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The more you learn, the more you’ll earn

26th February, 2021

Education and training take both time and money, but it generally has a positive return in terms of the income that people earn over a lifetime.  

Cashflow is key

As we find ourselves emerging from the pandemic, we’ve learned a few things about keeping our head above water – one being that cashflow is critical to sustaining our livelihoods – let alone our lifestyles. Growing up, my dad would remind my sisters and I that “cashflow is key” and he’s right, cash can only last so long. Being able to maintain an income stream and an ability to earn money different ways, if necessary, is key.  

Many of us will return to our jobs or find employment as the economy reopens, but it’s likely that large numbers of individuals from these COVID-19 income support schemes will enter the Live Register as new claimants once the pandemic unemployment supports are ended.2 And while the scale of the unemployment problem is uncertain, we know that higher levels of education and even a diversity in skills and knowledge is becoming increasingly more important.  

It’s good to get kids thinking about the different ways they can earn money when they’re young. Our worksheet, Choosing the right job for you, can be used for helping kids to understand some of the ways people make money as well as help them take stock of their abilities and the things they can do to make money.

Invest in yourself – it could be the best investment you ever make

It’s also important to highlight to children at an early age that the more you know how to do and the better you are at it – especially things people are willing to pay for – the more you can do to earn money (and the more money you can potentially make).  

Education and training take both time and money, but it generally has a positive return in terms of the income that people earn over a lifetime. By developing the right skills, you become more valuable to your potential employers, your earning potential increases, and the likelihood that you’ll struggle with finding and keeping a job decreases.

We make so many decisions over a lifetime about our education, jobs and careers that affect our incomes and job opportunities – helping your kids to understand the connection between earning and learning early on can help lead to better outcomes, both financially and otherwise.

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius

Confucius was onto something. There are a lucky few of us who get to do what we love for a living – it makes it easier to go into work every day and since we enjoy our work, we actually find it easier to learn new skills and continue to improve at what we do. I’d imagine every parent wants this for their child.

Naturally, we tend to like the things we’re good at, so start there with your child and check out: Which careers match your skills?3, which lists potential careers based on what you’re good at. Sit down with your child and talk through some of the things they like to do and the things they’re good at and when s/he finds something that interests them, do a little research with them to find out more about the education required to do well in that particular field. The working world may seem like a long way off, but it is never too early to begin planning for your goals.

For younger kids, the novelty of having “jobs” around the house is motivating (at least at first!), so start with a simple conversation about “jobs” they can do to help (e.g., tidy their toys, help with the laundry, put their clothes away, feed the family pet). Finding ways for kids to contribute their skills and abilities is a good way to build self-esteem as well.  

Subscribe to our newsletter

Cents for Kids is focused on building financial literacy in children and supporting parents with the tools and resources they need model good money sense and teach their kids about money.

Our Cents for Kids monthly newsletter will give you insight and ideas about how to engage with your children around the topic of money in fun and practical ways throughout the year – subscribe here.  


1,2Economic and Research Institute (ESRI). (2020, July). Managing mass unemployment flows during the COVID-19 pandemic (No. 95). ESRI SURVEY AND STATISTICAL REPORT SERIES.

3Which careers match your skills? Retrieved February 22, 2021

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