A friend told me about this book:

It’s all about teaching your kids about money and how to work within what you have (as opposed to my generation’s proclivity for credit).

I read it… or at least I read up to the ages my girls are at and stopped.

It really tests my values on rewarding chores with an allowance.

This book says NOT to.

Chores are part of being in a family and should not have financial compensation associated with them. Everyone should chip in because we are all part of the family. (I’m paraphrasing here).

Okay – that part I agree with.

But it goes on to read that allowance should be given at an early age regardless of whether any chores were done or not.

That part makes me choke.

It’s tough to dole out money when beds haven’t been made for a week and dishes are strewn about everywhere.

But it’s about money management right?

Chores are a separate lesson (that obviously we need to work on).

The book goes on to say that children should be given an allowance that is substantial enough to break it down into 3 parts;

Save, Share and Spend.

Given my impulsiveness and proclivity to spending money, ( and I know some of you out there are the kind of parents who have no problem with lending money to your kids) so I thought it best that we try this out. My friend suggested that I check out this book. So I decided to give it a read and try out what it suggested.

We bought three Dollarama vases for each girl and a small calculater to help them with their numbers.

Yes, I do see the irony of buying crap in order to save money.

The girls painted the insides of the vases and we labelled them according to the book.

Each week the girls get $5. We break it down to $2.50 to spend, $2 to save and $0.50 to share – which really means for charity.

We’ve been doing this for a couple of months now and it’s amazing to see the girls figuring things out.

One of the “rules” of this technique is that parents are not to buy anything for the kids. No treats, no toys, no dollar store items… nothing beyond necessities.

That was the toughest part for me. I’m terrible for letting the girls have Timbits as a treat, or picking up a little something here and there when I see something I think they’d like.

It’s tough love for them AND me.

Each week they get their allowance and divide it up into the respective jars.
From there, if they want to buy Timbits everyday until their “spending” is gone – you’re supposed to let them. It is their money after all.

Help them find a goal for the “Save” jar. Something that will make them keep the money in there for awhile, but not such a big purchase that it will take years for them to accomplish it. The idea is to teach them to save for a larger – but obtainable and therefore reinforcing – goal and not immediate gratification.

Both girls have done amazingly well.

We went to Dollarama the other week and Chloe picked up $5 worth of chocolate bars (cringe).
When she asked how much she would have left over, I said that it would cost all of her spending money to get them. You could see her re-evaluating her choices.

The girls walked through the store and weighed their options to get the most for their money. We were there for a good half-hour picking things up, trading them back for something else – calculating, re-evaluating… AMAZING!

When we left, Chloe had decided on 1 chocolate bar and 1 toy… because she wanted to have some money left in her wallet. How many 5-year-olds would do that?!

Maddie decided that she wanted to get a little Betta fish. We went to PetSmart and used her calculator to figure out how much money she would need for the fish, a bowl, some gravel and food. Knowing the betta fish life span, it’s not exactly a “value for money” type purchase – but a pet is never an unreasonable expense.

I think it came in at about $26.

She had set her “Save” goal.

She saved her money and kept track each week to see how close she was getting…

Finally, she had enough to buy her own fish “Dancer”.
In a house with 2 new cats we should have probably named him Sushi, but oh well.

The charity that the girls are looking forward to sharing with is The London Humane Society. (go figure). We’re waiting until the end of the year so that a small amount has accumulated, and then the girls will take their money and hand it in personally. I can’t wait to see their faces – they will be so elated to do something kind for animals… and it may start a lifetime of giving that I’d be so proud to have helped teach.

This is not a sponsored post, or an endorsement for this method over any other – it’s just a reflection on the successes we’ve had trying this.

It’s definitely worth a read – it just might change your perspective (like it did mine).


Have a great one!