Children learn at an early age that money has power. They observe how their parents use money and can certainly ascertain some of our priorities by those things on which we spend our money.
As we strive to lay a financially-sound foundation for our own children, here are three principles we seek to teach them.
- Money is a tool. As I heard Dave Ramsey say recently, all money does is give you options. You can – and should – do three things with money: save it, give it and spend it. As soon as our daughters were old enough to begin earning money for doing chores, we gave them three envelopes so that they could divide their money into those three categories.
- You get money by working. Some of the chores our girls perform are done because they live in our house and are functioning family members. Those daily tasks include clearing the table after meals, loading and unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, etc. Their weekly chores, which are typically done on Saturday morning, include things like dusting and vacuuming certain areas of the house, cleaning their bathroom, etc., and they are paid a small amount of money for completing those. Periodically, I also have extra things they can do to earn additional money; these are usually more labor-intensive chores, such as wiping down baseboards or dusting blinds.
- All of our money belongs to God. As Christians, we often give a percentage of our income as a tithe, but my husband and I want our children to understand that all of our money is His. Therefore, we need to be wise stewards and take seriously the responsibility of managing what God entrusts to us. That includes meeting our own personal needs as well as giving to others. As I’ve heard pastors say, you can’t out give God. He is always faithful to provide, and often goes above and beyond meeting our needs to giving us our wants.
Do your children get an allowance for doing chores? How do you teach them the best ways to handle money?
I have struggled with whether or not to pay for any of the chores to be done. I think I will start though for the ones done once a week.
I like the idea of the three categories. I think we've always done that with Gid, but I bet the visual (of the envelopes) would help create a more ingrained habit.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Great advice! Thank you for sharing. My dad always taught me about money growing up. I'm thankful he did!
Have a great Thursday 🙂
What wonderful truths! I was just thinking today about being more intentional about teaching my kids about money. I'm so glad I visited your blog today!
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Michelle - Mom of 3 Munchkins says
My kids are a little younger, but we have started teaching them similar principles already. We give them marbles when they do chores and when they get their jar full, we give them a dollar. They then divide their dollar between savings, tithing and spending jars.
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We are similar to you. Certain things are done because we are a family and we all live here. They have to keep their rooms clean, dinner dishes done, cat box, recycling and trash, their own laundry (the older ones) and the few times a day we need stop and do a quick tidy-up. Any additional or extra chores they get 10 cents per job, they can do as many as or as little as they want, they record it on a chart and when they get to $20.00 (every 3 or 4 months) Daddy pays them. The waiting for the $20 helps them to decide how they will spend and it gives them something to work toward. They have to tithe 10%, save 20% and the rest is theirs to spend.
We used to give them $3.00 a week to do their "expected" jobs, and decided that this wasn't teaching them anything valuable. In life if you want to have money, you have to work for it. So we changed our method. If they work hard they get paid more, if they choose not to do any extra jobs, they have no money to spend.
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One day last week I allowed Madison to empty her piggy bank and taught her the values of each coin. Very fun, teachable moment!