Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Help This Woman: Teaching Kids About Money

Last week I got invited to talk about teaching kids about money and finances on a local TV show called Let's Talk Live. They gave me the topic and a list of suggestions from an article on MSNBC. I then went on TV in the middle of a severe allergic reaction (completely doped up on Benadryl) and babbled for 8 minutes about none of the talking points they gave me.

Because I am awesome and a professional.

BUT... It's a great topic. And it really matters to me, because my big kids are old enough to start getting it. And also one of their friends in 5th grade got a MacBook Air for Christmas and when I found out I spit my coffee across the room. Because I mean - COME ON.

So I want to know - how do you teach your kids about money? About being responsible with it? About the value of both money and the things they want?

I would love your suggestions and also - I would love to know your thoughts on what age to start introducing these concepts.

xoxo,
Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2013

35 comments:

  1. My kids are 3 and 5 and earn money based on a chore system that my husband and I created. Things that are easy and I want them in the habit of doing earns 5-10 cents and the stuff that goes above and beyond (helping mom with laundry and putting away their clothes, which I am terrible with) earns a dollar. They have their goal in mind of a new Angry Birds table top game at around $20, so they are eager to ask me what chores I need them to do each day in order to save up to buy the game that they want. I am also teaching them some math as we count their earnings every few days.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember as a kid having a few coffee mugs in my top dresser drawer to sort my money in- give, save, spend. My dad worked in non-profit fundraising and planned giving, so money lessons came at a young age- 6, 7, 8, idk.
    Now with my oldest we started the conversation soon after we adopted him (4th grade). I found a Moonjar (it's a piggy bank divided into 3 sections-give, save, spend) on sale online somewhere. I encourage it's use and my son sort of amuses me, sometimes.
    There are also these piggy banks that have 4 sections, including one for "invest". I'm not even great at that as an adult, so I'm not sure what to say to kids about it.
    Also, having a kid put a much longed for toy on layaway (some stores still do that...I think) is a phenomenal lesson.

    ReplyDelete
  3. when my now 8.5 yr. old DD was 3, we spent a year doing a 650 mile commute - 1/2 of each week in one state, 1/2 the other (for work). She received 8 quarters (idk why I decided on 8, but it was very meaningful at the time). As long as her behavior was great, she kept her quarters, but would lose them with bad behavior. She is/has always been a Cracker Barrel freak, so always had in mind something that she *needed* to buy from CB. Sometimes she would save up her quarters for several weeks to make a special purchase, other times the lure of candy won out :-). We still do travel a lot, so - although it's not beavior related anymore - she gets a set amount of $$ when we start on our trip. Whatever things she wants come out of that $$; when it's gone, no more souvenirs or treats. The amount with which she starts depends on how unique our destination...a trip to see Winter in FL rates more than visitng family.

    In addition, when she was 4, my DD started receiving an allowance. It has always been the same # of quarters per week as her age. She divides it between church, china, save, spend. We do easy division, so when she was 6 & 7, everything other than "save" got .25, and she saved a higher percentage. In 2nd grade, she saved up for a bicycle (I helped, since it was a really nice bike). We visited the bike store in September, got measured for the new bike, and I put a down payment on it. Then, every couple of months, we would take her "save" jar and head back to the bike store. They were great about counting up all of the quarters (and other "found" coins) with her. I added a bit each time, and she was able to finishing paying for the bike just in time for spring break :-). I still remember the things for which I saved up as a child, so I know these are meaningful lessons :-).

