In a previous post, I listed out the reasons why we decided to give our kids an allowance. The main reason we wanted to give them an allowance was to learn to manage money at a young age. If they can learn to manage small amounts of money, they will have a greater chance of understanding how to give, save and spend wisely for the rest of their lives.
When we give our kids an allowance, it is not a lot of money. We have based it on their age. Our son who just finished kindergarten gets $3 a week. Our daughter who is going into fourth grade gets $5 a week. At their current ages, we pay for the majority of their expenses, therefore they do not require much money. We simply want them to have a little to begin understanding the value of money at a young age.
Both our children are required to split their allowance into three categories: give, save and spend. Each of our children has three jars labeled with each one of these categories. Our son places $1 of his allowance into his give, save and spend jar. Our daughter splits hers by giving $1, saving $1 and she is allowed to spend the other $3.
My husband and both feel very blessed in our lives and have more than we need to live this life. Because we feel blessed, we feel very convicted to share with others. Before we spend on ourselves, we give a percentage of our income to various charitable organizations. It was difficult to learn this discipline as adults, therefore we want our children to learn from an early age. There will always be need around us, therefore it is important to plan on giving a percentage before spending.
Our kids “give” jar is not intended for family or friend gifts. The giving jar is intended for them to give to charitable organizations. They have spent their own give money to buy food for food banks, snacks for kids in public schools who do not have a lot of food at home, and Toys for Tots more.
Last year we set our kids up with savings accounts at a nearby bank. Occasionally we deposit their savings into the bank. The save jar is not to be spent anytime soon. We want our kids to learn the value of saving their money for large purchases in the future, such as a future vehicle.
If you decide to set up an account for a child, shop around. Banks often offer specials for junior accounts. Our bank gave each of our children $50 in their accounts just for signing up.
The spending jar is a fun jar. Just because it is our kid’s choice to spend the money in their spend jar, we help them understand how to spend it. If our kids mention multiple times that they wish to make a $30 purchase we explain to them how they must save up their spend jar to do so. If they decide to make several $3 purchases while saving up for the larger purchase, we help them understand they are delaying the larger purchase.