When it comes to teaching kids about money, the sooner the better. This is something I’ve known for a long time.
My six year-old son has an obsession with money. I’m telling you, it’s a genuine obsession. A few months ago he went to a friend’s house whose older brother had a computer, and my son decided he had to have one. He immediately started saving every penny he got a hold of. Unfortunately, some of that involved stealing money out of my husband’s wallet, but in any case he became intrigued with the concept of money. He had piggy banks for a long time. At one point, he collected so much money that when we took him to the bank to exchange it for dollars, we realized he had over $100, with which he used to purchase a Nintendo DS (which he later lost, but that’s another story). He had learned to save any money he earned from relatives or for helping in the house. But does he understand the meaning of really earning money? I’m not so sure. According to Prosperity4Kids, a recent survey shows that 80% of parents hand over money when children ask for it. I don’t want want to be one of those parents, but sometimes it just happens. I have been feeling like I needed assistance in the whole work ethic/earning money for good behavior and helping skills department. He’s always asking me for money, and I find myself giving it to him for either no reason or to get him to do something, and I know both tactics are wrong.
So, when I received a copy of “It’s Only a Dollar..Until You Add to It!” Allowance Chart Calendar, I was really excited. My son really listens to new information, and depending on how it’s presented, he really pays attention. The allowance chart shows seven days, Sunday through Saturday with plenty of space to write in the morning and afternoon chores with a wet erase pen (included), plus a “Goals, Dreams, & Desires” page so children can plan and work towards special items they want to purchase.
Every night before my son goes to bed, he and my husband go through the book and pick out the chores he performed that day. Some examples have been “Wake up on time” or “Behave in public” or Take a bath/shower” or “Make breakfast”. We’re working towards more of the housework-orientated tasks, but for now, behavior-orientated tasks work just fine. My husband decides what each task is worth, and my son writes the amount each day. There are magnetized stickers – dollar bills – to put on each page, which he likes doing. He feels very motivated by the process and conversation.
This process is supposed to show how money grows and demonstrates why “It’s Only a Dollar…Until You Add to It!” The parent pays the child on a daily basis or at the end of the week. Then they have that money to spend and carefully use on items they want to purchase. My son is more inclined to save the money, since he’s saving it for a computer or something big.
The chart is just one of the many items produced by Prosperity4Kids. If you’re looking for creative ways to teach your kids about money, check it out.
Disclosure: The folks at the publicity firm for Prosperity4Kids sent me an Allowance Chart to facilitate this review but all opinions are my own.