My 5 year old son’s birthday is right after Christmas, so needless to say, he gets a lot of cash and coins from relatives. He had it stashed in various places all over his room, because of course he’d rather play with toys than the dollar bills. I wanted to teach him about the importance of a dollar so I tried several ideas and happy to share what worked best with my son!
Financial Peace Jr.
First, I tried the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Junior book which is now a very nice kit. I’m very passionate about my kids learning good money habits… because that is one of my main weaknesses! Luckily for us, my husband is Dave Ramsey’s twin! ha.
Dave Ramsey uses an envelope system for saving, spending and giving. His kit for kids comes with a chart to keep track of chores and commissions. I love how you get fined for bad behavior!! Basically you pay your child at the end of the week, then they sort the money into the envelopes. 10% goes into savings and giving, the rest in spending. Just like the real world. I also love that part.
We did Dave’s chart for a while and when you have scatterbrained, non-interested 5 year old, you have to mix it up a bit.
DIY Chore Chart Money System
I change things up and decided to create my own system for my young child. I headed to the local teacher store and found this –> awesome magnetic chore chart that has pictures of the chores.
I decided the smiley face magnets would equal a dime.
For each chore he did, he gets a magnet. Then at the end of the week, we count his magnets like they were dimes.
This new chart has really worked for my son. I hung it low enough to where he can add the magnets when he does a chore. He now knows that if he wants something, he needs to work for it.
Granted, there are times that he still whines, begs and throws fits for something, but in general he is becoming a mini money and math mogul.
He loves to sort his money into the envelopes and take the give one to the church. To date, he has given the church nearly $12. Not bad for a few months of making a dime per chore and me forgetting to pay him some weeks! (remember I told you I was bad with money!)
What I love is that he is so proud and happy to give! Our church has this cool coin machine that kids can drop change in and get a receipt. So that part is fun too! I make sure to talk about his giving to our pastors while he is standing close enough to eavesdrop:-)
I am so happy with this system that I’m even speaking to a group of moms(MY BIGGEST FEAR), to help others learn ways to teach their children to spend, save and give.
—> CLICK HERE to read an update about how my kids turned out after doing this system.
After they got older, we switched to this job application. It’s awesome and a FREE printable you can use as well.
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Originally published on November 19, 2008. Last Updated on April 18, 2019 by Amy Locurto