Thursday, April 21, 2011

Personalized Banks for Kids

We recently had a speaker come to our MOPS group and she talked about teaching our children the value of money. A few key take-aways from her message include:

*Have on-going, natural conversations about money with your kids
*Open bills together (once they are school-aged) and talk to them about how much water, electricity, gas, trash, mortgage, cell phones, TV, Internet, etc. cost. Also a great time to do mini-math lessons and see how the amount varies each month.
*Teach your children to write checks; show them how it's done. Our speaker's girls (ages 10 and up) write all the checks for the bills and she spot checks them and signs them. She said her girls LOVE doing this. I love that they are getting exposure to this early and are seeing what a great responsibility it is to pay bills and manage money.
*Per the above banks above, children have the freedom to chose how to give their money and spend their money. The savings is untouchable until high school or college (though this is not a college fund); she said she sees her children taking ownership of the savings (which they eventually transfer to a bank account in each child's name) in late high school.
*Start chores with children as early as age 2 (many older 2-year-olds can throw own diaper away, get shoes, clean up some toys, etc.).
*Allowance for a 2-year-old might be 3 dimes (one goes in each bank above); a 9-year-old allowance would start at the base of 3 dollars.
*Her children get a simple, small base for doing their weekly chores and can earn extra money for doing extra projects around the house. Our speaker, though, was really clear about saying that children shouldn't be motivated by money to do chores; doing chores is part of being in the family and making the family work. I love this.
*If a child borrows money from a sibling or parent they are charged interest (if at Target and a child sees a toy he/she wants and does not have the money on hand, and really wants it, he/she will have to weigh the immediate gratification vs. being charged interest for borrowing the money).
*The speaker shared that she and her husband tell their children, "We are giving you a weekly amount of money to manage." GREAT perspective

We had a follow-up (awesome) craft at our next MOPS group and made these "Save," "Give," and "Spend" banks for our kiddos. We simply cut paper and decoupaged these beauties. Easy! And Maggie insisted on sleeping with hers the next day when I brought them home (we just put them next to her bed).

One of my favorite mothering blogs, Simple Mom, had an excellent post about teaching the value of money to your children, though specifically focused on teens. One point that stood out to me was discussing up front with them what you will continue to fund since they are still in the home(school fees, haircuts, some clothing, etc.) which takes the guess work out of items that will be purchased. I'm all about good communication and managing expectations so this article was right up my alley.

I already enjoy talking to Maggie about money and look forward to hopefully giving my kids a strong understanding of how to manage it well and to God's glory.


  1. Love this! We've been wanting to set up an "official" allowance w/ E for a while now but just haven't. Good thoughts indeed - teaching our kids to manage money is such an important, worthwhile thing that they will be so thankful to have when they are on their own and can do it; also good accountability for us now to practice what we preach! xoxo

  2. this is great. We actually just started doing this a couple months ago. It's hard to be consistent! But we are making it happen. Interest? That's harsh...but I like it! great learning opportunity.

  3. so good Suz! thank you for sharing all of this. was just reading in dave ramsey's book about training your kids about $. i like these ideas you shared. i love how Mags slept w/ the boxes!!! precious! xo

  4. We do some thing similar with our older two; i have to say it is precious when they bring their own earned money for tithe on Sundays. I like the idea of involving them in the bill paying. Excellent, thanks for sharing!

  5. This sounds much like Dave Ramsey and I LOVE it! Especially having set chores that are a must to contributing to the family and then additional chores they can choose to do from that. Wonderful!