It is never too early to teach our children about money! If they start learning about saving, spending and making money from a young age, they are more likely to manage their finances successfully when they grow up. Between the ages of four and seven, children start to understand money’s worth. It’s also a good age to teach them to save money.
In an effort to teach the value of money to our 4 year old we created our Family FUNd jar.
- First, you need to create your jar. We used an old container and made it into a bank. An old shoe box, Tupperware, etc would suffice. As you can see, it's not fancy! The important thing was that we were all involved and excited. Dad did the writing, I handled the glue, and our son strung the beads.
- Second, decide on a Family FUNd Activity. With a little guidance, we all decided our first activity would be the Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine. (I had research this beforehand so I knew we would have enough time to save).
- Third, start saving! Every night when Dad comes home from work he gives us his spare change. Also, we are on a cash budget so after a grocery trip or other errand we put the change from our trip in our jar. We say the name of the coin (nickle, etc) as we put it into our jar.
- Finally, go have fun! Our son is too young to understand the cost of the ticket vs the value of the coins so reaching an actual amount was not a concern for us. The morning of our activity DH and I removed all the coins and placed the train tickets inside the jar. This is important because it teaches them that once money is spent, it’s gone.
Our son totally understood the concept! Here are some other examples:
- 1. When the ice cream truck comes I tell him the coins he needs to purchase his treat. He quickly runs to our Family FUNd jar to check if he has enough saved.
- 2. Example: The other day we were talking about Daddy's birthday and he said, "Mom, I need to start saving so I can get Dad a present"!
- 3. Example: My sister was playing grocery store with our son. When it was time to check out he said, "I'm sorry, that wasn't on our list and you don't have a coupon"!
- Trust me, they are taking in more than you realize. Let's teach our children the value of money at a young age...it may be one of the best gifts we ever give them!