Learning about the value of money and how to manage it (with children)

Last week, whilst visiting her new Montessori Cycle Two classroom, my eldest was introduced to some Australian currency work. Since then she has been asking so many questions about money, so I felt, now might be the right time to introduce the ‘spend, save, donate (give) jars that helps one to learn the value of money and how to manage it, I heard about recently. Using glass jars means, they are see through and easy to open, but really, you could use any container you like.

Children- learning the value of money
I haven’t done so, but you can alter the lids to add a slot to insert coins and notes to make them look more like a piggy bank.

We haven’t been giving either of my children pocket money, or money for chores so far. I am still not sure what system is going to work best for us. I mentioned in a previous post ‘Our Cleaning Rhythm and how we all work together as a family‘ so all four of us contribute to running the household in one way or another. My children have personal chores (care of self) and household chores (care of the environment and care of others). I have both lists up on our fridge which helps them to see in what way they can contribute.

Some examples;

  • Pack your own lunch/snacks
  • Help in the kitchen (cook, bake, food prep)
  • Set the table for meals
  • Wash own dishes/cutlery after meals
  • Put away your own clean laundry
  • Quick tidy (re-set) spaces before bed
  • Make your own bed first thing in the morning
  • Feed our fish

A friend of mine told me about this idea recently using this jar method; she gives her daughter $6 each week (her daughter is almost 6 years of age) and that money is split up into the three jars- so $2 in to each jar. The amount you give will vary with each family. Some give the same amount as their child’s age. I guess there is lots of ways one can use these jars- pocket money each week (an allowance/wage), money for doing specific chores, or just filling up the jars with money that is given for Birthdays for example throughout the year, which could then be split up into the three jars.

My daughter was gifted $5 in a little purse for Christmas last year and she put that money into her ‘save’ jar. Recently my children were also gifted combined money for their Birthdays and they have decided to spend that money on an annual pass to the Science centre which will last a whole year. We have been talking about ‘saving up for special things such as experiences’. They saw the direct impact of money I was gifted for my Birthday last year and I spent that on an annual pass for all four of us to go to an animal sanctuary together throughout the year. They understood that the money I was given, I chose to share with them in a meaningful way. Something we could all do together as a family.

Australian play money
Our ‘shops’ play set up with replica Australian currency (notes, dollars and cents). A friend of mine has the Orchard Toys Shopping list game at home for her children to use which she says her children love to use.

I would love to know if you have used this system at home, or something similar and if it has worked for you? Otherwise any other tips, ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.


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