    ReplyDelete
  4. My son is in an ESE class (intellectual disabilities & Autism) and they have an amazing behavioral/reward system. We reconfigured it for at home use. The kids start out with a set amount of "money" each day. We use the "dime method". So, they each have $1.00 worth of dimes. Chores and behaviors are posted throughout the house. As the day progresses, they may lose a dime for breaking a house rule or not doing an assigned task. They may also earn an extra "dime" for doing something extra (not an assigned chore, being extra kind, or some behavior that we have been working on). At the end of the week they have to add up their "money". At school they have a math closet, filled with items that have a set price and they can purchase them or if there is something they don't have enough "money" for they can put it on hold until they earn enough. We use our "dimes" to buy smiley faces. At the end of the month, if enough smiles were earned they get a trip to the good old dollar store. You could do almost anything... Going for ice cream, a movie, earning a video game, etc. Hearing the words, "Do you need to flip a dime?" has been known to stop a behavior or argument in its tracks! They are learning about consequences, reward and money management all at once. It has worked extremely well for both of our kids!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Once they were in school, our four sons started getting a modest allowance. It was NOT tied to their chores - I believe everyone take responsibility for their belongings and helps with the house because we all live here! The allowance was spending money (although I was not above making them pay ME if they didn't take care of their jobs) designed to teach them about money. We divided into three categories: spending (70%), giving (10%) and saving (20%). They could spend "spending" as they wished. "saving" couldn't be spent with parental consultation. As they began babysitting and mowing lawns, the same rules applied to that money. We also modeled the type of financial responsibility we wanted them to learn: we drove our cars til they died, we have a modest home (3 bedrooms until we added a small addition as the oldest hit high school), vacations that didn't put us in debt, we have no credit card balances and used the ads on tv to explain the trap of credit card debt. As (mostly) adults, they are very responsible with the money. The two that have bought cars researched cost of car, insurance and expensive of running the car and made very smart decisions. The oldest had a brand new car paid off in one year, working at Taco Bell! They have seen me shop sales, clearance, ect and take great pride in finding their own deals. I think on important point to talk about finances, at age appropriate levels, in a very matter of fact way. Too many parents are afraid to talk to their kids about money, sex and drugs - make it the conversations a big deal and the kids aren't sure how to take it. Make it a natural conversation point throughout their lives and it is just part of life.

    Wow, I guess I have a lot of opinion on this topic, don't I!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Our son has work that he is expected to do because he lives here and additional work that he is paid to do (he is 9). No work=no pay. About this, I am adamant. Once he is paid, he tithes, saves 20% (long term in a bank account for his first car), and can do whatever he likes with the rest (for the 2 months leading up to Christmas, he has to save everything to buy gifts for others. I match him when it's time to shop.). He tends to blow that remaining money pretty quickly. Thus, whenever we are out and he finds a cool new toy he cannot afford, I tell him he will have to wait until he has the cash or his birthday comes around.
    More important, however, I model the type of spending behavior I hope he has. For most purchases and nearly all large purchases, I wait until I have established a fair baseline price and then bargain shop. It is not uncommon for me to take a year to make a large purchase (obviously something that is not a need). I rarely look at anything other than clearance merchandise when we browse, and he has developed a picky sense of price. Often, he will exclaim, "what a rip-off!" when he sees retail prices.
    In the end, children will do what they learn to do from you not what you tell them to do. Money is no exception.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ok, we've tried several systems, and most have failed because we never have cash. So for the last few months we've been doing "stickers". I got smiley face foil stickers and sticker charts at staples. Each kid has one taped to our pantry door. They then earn stickers for "good behavior", which is totally awesome cause it feeds my laziness. The 9 year old gets stickers for weekly chores (such as bringing the trash can in) and good grades and being especially nice to his sister. The 5 year old gets stickers for sleeping with her light off, staying in her own bed, wiping her own butt, and picking up her toys when she's done with them. We also randomly give out stickers for things like extra cleaning (if done without whining), or a trip out in public where we only have to ask them once to do something (our standards are low apparently). Then when they fill a sheet it is worth $5, denoted by mom writing $5 on the back. Each kid has something big they are saving for- the 5 year old is saving to buy her brother's old DS, and the 9 year old is saving for 3DS games (since Santa got a good deal and bought him the system) and to buy fancy, expensive sneakers that mom and dad think are too expensive.

