I am trying to teach my grandson about money and how to be savvy with it. For Thanksgiving, I gave him 3 one dollar bills. His father took him to the dollar store and let him buy a gift for his mother for Christmas. He decided to get her a tool that cuts fruit like apples into sections. He also bought himself some little soldiers.
Since this turned out well, I've mailed him another set of 3 one dollar bills for Valentine's Day. I wrote a note that he should decide what to do with them. I suggested he might want to shop for a birthday gift for his mother. Then, he should decide if he wants to save the others or buy something for himself.
He is only six years old, but I think good money management is something that should be taught. Today many people, like myself, pay for everything with a plastic card (to get the rewards) and children don't get to see money or learn its worth. Money has power. Its up to us to teach our children about that power and how to manage it.
By Carol from PA
Terrific idea! I saw a Dr. Phil recently and there was a woman who teaches money management to 1st graders. She gives them a piggy bank that is divided into 4 sections: SPEND, SAVE, DONATE, INVEST. She tells them there are just those 4 things you can actually do with money and suggests they do some of each one. The banks are clear plastic so they can see what they have. She said (all parents already know!) children will spend Mom and Dad's money quickly (probably in case it gets taken back!) but will think long and hard about spending their own. How'd a known!!
When my kids were young, any money they received for birthdays, Christmas, odd jobs, etc. was put into their piggy banks. Once a certain amount was saved, half of the money went into their savings accounts, and half was theirs to do with as they wanted (such as purchase Christmas gifts for their siblings, buy a book or video game, or even put into savings also).
Also, when they were in elementary school we would play "Momma's Restuarant" - this involved creating a "menu" with pictures of food, along with their "prices". Each child was given a pile of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. They could then decide what they wanted to "order" and determine if they had enough money to "buy" those items. They learned to count out the money, and how to determine change.
When my children turned 8 years old we had them plan their own birthday with $100. They were given a month to plan. They thought $100 was a lot of money until they started spending it.
I was pleased to see how innovative and thrifty they were. They had their parties in the back yard or at the local park, baked and decorated their own cakes, used coupons to buy candy for party favors, chose kool aid over soft drinks and came up with great party games to keep everyone entertained.
They were allowed to spend the remaining money on something they wanted. However, I would have them shop around. I would ask them, Is this really what you want? Can you get it cheaper somewhere else? Is there a similar item that costs less and is just as good?
My oldest is now 22 and we all laugh about the wonderful birthday parties they had over the years. They all work hard and know the value of a dollar. As a matter of fact they are all coming to my house this week to make fudge for the valentines in their life. !!!
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I buy the name brand of sugar free jams and preserves. I usually keep at least three flavors in the fridge so the grand kids have a variety to choose from. Of course, eventually the jars are going to become almost empty. To make room for new jars, I will scrape the contents of two jars into the third and stir them together, thus making a new jar of mixed fruit preserves. As the newer jars become almost empty I add them to the original mixed fruit one again. Always a variety of flavors and very little, if any, is wasted, thus saving money. Every little bit helps.
I do this with many things; I upturn the barbecue sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, sweet chili, sweet and sour, etc, into a bottle, when they are almost empty. As a result, I get a secret sauce (because no one knows exactly what is in it) to marinade meat, chicken and fish. You can also rinse out a sauce nbottle with wine but you have to use that immediately or it ferments.
You can melt the ends of lipsticks in a spoon over low heat and pour into a small jar; use a lipbrush or a finger to dab it on lips. Unique colour each time the concoction is different!
Also, tube glues, get the remnants out with the back of a spoon, and you can stick many more papers with what you would have thrown away.
Also rinse out shampoo bottles with water to get the last dregs out.
The way my mom taught me about money was through a combination of all of those things you mentioned above, but ask a kid I learned the most about money by doing one thing: paying all of the bills for her.
I started doing it when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. It was something she would give me an allowance for doing. She would sit me down and give me the stack of bills and her check book. Then, I would go through each bill and make each one out completely, leaving only her to sign the checks at the bottom. After she signed them, I would make out the envelopes and stamp them. Then, we would walk them to the post office around the corner when I was done.
It taught me a lot about how far her salary went as I made out checks for sums of money I never had seen in cash form all at once.
Of course, it may not work as well anymore. A lot of people have abandoned checks to online bill pay. Making kids do the bills online takes a lot of the pain out of it, I think. It causes a less physical connection to the money being spent, so it seems less real.
I would tell him its a game that we all play. The rules are simple. Every time you get three bill whether it $3 one each month or whatever his allowance is. You have to keep one bill to yourself and not spend that bill at all. He would be surprise at himself when he see that builds up in the future. It best that he makes sure that he keep a daily check pad to make sure he is doing just that also. Pam G. Alabama
Sally, you made me think of a money saving idea that I do. I squeeze the soap bars together to make a big old bar when they the bars I use are small enough to break apart to squeeze together. It save money also. I also saw a idea on melting soap into new bars which got me to thinging if I save enought bars that are squeeze into round big balls. I can melt them into big squares for extra savings also.
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