Saturday, November 23, 2013

"Wow! You're a Big Family" Controlling the Chaos Tidbit #2-Money as an incentive

Money seems to be a motivator for my kids.  I also want to teach them about managing money and good stewardship.  So while we have some jobs in our house that are chores that our kids do simply because they are a part of our family, other tasks in our house become paying jobs which my children can earn money for.  The more icky tasks like picking up dog poop out of the yard are worth the most while simple tasks like dusting are worth less.  The kids can offer to do those jobs at any time.  Often on Saturdays, when we are taking the time to do more of a deep clean, the kids can pitch in and get paid to help. 

The money also works as a consequence too.  If you ruin something that belongs to someone else, you need to pay for it or replace it which means you have to get a job.  (ie pick something off of the chore list so you can earn some money)  If you have been asked several times to put something away and have not done it, Mom and Dad pick it up and it goes into the basket on the top of the fridge and you have to pay to get it back.  

Regardless of whether they are earning it or spending it, I try to take the time to make them count out the money to practice their math skills.  For example, we just sold our play kitchen.  Each kid earned $3.33 since we sold it for $10.  So the two big kids had to count out their portion of the profits before they could put it in their banks.  Since my kids are just at the point in school where they are learning about money, I make sure to simplify it a bit so they are only counting like coins to start with.  So in this case, I made .33 with 3 dimes and 3 pennies which is easier to count that a quarter, a nickel, and 3 pennies.

We also have banks that have 3 sections to them for spend, save, and share.  I can't say we have any stellar strategy for consistently using this but I think right now, it's just important to get the idea in my kids' heads that you can do those 3 things with money.  The kids often will grab a handful of their money to take to church, will request to go to the store to spend their money, or will use their money to order books from a school book order or popcorn on the days our school does popcorn fundraisers.

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