    We started teaching the idea of saving money at around age 4, with saving for the first BIG purchase coming at around age 5 or 6. Sometimes it's hard to keep the little one focused on her goal, but the older one helps by occasionally letting her play his old DS.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My son is in an ESE class (intellectual disabilities & Autism) and they have an amazing behavioral/reward system. We reconfigured it for at home use. The kids start out with a set amount of "money" each day. We use the "dime method". So, they each have $1.00 worth of dimes. Chores and behaviors are posted throughout the house. As the day progresses, they may lose a dime for breaking a house rule or not doing an assigned task. They may also earn an extra "dime" for doing something extra (not an assigned chore, being extra kind, or some behavior that we have been working on). At the end of the week they have to add up their "money". At school they have a math closet, filled with items that have a set price and they can purchase them or if there is something they don't have enough "money" for they can put it on hold until they earn enough. We use our "dimes" to buy smiley faces. At the end of the month, if enough smiles were earned they get a trip to the good old dollar store. You could do almost anything... Going for ice cream, a movie, earning a video game, etc. Hearing the words, "Do you need to flip a dime?" has been known to stop a behavior or argument in its tracks! They are learning about consequences, reward and money management all at once. It has worked extremely well for both of our kids!

    ReplyDelete
  9. When we started giving allowance(around 6 or 7-ish)it was only a couple dollars (what did they really need money for) but we added a dollar to it that was to be used for charity each week at Sunday school. The idea was that they would get used to using some of "their" money for charity. Their allowance usually went to buy things that we thought were unnecessary or silly - "if you want that you will have to use your own money." That was great because they were way less willing to buy something if it was coming out of their own money.

    We don't tie to allowance to chores (though I think that's a good idea too) because chores are not optional and you are expected to help because you were asked to help.

    ReplyDelete
  10. With our four children we do the traditional allowance with 1/2 going to savings, 10% for donations and the rest they get to spend. They are provided with what they need but extras they get to save up and buy (toys, DS games, candy, etc.). When my oldest became a teenager we decided to give her a Visa gift card loaded with the money we would spend to buy her clothing for the season. She now has to budget the money so that she can get the most for her dollar. Before this we would argue about how much a shirt cost and if she really needed a third pair of black boots (I know the answer is yes!). Now I go along simply to give clothing advice and she decides how much to spend. With this method she is more willing to look for sales, look on the clearance rack or go to second hand stores. She also saves her allowance so that she can purchase any clothing she wants that exceeds the amount we gave her.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My little one is too small to worry about money management right now, but we have a plan in place that hopefully we can begin around four or five. We wanted to make sure she understood that as a family we all work together as a team so she will have one or two things (depending on her age) that are her responsibility such as cleaning her room, making her bed, emptying dishes from the dishwasher..etc..no pay. Then if she would like to earn some money she can do extra things like offer to wash the car,clean the windows,or help mom in the garden. I have also seen where someone printed a picture out of a toy a child wanted and whenever he earned money he put it in that jar with the picture to remind himself what he's working for and I thought that was a smart idea.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Our kids started getting allowance when they turned 5. They get $5 each week, and put $1.25 in their piggy bank, $.75 in their charity cup, and $3 as pocket money. When they had enough in their piggy banks, we opened passbook savings accounts at the nearest bank so they can easily make additional deposits. Sometimes we forget to pay them for a few weeks, which results in a math lesson when we do finally pay them. They have to tell us how much we owe them, and how much they have to put in each pot. Often they end up putting much of their pocket money in their piggy bank, especially if they have a particular item they're saving for. Once they have a decent amount in their charity cups, we let them choose a non-profit to make a donation to. They've given to our church, their school, Haiti relief, Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, and local hunger programs. In addition to all of this, we don't let them impulse buy toys. If they see something they want while we're out shopping, we tell them they have to wait three days and if they still want it, we have them withdraw the money from their savings accounts and take them back to buy it. We also sometimes help them comparison shop and show them they can save money by doing so. They are almost 9 now (twins), and one has managed to pay for 2/3 of a laptop and has rebuilt his depleted savings account, while the other has much less as his money burns a hole in his pocket. (But much of what he spends on is buying stuff to share with is friends or brothers.).

    ReplyDelete
  13. My kids are 4 and almost 2 so I haven't thought about how to start with them yet.

