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I developed these 4 easy steps to teach my kids the value of money when I came to the realization that a lot of our behavioral issues were linked to their lack of responsibilities around the house.
Having no responsibilities meant that they got what they wanted without having to work for it. This led to them having no understanding of the value of money or the importance of saving money.
They want for nothing and yet they’re never happy with what they have. They always want more and more. And the problem is, we usually give them more and more, so I can’t really blame them.
But what I can do, is try to correct the behavior. It was time for me to teach my kids how to earn money and how to save money so I began working on these 4 steps to teach my kids about financial responsibility.
Chore Chart for Kids
The first thing I did to help teach my kids the value of money, was to create a Chore Chart for both of my older children (10 & 6) detailing what needs to be done on a daily basis.
The chore chart I use in the summer varies from the one I use during the school year. The summer list has a lot more daily duties but I feel like that would be too much for them during the school week.
After a long day at school plus a commute home (we go to a charter school so our school isn’t close), I don’t want them doing chores all afternoon, but I still want them learning responsibility.
The first chore chart I used was the traditional vertical list with little boxes for the days of the week. I discovered that this style was really hard for my kids to understand and they always had to ask me what needed to be done.
The little boxes for S M T W TH F S confused them. To solve this problem I created this new CHART that has everything clearly laid out by the day. This way they can be more proactive about doing their jobs and they can’t tell me they didn’t know they were supposed to do a certain chore.
You can download these customizable chore charts below by clicking on the link below the image.
After I finished with the chart and filled in all their duties, I laminated it with this really inexpensive laminator I got from Amazon. I also got these great magnetic dry erase markers so I can attach them to the fridge and everyone can quickly check items off their list.
Having these charts laminated really makes it easier because I don’t have to print off a new sheet every week. So really I’m saving trees and my sanity at the same time.
Make sure you grab some extra laminating pouches too since this laminator only comes with two. These go on sale often so if you can get them for under $12 you’re getting a great deal!
Here is the more traditional style of chart. This didn’t work well for my kids, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work in your house:) You can check out all my Responsibility Printables HERE and see if any fit your needs better.
Should Parents Give an Allowance for Chores?
In my world, the answer is a big YES! My kids need some motivation to get going and money talks. Because of their ages, they really aren’t making that much, but to them, it’s a lot and it makes them happy.
They get $0.25 per completed chore. If they refuse to do a chore, not only do they not get paid for it, but they lose $0.25 of their earnings.
Examples of what my kids do on a daily basis are feeding the dog, empty the dishwasher, take out the trash and clean the bathroom sink.
I haven’t been able to give up control enough to let them clean the toilet – there are three boys in this house so I need to make sure all the nooks and crannies are scrubbed.
You can view and download all of my chore charts for kids HERE and customize it to fit your needs. There are more designs than what is pictured in this post.
No More Little Trinkets Every Time we Stop at Target
I stopped ALL the EXTRAS. By extras, I mean I stopped buying them things they WANTED.
I still provide everything they need, but I no longer purchase them extras like gumballs at the grocery store, Hot Wheels at Target, ice cream from McDonald’s and of course, I stopped buying my son V-bucks for Fortnite. If you don’t know what V-bucks are, good for you! Count yourself as one of the lucky ones.
My kids very quickly get into the habit of doing certain things. For example, we drive by McDonald’s on the way home from school. I stopped there once to get them a special treat and then suddenly they expect it every single day.
Its almost like I get punished for doing something nice for them. Suddenly every afternoon they were whining for McDonald’s and telling me it was only $1 so what’s the big deal?
The problem is that I often cave to the whining and they get what they want. On top of teaching them that they can’t always get what they want, I’ve needed to teach myself that I don’t have to get them everything they ask for.
I usually justify it because it’s cheap, but in the long run, that doesn’t matter. On top of being unhealthy, they need to learn the word “NO” and how to properly behave when they hear it.
Now if they want something they don’t need they pay for it themselves. And just because they are paying for it themselves does not mean that I am stopping so they can get ice cream.
They still need to understand that just because you can afford something does not mean you should buy it.
Teaching them to save their money is a valuable lesson that is much easier to teach them once they are earning an allowance and having to pay for things they want themselves.
Teaching Your Child to Save Money
Last but not least, I established a savings system. Half of their weekly chore money needs to be put into savings and the other half is theirs to spend as they wish.
To keep things simple I opened up kids’ savings accounts at our bank. I am easily able to transfer the money into their accounts from my bank account, so that is a major bonus; I’m all for keeping things as simple as possible.
To keep things fun for the kids I created a fun Savings Account Balance Sheet for each of them. Now they can easily keep track of their money and watch it grow! You can download the balance sheets by clicking on the link at the bottom of the images.
How This Has Worked for Us
So, have my kids learned the value of money? This system isn’t perfect. My kids didn’t suddenly turn into angels after I started enforcing this. BUT, it made a huge difference!
They really seem to understand how much it takes to be able to buy things. The pleas for random toys and candy has decreased and I can finally see them putting some thought into something before they spend their money on it.
There was definitely a transition period that lasted about a month. They resisted and complained A LOT when I said no. I also had to adjust my behaviors and learn to say no.
I want my kids to be happy and if I can afford it I automatically want to get it for them. But all that is teaching them is that they can have whatever they want without working for it.
I don’t want my kids to turn into adults who think the same way. Sometimes saying no is the best thing we can do for our kids. So far, these 4 easy steps to teach kids about money have really worked for us.
Have you implemented any of these tips? Or have you already been doing something like this? Leave me a comment below and let me know how it’s going.
And please feel free to share any other tips you have on how to teach kids the value of money. Motherhood is tough so let’s all help each other out by sharing what works for us.