Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Teaching Kids to realize the value of a dollar

Recently Alison asked a question about best ways to teach kids the value of money. Great question. I wish I knew the answer :) I will try to explain the way my husband and I do it and maybe it will give you all a few ideas for your own kids. Please note that we are a religious family and that many of our beliefs are founded in that notion. However I do feel that these will work for some of you .

We follow the Dave Ramsey system. You can find more information about him at . When dealing with kids he basically says a few things.
1. NO ALLOWANCE. He calls it "commission" and the kids only gets money IF he does his chores. And not normal "I'm a part of this family and this is what needs to be done chores" like putting thier boots away when they walk in or brushing their teeth. But EXTRA things. For our family here are a few examples
Daughter Age 7: gather eggs in the morning before school, feed and water chickens after school, load dishwasher 2 nights per week etc.
Daughter Age 5: feed goat after school, feed dog after school, etc.

There needs to be a distinction as they get older, the older kids can do more and obviously the 18 month old doesn't have chores yet. We don't give them an exhorbant amount either. They get up to $1 a day depending on if they do the chores for the day. So a possibility of $7 per week.

- GIVE- we teach them to tithe 10% to our local church. If they want to do more than that ( like one time my 7 year old wanted to donate to a horse rescue, ) we allow them to do that
- SAVE- we help them decide what goals they are saving for, is it a bike? A certain book or doll, some kind of toy? Let them decide what they want to work towards.
-SPEND WISELY-The kids earned some money, so we let them spend it. We don't have too much of a reign on this part. I think it's good for them to learn how far money goes. If they want to spend it all at the candy store, they can, but then they know they won't have any left if the see a book or toy that they want. My younger one is actually better about saving than the older one. But they are getting there.

As parents we must set good examples. When I go to the grocery store, I have a list. I know how much I want to spend. I know how much things cost. My daughters see me pick up items, examine them, compare cost and quantities. They see ME being careful with my money. We shop at Goodwill, we go to yard sales. The kids don't know any better. They think it's fun looking for treasure. They are still too young to get much peer pressure, but I know that's coming. The last two Christmases we have "bought" a flock of chicks ( or ducks or geese) from Heifer International and given a card with our donation described to the kids teachers. The girls wrote their teacher a card and let them know that they appreciate all they do and have donated a gift in their honor to Heifer. So much more thoughtful than another BEST TEACHER mug or stack of processed candy. The girls are thrilled to do this and I hope to continue this through the years.

4. BE HONEST - about money. This can mean different things at different ages, but with the older daughter especailly we have told her why we don't do certain things. For instance, when she asked why we didn't eat out often, we told her the reason " We feel that eating at home is healthier for our bodies and makes us a closer family. We also feel that that money could be better used on something else." Or when she asked why we didn't get a brand new car like her friends family we said " There are things that are more important to our family right now and we don't NEED a new car. We have a perfectly nice car ."

5. GIVE THANKS- We teach our kids to be thankful. Be thankful that we have a nice warm home, clothes to keep us warm, lots of yummy food for or bellies and family that loves us. We are BLESSED. We try to teach the kids that in every possible way.
Just the last week at the library we checked out a book that shows pictures of families all over the world and what one week of food looks like for them. It was shameful to look at a typical week of American groceries look like then to look at a weeks worth of food for a family in Sudan or Chad looks like. What a teachable moment we had there.

6. THE FINAL LESSON- and listen folks this is what matters. We have to make sure our kids are comfortable with the moments, with the experience, with the warmth of the love of their family and that they don't DESIRE things of this world to make them happy. Contentment is a very lovely place to be, and if we teach our children that early on, then the life they can choose to live being debt free, with a servant's heart will be one filled with joy, happiness and peace.

Until next time
Happy Homesteading!

Linking up to the Home Acre Hop Eco Kids Tuesdays Homestead Barn Hop


  1. What a wonderful post, Rachel! So beautifully written! I love the values you are instilling in your children! Too bad more parents aren't doing the same! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

  2. I love Dave Ramsey's money ideas, although I don't always follow them like I should. We started doing commissions with our kids and think it is a much better way to teach them the value of hard work. I figure if they want to earn money, I will find a chore for them to do. Glad you posted this on the homeacre hop.

  3. :) I have a four year old who wants a lot of things and being the only grandchild on either side of the family is very spoiled. When we go to the store (with toys), he knows that it is just to look and not to buy. He knows that when we go to the grocery store that we can only get things on the list that are on sale and have a coupon. We haven't started to pay for chores yet but I guess we have to come up with a few things that he is going to have to help with. Now if I could just get those grandparents under control :) Thanks for the post!

  4. Great info! Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!!! Can't wait to see what you share this coming Thursday :) Here's the super easy link to the next hop!

    If you haven't checked out Wildcrafing Wednesday yet, please do! :) It's a hop I co-host for herbal remedies, natural living, real food recipes, and self sufficient living. Here's the link for tomorrow's hop:

  5. Love Dave Ramsey! We live debt free and of course will be teaching our children these same ideas! Thanks for sharing your post with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope to see you again today!