    BUT, I do remember clothes shopping when I was younger. There were three of us girls, with one working parent so we weren't poor but money was pretty tight. So when back-to-school time was coming around, my dad would give us each $100 for clothes. So we knew we could go to the mall and get a few things OR my mom would take us to TJ Maxx (or some other type discount retail place) and we would walk out with piles of stuff. It really did teach us how to make it stretch farther, and to not be so caught up in labels and designer stuff.

    I mean, what if today's teens actually had to PAY for their own North Face jacket baloney?

    ReplyDelete
  14. We give each kid half their age (they are 7 and 9 now - we started maybe a year ago). Their money is loosely tied to chores, meaning they have to do chores no matter what, they can't choose to not do them and not get allowance, and if they threaten not to I will threaten their allowance. Allowance is used for "extra" things that I would not normally buy them. Now that they have their own money they are shocked at how much certain things cost, and I am teaching them how to be thrifty (cheap) by buying store brand, second hand, etc. E.g. they wanted Ugg boots and were horrified at the prices - we bought Target knock-offs for a fraction of the price. If there is a charity drive at school, like bring $1 for breast cancer etc. then usually we all chip in.

    ReplyDelete
  15. my parents started giving me a relatively decent-sized allowance when i got to middle school with the understanding that if i wanted the hot lunch at school, i had to pay for it from my allowance. if i packed my own lunch from home, i got to keep my money. clearly, that was a no-brainer for me, so i saved $ and ate better too. pretty devious of my parents, now that i think about it! i am pretty frugal as an adult (my husband got *me* a macbook air for christmas and i nearly made him return it because it felt too frivolous -- until he walked me through all the things my 7-yr-old computer can no longer do, as well as the necessity of a college professor having a decent computer at home), so it seems to have worked. i also never, ever heard "we CAN'T afford that" (despite its having been true, i later learned) when i was a kid. i always heard "we don't believe in spending so much money on that certain thing all the other kids have," which i think helped me understand how much of spending is really choice-based.

    on a related note, i'm an education researcher and the recent hoopla over paying teachers for their students' grades has turned up some interesting information about human behavior (which people in psychology apparently already knew, but it's news to me). studies where teachers could earn bonuses for their students' grades have failed, consistently, across the country, to result in higher test scores. but the one study where teachers were given the bonus FIRST, and could only KEEP it if their students' test scores went up, or had to repay it if they didn't, was effective. the ethics of treating teachers like that aside, it seems that humans tend to be more averse to losing what they already have than motivated to earn more. i don't know if my parents knew that with the allowance/hot lunch thing, but it seems to have worked with me. also sounds like what was at play w/ the above comment from diane where her daughter got money at the beginning of the trip and got to keep it if she behaved.

    unfortunately, despite all that i believe i have to contribute to this conversation :) my son is 4 and we haven't even started to think about teaching him about money. we suck.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We aren't there yet, but when we are, I am getting the Dave Ramsey for kids book. That man has changed my life!

    ReplyDelete
  17. we have tried allowances and chore charts over the years. we fail every time to follow through for more than 2 months. we basically just are very thrifty and model that for our family. the kids have always been very savings-oriented, and we have praised them for not blowing through their money on needless crap. at the time of my son's accident, he had all his gift cards and cash from his birthday 6 months before. now my daughter has become quite a fashionista (thank you pinterest and polyvore!), so we'll have to establish a budget for all of those abercrombie clothes. the best part? school uniforms! that's a money saver AND a nice equalizer.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Certain things you do around the house because you live here, some things you do on a commission basis - if you do it without me riding your butt, you get paid. I stink at paying when they stink at doing without nagging. :) They put all of their commission into a "sort" pile. Ever so often we divide the sort into spend, save, give. The savings goes into the bank, which they love to go do. The spend goes into their wallet, and the give goes into a jar for them to decide what they want to do with it. The last time we did this my 8 yo girl said "I want to use my give to feed a kid in another country, can you look that up for me?" and I was on it. Sometimes they give to church, sometimes they give to school projects (Christmas shoe boxes). It is their $ so their choice. $ they get for holidays can go straight to spend, however this year they seemed to rack in quite a bit (ages 8 & 10 - not so easy to buy for!) so I told them it was up to them how much they should sort and how much goes straight to spend, and was happy to run them to the bank! Their spend $ is for things they want above what I think is a gift. My girl has purchased an ipod touch, my boy an xBox 360 (using his DS and games as trade in to help). Mind you they get $3/week. Saving up is a wonderful way to make SURE they want it, and when it's big ticket items, they take a LOT better care of it when they saved a year for it, combining gift $ and commission!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a great idea, to teach them about trading in old toys toward a new toy. I just wrote a post about consigning duplicate gifts on my son's behalf, but I didn't think about him choosing to do it later. Thanks.

