*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.