I should be doing a new blogger of the Mo today, but to be honest I just don’t feel like it. I had a few ideas in mind, but I’m in this weird headspace at the moment, where I am hating doing things because I feel I have to rather than want to, which is a post for another day. Besides Mixed Gems and Daisy Roo and Two had to share the honour, so I figure they have earned another week.
Instead I’m going to tell you about something I have been meaning to write about for a little while.
We are really big on training our kids to be responsible, moral people. In fact our goal in parenting is not to raise ‘happy’ children, but moral children, because we believe morality brings happiness. Values such as patience, kindness, consideration and self control are all moral attributes that will benefit not only our kids, but the people they interact with as well. We greatly desire for people to be blessed by our family and by our children’s behaviour. Sometimes we do this really well. Other times not so much.
Anyway one thing that is pretty big on our priority list, (particularly Boatman’s) is financial responsibility. We want our kids to be equipped to make wise financial decisions, and learn how to value and appreciate money, without becoming obsessed by it. With this goal in mind, we have to start training our kids early to be smart with money.
One thing that both Taylah and Bridie are very aware of, is that Boatman goes to work to provide for the family. They understand that even though he doesn’t particularly like his job, it is a sacrifice he makes because he loves us. Because of this, we need to be careful with the money he makes. If we spend it all on ‘fun’ things and don’t have money for food, rent and such, then that doesn’t show any respect to the job daddy does for our family.
We are teaching our kids a work ethic when it comes to money. We don’t do ‘pocket money’ as such, because we don’t want them to think money is just given without work. But we are also very careful of how they earn their money. Chores like cleaning their rooms, tidying the lounge, setting the table etc, are family responsibility jobs. They are done with love and sacrifice and a happy heart (mostly) to serve the family. We emphasise that there are certain rights and responsibilities that come with being a Newman, and as such, some jobs are not worth a monetary reward.
Of course, we want to give our kids opportunity to learn to save, and to earn money, so we have designated other job opportunities. These include things like: cleaning the windows, wiping the cupboard doors, sweeping the back verandah or washing the car. Jobs that aren’t considered every day jobs.
Each job is worth a dollar. The reason we have chosen a dollar is because we want our kids to learn to save. If they got ten dollars for washing the car once, they would not feel obliged to do it very often, and it wouldn’t have as much value.
Our other reasoning is that when they ask for something that is expensive, we can equate its worth in terms of jobs. So a new DS game is not just forty dollars; it’s sweeping the verandah forty times. Which means a lot more to a five year old, I can assure you.
To keep track of who has earned what, I have made each child a ‘dollar card.’ When they earn a dollar, it goes on the card, and the cards stay on the fridge. Then when a shopping trip is coming up, we look at how many dollars are on the card, and the kids know they have that much to spend if they would like something.
We have found this to work really well. No one has earned a huge amount yet, but usually their purchase of choice is an ice-cream or slushy, and they generally have enough for that.
In the future, our goal is to make each job worth $2, but one dollar will go in their money box, and one on the dollar card. Saving is a skill we want to encourage early, since it is one we have struggled with.
Have you thought about this with your kids?
Do they get pocket money? How do you teach about saving?
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