      Delete
  19. Hubby and I talk about starting an allowance with our son who is now 7 but we cannot decide on an amount or if it is chore based. One thing we read, that we really liked and plan to implement (especially with our 4 year old) is only good if it is chore based. If you do not do your chores then you do not get paid. Whoever ends up doing the chore(s) then gets your money, be it Mom, Dad, or brother/sister. She is always being prompted to pick up her stuff and then my oldest complains that why does he have to pick it all up. We have said now that he only has to pick up half, but if he could earn her money he would be much more motivated to pick it all up.

    A funny thing is that for our oldest's homework last night he had to work on filling in different resolutions. He actually answered 3 of the blanks with "Clen up" So I will see if it is something he actually does or not. LOL

    Jrseygirl in VA

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi there! I wrote a very short piece on this topic for Red Tricycle.com a few years back. Mainly it talks about what financial institutions are doing for very young folks who want to start learning about money but I was pleased to see that they are thinking ahead and tiering bank accounts to have more "privileges" especially as kids get into teen years. Check it out: http://www.redtri.com/time-to-tackle-teaching-kids-about-money

    ReplyDelete
  21. My kid is only 13 months, so perhaps I'm in no position to advise, but I think that the most important lessons we teach kids about money are the ones they learn by watching us. Do we spend money frivolously (guilty), buy cheap things that don't last (guilty), throw things away rather than repairing them (guilty), treat our posessions carelessly (also guilty)? My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about budgeting, savings, etc, and I think transparency on these matters will be invaluable when our son is old enough to understand.

    My grandmother recently told me about her money system for her kids: three envelopes. One was for long-term savings (college, etc) one for short term savings (something big they wanted), and one for pocket money. Each time one of her kids received money (gift or paycheck), they divided it equally among the three envelopes. Grandma "oversaw" the savings envelopes, just to be sure. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. The book "The Entitlement Trap" will rock your world! It has totally changed how we deal with money and things in our household of a kids ages 21, 13, and 11!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm a 21 year old college student with no children, and I adore this blog. I was on a Pinterest break at work when I found this cool website on helping kids of all ages learn about financial stuff: http://moneyasyougrow.org/#

    ReplyDelete
  24. We just started giving our elder child an allowance when she turned 5 a few months ago and it's sort of tied to chores (also new, she has 3 chores she has to do each day). She gets about $1.50 if she does her chores 1/2 the time, $3 if she does them 80% (we have a chore chart to keep track). The other day we went shopping and she wanted something that I was prepared to "front" the money for, but then she'd have to do all her chores for a month without getting paid. She decided to get something else that wiped her out but didn't bring her into debt. It was a good opportunity to talk about earning, spending and debt. For right now all the money she earns is hers to spend.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University has a kids-oriented starter plan... my kids were too old when we discovered it, but his FPU for adults is AWESOME, so I have to imagine the kids stuff is pretty great! He's always super practical.

