kids and money

coins and recipts

Financial Literacy.

That’s a bit of a daunting term for me.  I cannot recall ever being ‘taught’ how to save, spend or really give money, and the many small yet important decisions that need to be made when you earn your own income.  I don’t remember receiving an allowance either… I got my first job when I was 16, I worked in a cafe and earned $5 an hour!

I had been thinking about how we would work out money stuff with Luna and Blake, coins are fun to look at handle and play around with and they were not that interested in day to day transactions at the supermarket or post office.  However, we do a bit of op shopping here, and Luna had become more insistent on items she wanted to buy.  It was getting a bit tricky – to explain that we have $20 today – or what have you – and we don’t have enough to buy that bear – or what have you – this time, (and do we really need another toy? is what I’m thinking).

So, A couple of months ago, I started giving Luna $2 a week, I also decided it would be fair to give Blake something, so he got 50 cents.

We go op shopping often, so it works well, and we talked about all the things she would like (she often wants lollypops or to borrow a dvd) so and we just worked out ad hoc when we were shopping, sometimes talking about her plans in advance. She has bought herself some of her favourite clothes, $1 a piece is good for us!

And she very quickly grasped the value of coins, and can identify them no problems. She is gaining a better understanding of making change.  We are really on a bit of a budget, and so this doesn’t break the bank, and with op shopping, we talk about value, try things on, also talk about saving some for next week etc… I try not to make a big deal about it or control her choices.

Interesting to me, last week she wanted to give a coin to a busker, “Because I love the music” my heart soared a bit, she stood and watched and I think it’s key to remember how we model spending/saving/giving. I hadn’t pushed the idea of charity and giving money – I think she has a kind of sense of it, but it feels like it kind of ruins this kind of giving if I call it ‘charity’ if you know what I mean?

I was finding it tricky as most of my banking is online and with a card, which is where op shopping has been a great opening for shopping, it requires (most often) cash, so more tangible, and you can usually pick something up for a dollar.

It has been a bit inconsistent, and Blake tended to just give Luna his coin or it just vanished, so he doesn’t get a regular coin now, but sometimes Luna buys him something herself, which is sweet.

I’m not sure what will happen next!  Luna went off spending a bit and had about $20 in change, we were sick for a couple of weeks and home for a while, and it just didn’t come up.  When we got back into the swing of things, she planned to buy baubles for her Christmas tree, and many ‘preparations’ as she calls it, planning for parties and decorating her trees.

I found this post on another blog, Oh Waily Waily, really helpful too, if your kids are older or you’re looking for a place to start with money, take a look!



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