Paper round helped me to appreciate value of money

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STEVE CANAVAN: The case of the 'kitchen' door is open and shut

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If you get The News delivered, do you know how much that child who puts your paper through your letter box with such force that it knocks out the dog is getting each week?

It’s typically between £10 and £15 a week. But in certain areas, it is getting hard to find paper boys and girls because these days they’re getting so much pocket money anyway that they don’t think it’s worth doing a round.

Even if you can afford to give your children £15 a week pocket money, don’t. Instead, encourage your kids to get a paper round so they learn the value of money.

I remember landing my first paper round back in the summer of 1986. There were the nerves at the interview, the excitement of turning up on the first morning and then the joy of picking up my first £4.50 wage packet – and spending half of it on sweets in the very same shop!

It was a big round, 40-odd houses around hilly Ryde on the Isle of Wight, with a double round on Friday delivering the island’s massive broadsheet weekly paper.

As the mornings grew darker, colder and wetter, I certainly earned every penny.

But by the time I started proper work, I’d learned how to appreciate money, not to expect it.

I learned not only the value of my hard-earned money, but how to save. And through those hard, cold winter months, I’d also shown commitment and trust as no newspapers ended up being dumped on the side of the road. Every one went through a letterbox.

Maybe today it’s too easy for kids to sit indoors, play on their computers and get what they want when they want.

These days how many parents expect their children to do jobs around the house before handing over cash?

I know of a few people in their late teens who have yet to learn the value of money.

Thinking that it grows on trees, they pay for things on credit cards so they can have what they want now, as this is what they’re used to.

I’m not suggesting going back to sending children up the chimney at 13. But certainly get them to wash your car or vacuum the house for their money.