    ReplyDelete
  26. When my oldest was just a toddler I was at some parent discussion and some parenting guru said, "When do you start teaching your child about money? As soon as they stop trying to put it in their mouths." We all chuckled, but she was serious. From the time my kids were in pre-school we gave them an allowance (I'm pretty sure we started at $1.00 a week, but honestly I don't remember). They didn't have to do anything to earn it -- we saw it as a share in the family money (that doesn't mean we don't give them chores -- that is also part of being a family). From the very beginning if they wanted something they had to buy it with their own money. This not only helped them understand saving and the problem of blowing all your money at once, it also taught them to really think about whether or not they wanted something. I can't tell you how many times we would hear, "I want that____." We always responded with support and told them we'd bring them back to the store at our earliest convenience when they had their own money with them (I refuse to carry it around for them everywhere). Most often by the time we got home they had thought it through and decided it wasn't really worth it. It really taught them to decide what they valued. (we didn't plan that --it was just a nice perk)
    As they got a little older we started giving them a bit more money, but they had to put some every week into each of these envelopes (each family can decide for themselves) - Savings (no they cannot spend it at all until they are much older), charity, vacation/special event money, spending money. They could choose how much they put in each envelope, it was more to teach the idea.
    We try to give them as much freedom as possible because we believe you learn best when you are making your own decisions. They are not allowed to buy things that are against our house rules (games/videos with a rating older than they can handle, etc); if they buy something, that does not excuse them from following the rules (just because they bought a video game doesn't mean they suddenly get more video game time, etc); nothing that we consider unsafe or inappropriate. Other than that, they can choose -- if I don't think it is a good buy or that it will break easily I share my opinion one time and then I don't nag--if they want to risk it, it is their money. They've both learned that lesson the hard way.
    Now that boy child is more of a man child he has to pay for activities with friends, and even some of his extra-curricular equipment if it is above and beyond the basics. He really has learned how to save, shop wisely, and take care of his purchases. Hopefully girl child will learn as quickly with this as he has -- she's coming along!

    ReplyDelete
  27. We do a "split" allowance (spending/saving/giving) for my pre-teens, but I was often not organized enough to have cash on hand and it made me crazy. Then I started using a smartphone app just for allowance tracking and I love it. The kids' accounts get credited automatically each week, and when we are out and they ask for something, I just say, "sure, you can buy that with your allowance if you want"--and usually they reconsider. If they do decide to buy, I just debit it off the app. I can also track reward stars, set up multiple accounts (e.g. to save for a special item, track an itunes card on a shared acct, spending money for a trip)--and I can e-mail them account statements. No affiliation with app developers, just love this particular app!

    ReplyDelete
  28. our older kids get an allowance, etc etc. But i don't think that has anything to do with learning about money. That's like saying that giving someone a car teaches them to drive ( and I think I know people who think this, thankfully they don't live on my street). Money is like a language, it takes exposure to learn. And I think the learning part has to come WAAAAAY before the allowance. One thing we've done ( despite the fact that i generally hate carrying cash) is that when we're doing stuff as a family we use cash. I keep some at home for this. So if the kids want smoothies on our way to the grocery store, we use cash. The debit card makes it seem like monopoly money. But whipping out $12, and getting 4 smallish kid smoothie cups and 20 cents change makes a bigger statement that I could say in words. So later in the store when they ask for a $4 box of cereal ( that they aren't going to get BTW) I can point out that they can choose some fraction of smoothies or that box next time. It takes many many trips, no one learns things overnight. But over the course of a couple of years, the cash thing has really helped them see the value of things relative to other things. They have to see the money coming and going. You go to the ATM and take out $60. This seems like a LOT of money to an 8 year old who gets $2 a week. Then you go to the movies-hand over almost half of it for 4 tickets. The popcorn and drinks takes another $20. They handle the transactions, no argument from me. But you can see the popcorn looks less awesome when the clerk took that $20 from his hand and gave him a few quarters back. On the way home, someone says they want pizza for dinner with what's left and I let them do the math. Only $11 left, not enough for pizza. Then I give them a minute. Then the 8-y-o says, wow, the movie and snacks cost almost $50.... That seems like a lot, when we have movies and popcorn at home, for a lot less. So, one fun, overpriced afternoon at the movies with the kids: $50. Kid figuring out the opportunity cost of those $50: priceless. Again, it's not overnight. You have to be consistent and non-judgmental. They have to figure it for themselves. But it works. And NOW that the two older ones get an allowance, they are making pretty good choices.

