Carrying on a tradition from Bryan’s grandmother, Declan’s Grandma has been sending him cards with bits of cash in them for the past year or so. Lately, it’s been 4 dollars since Declan is, well, 4 years old. The only problem with this is now every time Declan gets anything in the mail – he holds it up in the air and shakes it, expecting money to whimsically float past his eyes like a capitalist’s wet dream.
At first, I will admit we approached the problem the wrong way. We asked Grandma to slow down the money train. Not only did that hurt her feelings, but hello. It stopped the money train.
A few weeks ago, I noticed an article about teaching your child to be money-savvy. And since Bryan and are the furthest thing in the world from money-savvy, I figured we could teach Declan, and in turn he could teach us.
And there were various tips and tricks, to my surprise many of which we already do, but one jumped out of the page at me, given our recent dilemma with Grandma (and other well-meaning and generous relatives who certainly should also continue to contribute to the money train).
The article suggested that you set up 3 jars in a visible place for your child. One marked “Save,” one marked “Charity,” and one marked “Spend.” And any time your child receives money, put 1/2 in Save, 1/4 in Charity and 1/4 in Spend.
When we proposed this plan to our little Greedy Capitalist, I was expecting resistance. But seeing as he gets just as excited over 4 pennies as 4 dollars, now must have been the perfect time to hatch our plan. He was totally fine with the savings plan. And even surprised me by showing me what “half” of the 4 dollars I laid on the table were. (I guess the school is good for something, even if they can’t fill out a calendar for shit). And when we explained “charity,” he nearly peed his pants with excitement over all the wild animals and “environments” he could preserve with his money. (That’s my boy!)
And as for the “Spend” money? The list is long. LONG. Because one does not become a reformed Greedy Capitalist overnight, I suppose.