Money grows on trees… or does it?

Dictionary meaning:
Earn / əːn/ - get something (usually money) in return for doing something like building a house, writing a book, selling cars, working in a bank.

“What does your father/mother do for a living?”

What is this question supposed to mean? Shouldn’t the answer be obvious? They do what everyone else does! They breathe, they eat, they sleep and they try to stay healthy.

Well… the answer to that question is actually not as obvious as you’d want it to be!

What the person asking that question really wants to know about is your parent’s job.

‘Doing something for a living’ actually means ‘working in order to earn a living’.

E.g.: "He earns his living as a lawyer."

Every family needs a source of income. Everyone needs money to buy essentials like food, clothing, shelter and medicines, as well as to pay for school fees, loans, and transport. If one has extra/enough income, one can also indulge in extras like holidays, toys, gadgets, movies, and pizzas.

One can earn money in exchange for providing a service, based on one's skills or educational background, and time taken out to accomplish the service/task.

So, say your mother tells you that she will pay you ₹ 100 to wash her car and you do it and she pays you the money, then you would have earned the ₹ 100.

There are so many different ways of earning money. Some people make money as employees, i.e., by offering their skills and time to those who don't have the skills or the time, but have the money to buy them. Some people however, choose to use their skill and time for themselves and earn money as businesspersons/entrepreneurs.

The best part is that one can choose what kind of work one wants to do. But after doing that, to build a career in that field, one must work on it in a focused and disciplined manner. Based on the kind of work one chooses, he is said to be in a particular profession. The pattern of earning money varies from one profession to another, depending on whether one is a businessman or an employee.

The idioms ‘sing for your supper’, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ and ‘there are no free lunches’ all indicate that one has to earn what one wants. Nothing comes for free.
Bread and butter’ represents one's income, the source of someone's food.
Bring home the bacon’ means to earn the family living, to earn a salary.

Cattle (which include sheep, camels, and other livestock) are the first and oldest form of money. Each head of cattle was called a caput, which is Latin for “head.” So, a person with a lot of cattle had lots of caput or “capital”, a word still used today to describe money.

The ancient Romans used salt as a currency at one time. The Latin word for salt is ‘sal’. This is where we get the word ‘salary’ from.

The Romans also worshipped the goddess, Juno Moneta. They reportedly made their first coins in the goddess’ temple. It is from her name that we get the word ‘money’ as well as ‘mint’.

The average American will now pay more than $600,000 (almost ₹ 3.60 crore) in interest over the course of a lifetime! Think about how much of that interest one could avoid by adopting the old-school philosophy many of our grandparents lived by: If you can't afford to pay for it now, you really can't afford it. (Source:

The ancient Indian advise ‘Utne pav failane chahiye jitni lambi chaader’ is actually derived from an Akbar Birbal story.

Every paisa you spend has been earned by your parents. Respect it and spend it wisely.

Remember that you are never too young or too old to earn money.

The more you develop your skill(s),the more you can earn.

Saving for Wants [NO EDITS MADE HERE]

Use this sheet to create a 'savings plan' for something you want, but cannot afford right now. You may print it and put it up in your room so that you can keep regular track of your savings.


1. Fill the required values in the blue cells.

2. You can change any value by going back to the cell.

3. Enter only numbers in the amount column. No letters.

4. Some values have already been filled in grey. These are only to guide you. You may change them.

5. For every field with a red corner, move the cursor to the red corner and read the description to understand the field better.

Option 1- You know what you can save
Option 2- You know when you need the item
Goal- Amount to be saved
Amount you will save every month
Number of months needed
Number of months available
Amount to be saved every month


Request adults in your family or neighbourhood (with your parents’ permission of course!) to let you help out with some chores like washing the car, walking the dogs, watering plants, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, etc. in return for a specified sum of money.
If you wash 2 cars a week and each time you get ₹ 100, how much can you earn every month?
Or say you walk the neighbours’ dogs for them. Say you walk 3 dogs, 5 days a week and charge ₹ 500 per dog. How much can you earn every month?
Earn your money and save some, share some, spend some. Have fun!
Must remember: Earning money from extra chores is cool, but asking for money for routine jobs at home or just helping your family is not!

Speak to your parents, uncles and aunts about the jobs they do, what did they study for it, how do they make money and how much do they make (only if they are comfortable sharing it. Don’t insist on knowing). With your parents’ help, seek out people doing different kind of jobs and speak to them about their work. You may also read about different jobs and opportunities. You may use this sheet to help you explore and learn-

While you may love to talk about the job you would like when you grow up, please remember that you don’t have to make a decision just yet. You may however, begin by thinking about questions such as:

  1. What are your favourite subjects in school?
  2. Why do you like those subjects?
  3. Can you think of any jobs that might relate to those subjects?
  4. What are your favourite hobbies?
  5. Can you think of any ways to turn a hobby into a job?

Quick Poll