    ReplyDelete
  29. We sat my 5 yr old down and made a list of chores. They were assigned a $ value based on difficulty or helpfulness. For example sorting the recycling into the appropriate buckets is worth .25 cents but putting away laundry is $1. These chores are optional however the first week we made him do all of them and at he end of the week took him to the store so he could buy something to see how it felt. Now we chart what he earns (list of chores and amounts and earnings ) on the fridge. When we go out and he wants something we look at the price and if he doesn't have enough in his bank we take a picture, put the price on the front and put it next to his earning chart on the fridge. It gives him incentive to do more chores and it helps him make the connection of hard work = $ = stuff. Of course we don't do this for everything. He is starting to get though. Just the other day he wanted some gum at the store and he as going to use his allowance but changed his mind because he wanted to save the $1 for another toy he wants to get. Pretty cool to see him do that all on his own.

    ReplyDelete
  30. We sat down with my 5 year old and made a list of chores. Each chore was assigned a $ amount based on difficulty or usefulness. For example sorting the recycling is .25 cents but putting his laundry away is $1. These chores are optional however the first week we made him do them all and at the end of the week we went to the store and let him spend his hard earned money. Now we keep a chart of chores and their amounts, and how much he has earned on the fridge. If we go to the store and he wants something we check the price and if he has earned enough we buy it. If he doesn't have enough we take a picture (write the price down) and put it on the fridge next to the earnings chart. This gives him incentive to do more chores and helps him make the connection: Hard work = $ = stuff. And he's getting it! Just the other day he was going to buy himself a pack of gum but put it down because he is saving for another toy. Awesome to see him make the connection on his own. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. This conversation will either get me knee deep in trouble with the HIGHLY specialized professional side of the family that my kids watch go on fancy vacations and live in big houses, or the other side of the family, the I look like a homeless detainee but am sitting on enough cash to take the entire family to the moon and back, but never visit because airline tickets cost money. The day to day stuff has been easy. It is the greater, why can they, or why don't they, questions regarding money that have been harder.

    ReplyDelete
  32. From the perspective of a (relatively) young person, I think part of it does depend on the kid. I was always perceptive, and my parents were always short on money, so from probably...hmm, maybe 8 years old...when we were at the store and actually had money and my parents said "Ok, you can have a toy", I was a little lawyer "How much money can I spend?" and then I went to the dollar row of toys. I wanted the cash. My brother, on the other hand, hears "you can have ten dollars" and goes to the 15 dollar toy soldier set and begs for it. Later on, my questioning included "Do you cover tax?"

    But then, this is probably influenced by the brother having a developmental disorder. I didn't get to be much of a kid, because I knew that mom and dad were hanging on by a thread and me being a whiny little brat could easily be the pair of scissors that snaps that thread. Brother is developmentally around 6 or 7, so he has never really caught on to the whole "budget" thing, or "finite money".

    I like thebostonmom's comment, about cash and getting change back...magic cards are really easy to forget that they use real money. Handing over cash sticks a lot more. I know kids who, when it was a magic card (even just a gift card) they'd pick something and forget about it within a few days. When it's cash and you know that it'll be gone once you use it, they will go everywhere and compare prices and everything. Save the magic cards for when they're maybe...12, maybe 13. Not necessarily try to teach them about money, but let them see it being used, and don't necessarily assign chores, but make opportunities available to earn money. My uncle would give me the recycling money if I bagged up the cans, or 5 dollars for vacuuming the house. My grandma would let me ride with her when she went on her paper route, and I got the change from the paper machine in exchange for helping her deliver the papers. When I was about 13, I found out that I could do door-to-door newspaper subscription sales, and convinced my parents to let me do that. Nothing was really forced on me, but there were always opportunities for money here or there. It really reinforced that jobs don't come to you...you have to look around for them.

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

What My 9 yr old is reading:

Stuff that Mini Loves

Popular Posts