It’s never easy to instill life lessons in your children. And some of those lessons are REALLY important. Lessons like money.
Uh, it’s a subject many of us as adults still don’t have a full handle on. How much should I give to others? What causes are truly worthy? How much should I save? And in what type of account? How much should I spend? Bills, clothing, vacations? They are all calling my name! Whether you’re an expert or not, talking about money with your kids is an important topic that can begin quite early.
Before her second birthday, my daughter was showing interest in money. Every night she saw her daddy unload his pockets and add his change into a special jar. It soon became an evening tradition for the two of them to lay out his coins, count them, and place them into the jar together. Then, she began noticing when I paid with change at the store and she was eager to participate in the exchange. It became apparent, that without really trying, she was learning the concept of money.
Since she had developed a natural interest in dollars and coins, I decided that we needed to be more intentional with introducing her to sound money skills. To ease into the responsibility of money we started talking about money in the simple three step concept of give, save, spend.
For completing simple chores like picking up toys and helping to unload the dishwasher my daughter earns one coin. (We haven’t broached the different values of coins yet). We don’t have a set rhythm to our chore schedule since she is only two, but you better believe she understands that an empty dishwasher equates to a coin for one of her three piggy bank. We use this set which makes the give, save, spend philosophy easy to understand. She knows that one piggy bank goes to church, another goes to her savings account at the bank, and the last one goes to the store for a fun purchase … like stickers!
The give, save, spend piggies are the first of many steps we’ll take in teaching our children about money. It’s a small start, but it’s a start and that’s what matters.