Would you charge your five-year-old RENT to teach them about money?

Here at MoneySavingExpert.com we’re all about the importance of financial education. But one American parent’s approach has prompted fierce debate…

A Facebook post by Essence Evans, from Atlanta in Georgia, is currently going viral. Written on Sunday, it now has more than 300,000 shares and counting – and it’s all because of her novel approach when it comes to pocket money.

Essence says she charges her five-year-old daughter $5 (£3.60) a week for living expenses, which she lists as follows: $1 for rent, $1 for electricity, $1 for water, $1 for food and $1 for cable. The money is deducted from the $7 (£5) pocket money she gives her each week – Essence then allows her daughter to do whatever she likes with the remaining $2.

While charging a five-year-old for rent and utilities may sound a little harsh, Essence says she’s doing it to prepare her daughter for when she grows up and moves out.

What’s more, there’s an added bonus in store for her daughter. What Essence hasn’t told her is that the $5 she’s paying each week towards rent and household bills is actually getting stashed away in a savings account, so that when she turns 18 she’ll have at least $3,380 (£2,443) to get her started “in the real world”.

Here’s Essence’s post in full.

As you might imagine, the post has split opinion like The Last Jedi:

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What do you think of the idea? Is it a good way of teaching children how to handle their finances – or is five too young for them to be learning those lessons? Let us know in the comments below – and see our Best Children’s Savings and Teen Cash Class guides for more on the topic.