Something that I really wanted to start working on with the kids is teaching them about money. Nolan and Harper are at an age where they want everything they see (in a store, on tv, at their friends house, etc) and it was becoming really frustrating to me trying to explain why you just can’t have everything. After some research, I came across these bamboo money banks by Jones and Mae. These banks create a trio method that gives you a simple, fun and engaging way to teach your children about money. Each bank symbolizes three different ways to manage money: spend, save and share. By having a meeting with the kids one day about their new “big kid” responsibilities and how they could earn money by doing simple chores and dividing them into their banks, it helps them correlate foundational principles in a fun way!
We decided to go with the recommended splitting of their earnings as 60% spend, 30% save and 10% share. They each earn anywhere from .10 cents to $1 for doing different tasks and chores around the house. Once they complete the task or chore, they get paid and get to deposit their money. My kids love coins and think that they are really important when they have a lot of them in their banks. By explaining that Mommy and Daddy also divide their money into spend, save and share brackets, it helps them feel like they are big like us!
The types of things that they do to get paid are: load/unload the dishes, give the dog food, put a new trash bag in the trash can, pick up their toys and put them in their place, help transfer the laundry, put their shoes and jackets up, get diapers for the baby, vacuum and dust. These are simple tasks that they randomly asked to do anyway so now that they help do them on a continuous basis it not only teaches them responsibility but helps me out around the house!
At the end of each week they get to go through their accomplishments and see how much money they have accumulated. The “spend” bank is divided between them equally at the end of the week and they get to buy books from the book fair or the store, go get frozen yogurt, go to the movies or a small toy that they have been eyeing. The “save” bank is one that we have set up for larger things like a special game for their Leap Pad, a trip to the indoor trampoline building, Chuck E Cheese coins or a Princess Dress. This normally takes a few weeks to get built up but it teaches them that they don’t just GET something like that but they earn it over time. The “share” bank is quite possibly my favorite. Nolan has gone with me to different shelters and foster care buildings since he was a baby so he knows that we are always giving to someone that needs. We recently started going to the local dog shelter and donating old towels and blankets for the animals to stay warm during the winter. Showing my children that we always give back creates a healthier life because it helps their hearts stay kind. For instance, we went to get groceries the other day and Nolan saw a little girl his age, he just walked up to her and handed him his watch. I started crying like a baby. It was his favorite watch and he just did that out of the kindness of his heart. He often asks to keep the money from the “share” bank in our car so we can give it to a homeless person so “they can get a warm meal.” I swear, I could kiss his sweet little face off when he does stuff like this!
My purpose of sharing this bank system with you is that it will hit home and you will start to do the same for your family. Today’s world can be so cruel and taxing on your heart and finding little ways to keep you humble and kind are so fulfilling. You can check out the banks that we have by heading to the Jones and Mae website here.