Kids and money–whether you’re spending it on them or hovering over them while they spend it, you’re in for some stressful times. And those times become especially stressful when you want to teach your kids to manage their money, but you don’t have the tools to do it well. We used a popular money management lesson with our children and adapted it to fit our needs. It worked for them and I’m sure it will benefit your kids as well.
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4 Concepts to Teach Children About Managing Money
Back when my kids were small, the Save-Spend-Share method was all the rage. While it’s a great foundation for building a child’s financial skills, it didn’t help us teach them what we wanted them to know about delayed gratification or long-term investing. So, when we pulled out the containers to teach our budding billionaires about cash, we made some adjustments to that method. Here are the four concepts we taught them:
- Give. This is money that goes to charity or church. We started our kids off at 10% and spoke to them about the value of giving to others and living generously.
- Grow. This is money for long-term savings or investing. We wanted to drive home the importance of investing wisely, rather than leaving money to sit in a jar or under a mattress long-term. This money ended up in their savings accounts, because they rebelled against our big dreams to teach them how to trade.
- Goal. This money is for short-term savings. We had our kids pick specific goals and created a tracking sheet to help them monitor their progress. Our goal was to teach delayed gratification and to help them fight against impulse shopping. Hopefully they’ll get it before they move out.
- Go. This is their discretionary fund. Anything left over after saving and giving gets to go wherever they want it to go.
Using the Give, Grow, Goal and Go Method With Your Kids
I was so excited about our little system, that I sold the kit above on Etsy for a while. I’d actually probably still be selling it if shipping the containers wasn’t such a challenge. At any rate, you don’t need personalized labels to make this work, but here’s what you will need:
- 4 containers or jars (you can find similar containers to the one I used here on ebay and on Amazon)
- Labels for your containers
- Envelopes or Ziploc bags
- A tracking sheet for their savings goals
- Calculator (optional)
While I don’t sell the entire kit any more, I do have the labels and tracking sheet available as a printable. So, click to grab that now, then get started.
First, decide what percentages you’ll use. My kids put 10% of their money in each of the Give, Grow and Goal funds, leaving 70% to Go towards whatever they wanted.
Chat with your kids about the purpose of each jar and help them come up with their first goal. Show them how to use the Goal Tracking sheet to mark how much they have and what they’re saving for, then help them write down each “deposit.”
Use the envelopes or Ziploc bags as an easy way for your kids to transport their donations. My son thought of it as his personal offering envelope and I had to remind him more than once not to put it in the basket at church 🙂 .
This is a great way to help kids build healthy money management habits that I hope will follow them into adulthood. My oldest is just about there, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this will benefit her.
Remember to grab the printable label and tracking sheet to make things easier (it’s just $1.99 and it’s shown below). If you have any questions, leave a comment below.
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