What Is Your Philosophy on Earning Money? The Benefits of Manual Labor!


Teaching a child to have a strong work and earn ethic is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

I was recently reminded of this while reading a blog from George Mason University Professor of Economics Tyler Cowen. I have made a habit of visiting his website Marginal Revolution – Small Steps Toward a Much Better World. Here is what he shared in his February 19, 2021 blog titled: My history of manual labor:

…From ages 16 through 18 I worked in the produce department of a supermarket, and that involved a fair amount of lifting of heavy boxes and additional physical labor, though nothing as hard as digging ditches or as unpleasant as cleaning toilets… I learned that earning money is very good for people’s psyches.  No amount of money, neither large nor small, ever should be taken for granted because somewhere along the way someone earned it.  At the time I felt very rich.

WHOA! That struck a chord. It sang a song that resonated in my head and heart!


What is your philosophy on earning money? What are you teaching your children and students related to earning money?

In his activity book, “Sammy Says Earn,” Sammy Rabbit shares with kids the following:

Earn money. It’s a great habit!

Earn money. It’s fun to do!

Learn more and earn more money!

Let’s Collaborate on 1 Project!


Here are what some other experts and community leaders have shared about earning money, developing a strong work ethic and first work experiences.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chairman & CEO of the C-Suite Network

Question: What is the most important money habit you learned as a child? Please share the story behind how you learned the habit and tell us about the impact it has had on you throughout your life.

Jeffrey: The most important money lesson I learned as a child was the value of saving your money and budgeting. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up. My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot. I’ve lived in trailer parks. Early on, I discovered I was really good at sales, so I got a job selling subscriptions, baseball tickets, or whatever would get me some money. My very first job was delivering flyers.

Lynn Demmons, Author – Raising a Financial Genius

Question: Did you work as a teen and/or in college?

Lynn: My first job as a teenager was working at McDonalds. I lasted two weeks. When I saw the paycheck, I thought this is not worth it. I had a conversation with my mom about it and she was able to get me a job at her company, Kemet Electronics. I had to work a whole month before receiving a paycheck. Yes, an entire month. When I finally received a check, my mom told me I was responsible for my portion of the bills which was $200 per paycheck. I was astonished to say the least. I thought what in the world, but I would not dare say that to my mom’s face.  That was my first lesson in budgeting and paying the bills. To this day I can accredit my budgeting, saving and investing habit to this introductory lesson. 

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Cedric Turner, Founder – Empower Yourself, LTD

Question: Tell us about your first experience earning money? How old were you? What type of a job was it? How much did you earn? What did you do with the money? What did you learn?

Cedric:  I have always been a natural hustler. My first job was bagging groceries. I worked at every fast food restaurant I could. My family was not well off, so my money went mostly toward food and clothes. In high school I was involved in an afterschool program that provided us summer jobs at major corporations. The organization was called “Brighter Day.” They required everyone who participated in the program to save the money we earned. They had us all open saving accounts. Chris Moore & Jamie Bush (of the Bush Family) were the Director and Assistant Director of the program.  My current non-profit for youth, Empower Yourself, models itself after Brighter Day and the lessons I learned there.

Tony Steuer, CLU Author, Podcaster, Financial Preparedness Advocate

Question: What was one of the smartest money decisions you made as a child or a teenager and why?

Tony: Deciding to work so that I would have my own money. This allowed me to have freedom to make purchases. 

Kate Welker, Certified Financial Planner at Rooted Planning Group

Question: What was your first job?

Kate: At 12, I got a paper route and babysat every opportunity possible. I don’t remember making much from the newspapers, but it was steady income. I think I generally saved my paper route money in my savings and used my babysitting money for the fun stuff. Having a savings goal helped me be more motivated. My school had an opportunity for some students to go on a trip to Boston, but it was expensive and going to cost several hundred dollars. My parents told me I could go if I worked and paid for it. I was able to save up the full amount of the trip plus a nice amount to use for spending while I was on the trip.

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About the Author

Sam X Renick is a children's Author, Co-Creator of Sammy Rabbit-SammyRabbit.com, Award Winning Financial Educator & Double Bottom Line Entrepreneur!

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