My questions for this article came when my now 4 year old was about 18 month old. We were at the Grocery check out line and I pulled out my wallet and HE grabbed my card and swiped it through the machine. The cashier asked me how hold he was and I was still in amazement said 18 months. So my question is, when is it the right time to teach our kids the value of money?
I’ve been reading a lot of articles on this subject so I can wrap my head around this topic. Kids learn in school,”Reading, Writing & Arithmetic”, but what about Finance? I was a lucky child, my mother taught me the value of a dollar when I was very young. She always taught me to balance my check book to the penny, and just because I have checks in my check book doesn’t mean that I have money. As a teenager getting that baby sitting job she always made sure that I put 1/2 of it away in savings. I hated doing that as a teen but am grateful to her for it as an young adult. Learning about finance at a young age helps us prepare for for adult hood and the craziness that is the world of finance.
A few months back my oldest saw me cleaning out my purse and said “Can I have some money”? I asked “What do you want money for”? He then said ” To buy stuff”. My little one wants to buy stuff, I smiled. I then started thinking, Okay, this will be a good learning/discipline teaching tool. So I started my plan of action. I bought poker chips and put .5 cents, .10 cents, .25 cents. I went to the dollar store and bought $20 worth of toys, books, crayons, etc… I bought a clear plastic container with a lid to put prizes and prices on.
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I then figured out a plan so that he could “earn” his money around the house. When he did something good without me asking he got .25 Cents. When he did something I asked him to do he got .10 Cents and just by helping & doing good he got .5 cents. The only chore I have given him is he feeds the cat & fills up his water dish & he needs to help me set & clear the table. (So far so good)
This tactic has been going on for 2 months know and has been working pretty well. Every Friday is cash in day & he can trade his “tokens” for real money or he can pick out of the prize jar. This has also worked as a good discipline tact, if he does something that is not nice he gets tokens taken away IE hitting his brother, not picking up his toys, not feeding the cat etc….
This is a learn as I go process and will keep updating as we go.