Teaching Kids About Money and Consequences
I have been at my wits end lately trying to find a punishment that gets my kids’ attention! It seems like nothing was getting through! Until I thought of this.
Now the struggle of getting them to mind as well as helping them learn about saving and spending money are being addressed at the same time and it is working out great!
To begin with, lets talk about the consequences side of things. The way it works in our house is by getting quarters. At the beginning of the month we add $5 in quarters for my younger two and $10 for my 12 year old. As the month goes on, anytime they disobey, talk back, hit someone, refuse to do their chore, or anything else that we feel fits loses them a quarter (sometimes more depending on the behavior). The quarters then get put in a separate jar and the only way to get quarters back is by doing an extra chore or going above and beyond. This is usually something they don’t know they will be earning money for and isn’t something they expect.
So by the end of the month they could have nothing left, or they could have even more then the $5 they started out with. I realize this isn’t a ton of money, and may seem super small to you. If that is the case, by all means increase the amount you are putting in! It is great for any budget!
We plan on using the quarters month after month and paying them with bills so that they aren’t bogged down with tons of quarters.
Now onto the teaching them about money side of it. We are trying to teach them the importance of saving for something they want, paying a small 10% portion to our church for tithing, and buying things they want. It is hard for some of them. Sometimes they get that money and want to spend it right away and then are disappointed when they could’ve gotten something better if they had saved for a couple of months. But it is all up to them. With gentle reminders from us when the money is burning a hole in their pocket about something they had mentioned wanting that costs more then they have. (In our case this would be a video game that right now is still $60 and our son isn’t up that far yet!) it is ultimately still their choice if they spend or not.
I feel like allowing them to make a few mistakes and buy something they may regret later it is teaching them a valuable lesson.
I have found that this has also been great on cutting down their asking for everything they see at the store. They are learning that things cost money and that none of us have an unlimited supply of it. I used to dread taking them to the store because I always got asked for something and it is frustrating! Now, they see something they want and then notice how much it costs. They do sometimes still ask for it, but if it isn’t something they need, it is something they will have to spend their own money on it. They don’t usually like that idea!
This has been great at our house. It has worked wonders on both lessons and has eased up some of the arguing, tension and frustration around our home!