Sunday, September 14, 2008

Money does grow on trees...

at least, that is what my kids think!

The Big Guy is actually pretty good with money management. In January, we decided to give him an allowance, and after figuring out that a weekly plan would not work for us (who ever has $1 bills in their wallet) we came up with a monthly payout. The first of each month, he gets his allowance and promptly organizes it into his Learning Cents Bank - 55% in spend, 30% in save and 15% in give.

For the money that he saves, we deposit it regularly into a bank account, and my husband and I match the savings 1:1. So, if he deposits $20, we deposit $20 into his account. Nice.

Same thing for the giving, although we have yet to actually give any money. This will be my next project, putting together some options that we can talk about as a family. High on the Big Guy's list now is his school library and Ronald MacDonald House.

Now, we also implemented an allowance plan for Little A at the same time, however, she is less quick to catch on to the plan. Although, after a recent trip to the Apple Store, she now has her heart set on a new iPod Nano, and seems to get that she needs to save her $199 to buy one.

Several times this year, we have caught her in her room with her bank, giving out money to whatever friend was over playing. As a result, we keep her bank in our room and bring it out on allowance day.

Both kids are allowed to buy what they would like with their spend money, but we do try to point out that they have many options. The Big Guy is currently obsessed with Pokemon, and spends most of his allowance on the trading cards - once he reaches 800 cards, I have told him that he cannot spend anymore money on Pokemon. He seems cool with that, and is already talking about saving up for something big.

Our goal in giving our kids money was to teach them how to manage it. When I was growing up, I did not have the same education, and money in my house was a bad thing, a scarce thing, a not-talked-about thing, and it was rare for me to have my own money and make my own decisions.

I would like my kids to understand the importance of saving and giving, and being able to make sound decisions about money. I want to encourage them to make smart choices when it comes to spending their money, and want them to think beyond the short term. Just like their mother, hah!

Thanks to superdumb supervillain for reminding me about the Parent Bloggers Network Blog Blast about money management and children, in conjunction with the financial literacy partnership between Consumer Action and Capital One, highlighting the new Moneywi$e eLearning Tool.

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