Storyteller recently learned a big money lesson. For a while now she has been earning a weekly commission for some of the work she does around the house. We’re big Dave Ramsey fans so our kids get a commission rather than an allowance. They work for their money and if they don’t work then they don’t get paid. They each have give, save and spend envelopes. They put their coins into their piggy banks and every now and then we cash them in for bills and they divide those up between the envelopes. When we cash in their piggy banks we have them sort the coins and we help them create piles that equal $1. Storyteller teller already knew the names of the coins by the time we started this but these exercises have helped illustrate the value of each of the coins and how they add up to dollars.
We wanted this to have meaning for her pretty quickly so as soon as she had a dollar in her spend envelope I took her to the 99c store to pick out a coloring book. We wanted her to make the connection that work = money = buy new toy. Obviously, there’s a bit more to it than that but she was only 4 years old when she made her first purchase. She made that connection well but it was hard to get her to understand the idea of saving for a bigger toy. She always chose the 99c coloring book over saving up for something else. We let her make those choices for a while until it finally clicked. By then she was well aware that if she wanted a new toy she’d have to buy it herself or wait for Christmas or her birthday and hope she received it for a gift. When she saw a toy she wanted I’d always ask if she brought her money. And of course the answer was always no.
Fast forward to just after her fifth birthday. She decided she wanted to buy a specific doll. It was $32. That’s a big jump from 99c! But she was determined that she had to have this horse riding doll named Shannon. She saved her coins from commission and any money she received from her birthday and Easter.
A few weeks ago, she finally had enough money to buy Shannon. Comedian was watching all this unfold over several months. She’s now 2 1/2 years old. She had no interest in doing work for a commission but now that she’s seen Storyteller go through this process she finally wants to earn some money.
When we go to a store with toys I let the girls look through the toy isles after we get the shopping done. The whole time they say, “When I save up my money I’m going to buy this toy!”. That always makes me smile. The next step is to help Storyteller use her give envelope.