I make my kids ‘pay’ for their food and internet – other parents say it’s harsh but it's a great way to teach them | The Sun

WITH A cost of living crisis and rising energy bills, we’re all trying to be more careful with our money these days. 

And for many parents, they’re using this time as an opportunity to teach their kids the value of money. 

But one mum has gone a step further – making her kids ‘pay’ for everything, including their food, rooms and phones. 

Ashleigh, known online as @dysfunctionalmummy, regularly shares parenting tips with her 5,941 TikTok followers. 

In a new video, she’s revealed how she’s teaching her kids how to manage their money in the future.

She gives her four children, aged 12, 11, 10 and nine, paper money which they then use to pay for their utilities.


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Included in their list of bills are council tax, laundry, electricity, water and the internet. 

It’s simple – if they don’t pay, they don’t get access. 

“So once they’ve got their money, once it’s all been dished out and they’ve got their wages, they walk away and they all have a list of what bills they can pay. 

“If they don’t pay, they don’t get access to it. 

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“If they don’t pay their internet bill, I change the Wi-Fi password and so then they don’t have Wi-Fi. 

“Some of them have phones. They have attempted to tether from their phones and make it through the month, but that did not work, so yeah that’s quite fun. 

“They pay for Netflix, Disney, Prime, and they pay the price that they would pay if they were 18, out in the big world and paying this.” 

She continues: “Their bills are due on varying dates depending on which bill needs to be paid first. 

“I usually let them pay for their bills the week of, but not necessarily right up until the whole beginning of the month, and that’s actually the price they pay for each bill. 

“So a standard EE contract is 30, Netflix 15, Disney, 10 and so on and so forth. 

“Some children don’t watch Anime, so they don’t pay for Crunchy Roll. 

“Some children don’t want to pay for phone bill as they don’t have a phone yet, so they don’t pay for that. 

“And so then I go down the list, each child has a different colour, that colour represents everything they own – their water bottles, their rooms, their bags, their coats. 

“So Lara would be the first person whose bills I would pay because she’s at the top of the list. Oldest down to youngest.” 

Ashleigh goes on to explain why she gets her kids to ‘pay’ their way. 

“This has been the most funny experience. The day that I told them I was doing this, they had the funniest opinions about paying bills. 

“Some of them were so in shock.

“When I told them they had to pay for food, some of them looked like they were going to cry and when I explained that it was fake money and they didn’t have to do anything, I was just going to give them the money and they were just going to hand it back to me, they were still so upset that they were losing money. 

“Since that day, things have changed massively. 

“They are so much more thoughtful about where they put their things, they treat things so much better. 

“There’s a cost if you break things, you have to pay a damage fee. 

“Things have changed massively.” 

Below the video, she added: “Honestly they just started a few months ago and it’s a fun no pressure way to get money management ideas into their minds while they are still young.”

The video attracted plenty of attention online, gaining more than 16,000 likes and 334,000 views. 

In the comments, parents had mixed reviews about Ashleigh’s method, with one writing: “You can teach kids about while still allowing them to be kids. They don't need such big adult responsibilities IMO. I hope they don't resent you.” 

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Another said: “This will definitely help them in the real world such a great idea.”

A third added: “Don't know about kids I'm doing this with my husband, great idea.”

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