s inner entrepreneur.

Have you ever noticed that tweens and teens have a natural inclination to suggest solutions to problems? It’s true. Not to mention their eyes light up at opportunities to earn money.

Latch onto their enthusiasm and teach them a real-world, “kidpreneur” money lesson by making them your event consultant at this year’s July 4th BBQ.

Click to read more about 7 things today’s kids really need to know about money.

Here’s the four-step, win-win solution that will have your kids begging to help you out.

Step 1: Invite Them With a Prestigious Title

Perhaps the most important step I encourage you to take in this process is to give your child a prestigious-sounding title (the snazzier the title, the more excited and invested they’ll be in the process).

Steal one of these:

  • Party Creator/Designer/Artist
  • Social Supervisor/Assistant/Apprentice
  • BBQ Architect

Invite your child by handing them their new title and asking them to research what a party planner does. Explain that this will be a “paid” position, with details to come.

Learn: 7 Best Apps to Teach Your Kids About Money

Step 2: Come Up With Their Duties and a Rough Budget

Establish clearly defined expectations for your child, just as you would if you were working with an adult event coordinator.

Here are example tasks to hand over:

  • Menu Creation: Creating a menu, downloading the recipes, cooking, etc.
  • Guest Management: Invitation creation (use punchbowl.com or create a Facebook Event), keeping up with a headcount/RSVPs, etc.
  • Location Management: Decorations, setup, tear-down, etc.
  • Information-Gathering: Call around for rental prices, etc.

Come up with an estimated budget you’d like to give them to cover the costs involved, plus a small profit.

Take this number to your consultation meeting.

Food for Thought: How to Throw a Potluck for Under $100

Step 3: Sit Down for a Consultation/Price Negotiation

At this consultation, I encourage parents to deliver your expectations and the tasks your child will be responsible for. Then both parties should be involved in coming up with a price.

Negotiate a price using one of these methods:

  • Adult-Dictated Costs, Plus a Profit: You could just give them a budget to work with, that includes a small profit.
  • Kid-Negotiated Pay: Don’t be afraid to instead let them negotiate with you. Keep a figure in your mind for what the “market” rate is to pay your event planner (based on your child’s ability, your ability to pay and the duties you’ve handed over). That way, when they come in with a really low or really high price, you can explain your counteroffer.
  • Pay a Commission From Discounted Goods: Or you could offer to pay them any money left over after purchasing their needs for the event (in other words, they’ll get paid to find discounts and substitutes while still covering your party needs).

More on Discounts for Your Party: 30 Things You Should Always Buy With a Coupon

Step 4: Help Them Execute on Their Promises

Allow your kids to execute on the agreed-upon ideas, which presents an excellent opportunity for them to practice store transactions based on an actual budget. You, of course, can provide transportation and some guidance.

Take this activity seriously, including providing them with feedback, because it shows your child how to take initiative, which can lead to impressive résumé-fillers. After all, my first job out of college — an internship I created that turned into a $40,000 salary position with full benefits — would never have happened if I hadn’t shown the kind of initiative your kids are about to learn.

Click to read more about how a father teaches his kids about taxes.

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