If you give a kid some cash…

invest pig

If you give a kid some cash…

  • She will want to buy some gum.
  • He will want to buy something Nerf.
  • They will count it up mentally or at least, while younger, sort it out methodically.
  • He will ask questions how about how much the copper of a penny is really worth, which bill is the least common, and if we should create a new one dollar bill.
  • She will add it to the coins she finds because she’s always finding treasures in other peoples trash, outside in sidewalk cracks, or behind that chair.
  • They will so thoughtfully buy Christmas gifts for their friends (props to you Beck and HK Sollars!)
  • He will decide he’s all of a sudden into model airplanes and bring money to the craft store.
  • She will want to buy her own bag of ring pops and will share them pretty well.
  • He will calculate how much more he needs for that Hotwheels set.
  • She will carry it carefully in a cute purse to the store.
  • They will want to buy books at school book fairs and their mom will remind them of the awesomeness of the library! FREE!
  • They will give some of it away at church and really pay attention to where it’s going.
  • He will have a blast sliding it into piggy bank slots, even if his siblings don’t want the nickels to go there.
  • They will learn about money.

Drew is the financial leader of our family: making most of the money, working really hard, carefully calculating, strategically saving, thoroughly budgeting, and generously giving. I’m on board with the decisions, thankful for his hard work in making and stewarding what we are so blessed to earn and own. I’m pretty good at spending it on essentials and extras!

When our kids were little, Drew found these cool piggy banks and we procured one for each child. The pig is divided into four slots: Spend, Save, Donate, and Invest. Whenever our kids find coins, they find their way to a slot. If a “large” lump sum comes in, we work with them to think about splitting it between needs, wants, generosity, and saving goals.

As a couple we agreed easily with the parenting logic that allowance should not based on kids contributions to the family, but given for the purpose of teaching kids about money. Our kids are expected to contribute with consistent household chores and on the spot assistance when needed (ask Eli about grabbing me stuff last week while Andi and Oaks were down and out with the pukes- while I was knee deep in vomit, Eli became my binki-grabbing, pillow finding, water bottle delivering assistant). We expect their hard work without being asked in efforts not only for their own good,but for the team.

Our kids do jobs because they are a part of our family, and it takes all of us to make our house and family work.

Our kids get money as an allowance because we want them to learn how to take care of money.

We are still figuring it all out and feel tensions about how to teach them generosity, saving, and smart spending while still allowing them freedom and choice. We wonder if we introduce chores for pay in some circumstances, such as driveway shoveling. And we act with on-the- spot spontaneity when required. Yes, our kids get $5 for their first lost tooth- that’s all the Tooth Fairy had when Eli lost his at Castaway where there are no banks to hand out small bills at 8pm! We wonder about taking some to the bank for a more secure, and not so coin heavy, but still short term, savings plan. I want them to start saving for their own trips to Young Life camp in high school. Eli said the longest he wants to save is “Like 8 weeks, not 8 years Mom!”

Drew is great about being consistent, logical, and intentional in accounting for our children’s fiscal responsibility.

He gathers Eli and Andi for “Allowance Time” one Saturday morning every month.

They each get, $.40 times their age, per week at the once a month pay out. Right now this means Eli gets $3.20/week or $12.80/month. Andi gets $2.40/week and $9.60. Oaks has to wait until age five to get in on anything more than messing with the stacks of quarters.

Drew leads them through a formula for putting 10% into every category and then giving them the freedom to decide how to slot the rest. We don’t expect them to do the same thing as their sibling or from month to month. It’s especially fun to see how they make their own decisions and where their desires or discontent direct them.

I celebrate their growing appreciation for the power of money and their increasing respect for how many problems it can create. At times, they have lost some, spent some on junk, and felt grumpy about having to give some away. Last week I did pretty much the same. Money is a huge responsibility, a tantalizing and powerful tool, and an all consuming crisis if left to its own devices, or withheld from anyone unfairly.

For our kids, being blessed kids with means, we hope to instill in them gratitude- for God owns it all anyway, it’s their job to take care of their cash and share it. We hope to teach good decision making while the bad decisions are cheap. We hope we model responsibility and generosity so they grow up aware of and capable of handling, but not controlled by, money. We are glad they get their own gum and cars from grocery store aisles when they want to, and we very much reserve our rights as parents to keep the cash at home on other days.

The pigs are helpful and we are hopeful.




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