My Grandma had two theories on money management. 1) Every penny makes a dollar and 2) you always need to save for a rainy day. Those two theories are what I try to live by today. I will be the first to admit though, I have never been the best with money. I didn’t really acquire the skills that I should have. I don’t want my kiddos to go through the same head aches that I have so I figured there is no better time to start money management skills than now.
I’ve compiled a few ideas on how to help your kids understand the value of a dollar and how to apply them to real life. I am also in the works of creating a Monopoly like game that will allow them to use skills like budgeting, saving and spending wisely. I will post that once I get all the details worked out.
Chore Lists & Allowances do work!!
The lads are really into Legos (see the Lego Category that I have for Co-Op Ideas and everything Lego related). The only downfall is that they are so expensive. So we’ve implemented a chore list with stars. X amount of stars and they get to choose their Lego set. They also have a variety of items to work towards and “pay” for. It helps them learn to save and to budget. Here is an example of what we have at our house.
Each chore day completed equals one star. The stars are awarded like this:
8 stars = 3 hours of computer time
16 stars = Redbox movie of their choice
24 stars = Ice cream from Sonic
32 stars = Lego Set of their choice ($25 limit)
40 stars = 6 hours of computer time
48 stars = Golden Corral (they love this place)
56 Stars = Computer/video game
64 stars = Bike
The lads must choose whether or not they want to save for the big whopper of 64 stars or use them as they go. I let them decide. So far I have one saving his stars and one spending them like crazy. We’ll see how that goes when one gets a bike and the other has to return a Redbox movie.
Take them shopping
I always take the lads with me grocery shopping. Before hand we always compile our list and our budget. I let them know we have X amount for meat, vegetables, drinks, sweets, sides ect. Then we plan our menus and go shopping. I let them see how buying name brand sometimes isn’t always the best deal. I let them compare prices and guide them when making a decision between sour cream brands and chip brands.
You shouldn’t get paid for cleaning your room or having to help with the dishes after you’ve eaten. But we have designed a method to pay them actual cash for doing extra things. For example they each earned $20 for raking and bagging up leaves in the entire yard. If they decide to go out and help pull weeds, helps with maintenance around the house, or anything that isn’t basic day to day requirements they can earn money. It shows them that working hard or working “over time” to get what they want is a good way to save money. Also allows them to pick and choose what they do to earn that extra money.
One of the lads once wasted almost an entire bottle of body soap in the shower by pouring it down the drain. Yea? That’s cool. Now march your behind into your room and hand me $2 of YOUR money please. What an eye opener that was. What do you mean I have to pay for this? Well you wasted it, therefore you should have to pay me back so that I may replace it. An entire bottle of body soap was not wasted again let me tell you. Holding your little ones accountable will help show them that things cost money and you can’t just go and waste them.
I’m sure there are 100 other ways to teach kids money but these are the ones that I have done up to this point. I want to make sure my kiddos all understand that money has a value and you must work for it. Once they get older we will practice investing and saving. Hopefully by the time they are 18 they won’t have the issues that their dad and I have had.
Until next time followers, Blessed Be.