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This is a brief article for parents and mentors to use when teaching children the responsible use of money. Eventually every child wakes up one morning and utters the words “I want…” This could mean they want something to eat or to take a walk outside but more often than not they want a new toy, a new cereal or to go out to eat. They have become a mini-consumer, and with this comes the fear that from now on they may only be satisfied by a constant supply of new things. As we well know, things cost money. There isn’t a parent on the planet who wants their child to be without the latest game, fashion and favorite food however, these things can end up costing plenty. The solution comes in guiding children to understand that things are not just things; they are money in a different form. For the most basic introduction, and to also offer a nice little math lesson, one needs only to apply the hourly wage rule. For example the legal minimum hourly wage of a waiter is $2.13 per hour according to the January, 2011 Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. This number should be made an even $2.00 for children who are not yet in the 3rd grade. Also if they are above the 5th grade please deduct taxes a worker would have to pay because it make for better math skills and it is a more accurate representation. Now whenever a child wishes for a certain item they simply have to pay for it by somehow earning the cash. Of course being a kid is a fulltime job so really anything can count toward wage earning, even homework can earn an hourly wage. The system is foolproof because the child knows exactly what it takes to get a certain item. If they wish to buy the new game that costs $50, all they have to do is produce 25 hours worth of work. After the allotted hours of work are performed they may have the cash to spend.  Sometimes there is an interesting phenomenon that occurs. Rather than hand that cash over to the person behind the counter, a child may think better of it and decide that they really don’t need that game after all. All children will exercise greater fiscal responsibility when they have to earn the money. In the final lesson the child has truly been empowered with the capacity for critical thought regarding the use of money. Rebecca Jones is a financial blogger and contributing writer for payday loans