Along with computer science and foreign language, finance is one of the unconventional elementary education subjects that I feel is overlooked and/or introduced far too late. I was raised by parents that would confess to making just about every financial mistake you can think of until they discovered Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University 12 years ago and completely changed their lives around. They were the ones that bought the Financial Peace Junior kit for my son when he was only three years old. Get ’em started young right?
Since mentioning a time or two that we use this program, one of the biggest questions I get as a mommy blogger is about how the chores and allowance system works in our home. I don’t always do our chore chart as constantly as I should, but I’ve been incredibly pleased with the success we have had.
For us at this age we have decided that chores are worth 25 cents. That means if they do 4 chores a day, which many days is doable then they earn a dollar. At the end of the week that’s 5 dollars, because we don’t do weekends. To keep it easy one dollar goes in the Give envelope, one goes in the Save envelope, and one goes to the Spend envelope. The Give goes to church offering on Sunday. The Save is something that represents investments and long term savings so it doesn’t get touched (or maybe it doesn’t exist right now. Oops. we’ll get there eventually.) And lastly the Spend is for a personal purchase, although this is technically something they save for.
The kit comes with a chore chart and savings dry erase magnet board that we keep on the fridge.
They have actually changed the design since then. This is the old one.
The list of chores at our home ranges from help clean out the car, to folding clothes, or loading the dishwasher. My 7 year old is just now getting to the point that he can do some chores on his own and it actually is helpful. Up until now it’s mostly been him doing a chore with me for the sake of the learning experience. One important thing I should mention is that we have distinguished the difference between a chore and a responsibility. A responsibility is making the bed, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, and getting stuff out of the car. However, it is a chore to vacuum or pick up after your baby brother. In other words we are each responsible for keeping up with our personal stuff and keeping in somewhat in order, but I think the rest is a great opportunity for learning how a paid job works.
We don’t have a lot of money to put towards the chore lesson so we keep it pretty simple. Our son Z has saved up for a lot of things that we would have probably ended up buying anyway so that helps alleviate some of the chores budget. Two years ago he saved up for a Mario costume for Halloween. He still wears it for dress up, although it is a bit tight! He has also saved up for Christmas presents for us and his siblings. One time the Wii sensor bar broke and he had to save up to replace it. He also uses his own money to pay for mother son events that we have done twice now (a lesson in etiquette).
He’s also earned money to purchase items from the book fair. So these are all really positive ways he has spent money and they would have been nice purchases regardless, but the fact that he worked for them makes it even more valuable and thoughtful.
The latest thing that he saved for was a video game and he has bought a few of those with chore money and tooth fairy or birthday money. So I don’t want to imply that he doesn’t get to buy fun stuff too. He knows that whatever purchase he makes has to be mom and dad approved though. He wanted to do another video game back to back and I informed him that Christmas was coming up and he might want to start saving for Santa shop. He agreed, especially since he could put the video game on his Christmas List.
Not only is he learning about giving and saving, but there is also lessons in math involved. We’ve had practical hands on learning about the value of the dollar and the importance of good work ethics. On top of all that I know that Dave Ramsey’s teaching are Bible based and we child can teach what the word of God says about our finances and why it matters.
These are all the reasons I have loved being able to use this program. Not only does the kit include all of the chore program supplies, but the “Monster Pack” also includes 6 books and audio books with life lessons about money. They are really great lessons! When we go to Chuck E. Cheese, which I call the kiddie casino I am always able to use Junior lessons to explain why you shouldn’t waste all of your money on the games that claim you can win 50 tickets! I am not affiliated with Dave Ramsey or Financial Peace in anyway at all. No kick backs here, but I will say that for $30 more the books are worth it (the basic kit is $20
or there is the Monster Pack for $50
). We listen to the discs in the car and have read the stories over and over for the past 3 years. They are large hardback books with colorful, fun illustrations that the kids love and you aren’t going to find these kind of themes about debt, budget, integrity, and savings in other children stories.
I know I sound like an infomercial. Sorry. I get passionate about this topic because I do think it’s important for our kids. I am sure there are lots of other ways to go about teaching these invaluable lessons, but this has been great for us so far so that’s my “two cents”.
This is day 24 of a 31 day series. For more Teachable Parenting click HERE