How to Teach Kids About Money

We are a family with four munchkins. Over the past year, my hubby and I have been teaching our kids about earning money. First we started out with earning rewards with a button system. This was a great starting point. The kids were motivated to do extra chores and help each other.

Now we have a twelve year old and an almost 11 year old. Both of these kids are more interested in earning a bit of moolah to either save for special purchases or fun activities. After some talk with my hubby, we agreed that it's time to start teaching the kids the difference between savings, spending money, and church tithing. Soon after this conversation, I left for my book tour. While I traveled, I found these awesome banks - which totally fit we want to teach our munchkins!

While the wording isn't exactly how I'd like it, it works really well. When I showed them to my kids, I told them the fun money is their spending money, tithing is for church, and the mission fund is their savings and can be used someday for college, wedding or church mission. The kids thought it was cool to have a bank with 3 sections, instead of just one big one.

Since then, we've revamped our chores system.  

I write down chores that need done on small Post-It strips, then put them under our calendar in the kitchen. The kids can choose any they want to do - but they can only take one strip at a time. That way no one can hog all the money. But if no one is interested in doing chores because they'd rather play the Wii (or whatever else is distracting them), then the munchkin who is helping can earn more moolah. Some days everyone takes chores, other days just a few do. It all works out.

When a chore is completed, then the munchkin brings me his strip and I go check to see if it was done the right way. Sometimes I need to give a little direction. When everything is done, then I get out the quarter stash. We pay 50 cents for each chore completed. Some chores we pay more - like raking the leaves or shoveling snow. Sometimes two kids decide to work together to complete a chore. Depending on how big the chore is, they either each get 50 cents or they each get a quarter. 

 Earned money goes into their baby food jars we used for the button system. Each week we count up their money and figure out tithing, savings, and spending.

We teach our kids that 10% goes to church, 10% to savings, then the remaining 80% is their spending money. For example, if one of the kids earned $5.00 the break down would be like this:

Tithing - 50 cents
Savings - 50 cents
Spending - $4.00

We've seen this system work well for others. One friend in particular had a mother who taught him this concept when he was young. He stuck with it all through his teen and college years. When he eventually married, he surprised his wife with an awesome 1st anniversary gift - their very first house PAID IN FULL. Now that's a gift his wife will never ever forget!

My husband and I use this same system with our finances and it's been a blessing. We hope our kids will grasp onto the concept, too. Next up, teaching our kids how to create a budget with all that spending money their saving.  =)

Would you like to comment?

Christine said...

YAY! You found a system that's working for you. We still struggle with Joshua and he's 17, but at least we are trying.


Lisa Swinton said...

go Fergusons! I had a box like that when I was kid. I think your's will stick to it better than I did.

Cathy said...

We have the 1st International Bank at our house, it has Canadian and US funds for when we got to see Grandma.
Your system rocks.

Rachelle Christensen said...

I really like this idea. Money hasn't been a real motivator yet with my oldest only being 8 so I've been mixing it up with other things like stickers and other charts. I liked earning money from a young age and I think it helped me to learn how to set and achieve goals.

Becca said...

We're starting a system for our 4 and 6 year olds to earn money by doing extra chores. I found this post when I googled "tithing bank". Can you tell me where you bought them?