When I was little, I had a piggy bank. I loved hearing coins clinking each other when I put money in it. I remember my parents calling me an “iron chicken”–you can’t pluck a feather off of me. I have hidden all my money and gave none away.
Josh has a piggy bank too. He is a lot more generous than me. He has offered all of his money to me so we can buy a backyard. Too bad that we still can’t afford a backyard in Vancouver with all of his savings.
Anyway, Josh is in Grade 1 now. We figured it’s time to give him an allowance and teach him about money. We broke open his piggy bank that had just over $97 in it, and set up 4 jars for him:
- Give away
We explained that “save” is to save up for something big like a motorcycle. (Did you see how I slipped that in there? Yeah, teach them while they’re young that bikes are cool.) “Spend” is money he gets to spend on anything he wanted, “give away” is to give away or buy food for someone who doesn’t have food, and “invest” is putting money away and mommy+daddy gives you 10% interest on anything in that jar. I can’t take credit for this idea. It was stolen off the internet from some genius dad.
There is one rule: Something always has to go in the “give away” jar.
He will get $5 a week allowance to split up among his jars. It’s completely up to him how he wants to split up the money and how he wants to use it.
Then, I held my breath.
I was afraid he’s going to realize how many Pokemon cards he can get for $97 and head straight down to London Drugs to lose himself in aisle 12.
To my pleasant surprise, he put some money in each jar. When he put money in the “invest” jar, we added the equivalent of 10% in that jar for him. His eyes lit up. He realized that his money grows. He allocated more money in that jar than any other jar. He found a quarter under his bed and quickly threw that into the “invest” jar too.
The next day, Cliff took the kids to London Drugs. Josh used his money from the “spend” jar to buy some Pokemon cards, and also bought Savanna a toy. He was so happy with his new Pokemon cards. I was so happy that he felt independent, and didn’t forget to share his fortune with Savanna.