Monday, March 25, 2013

Learning the Value of a Dollar

As I stated in a previous post, it is very important to me that I start instilling the value of a dollar in my children early.  It breaks my heart in two to see that they are never satisfied, and are always wanting more at such a young age.  They have so much, yet feel as though they have so little at times....don't we all.  I want them to grow up understanding that it is okay to have wants, and it is okay to strive for more, but it is not okay to let those wants consume you.

I saw this pin a long time ago, and recently came across it again. It got me thinking.  We had been struggling with Caleb whining and complaining a lot, and I knew that was a habit I wanted to nip in the butt as fast as possible. One it was annoying, and two I come from a long line of complainers. I always joke and say "if my family doesn't have something to complain about, then we have nothing to talk about".  I personally have been trying to work on this character flaw in myself, and it is a hard habit to break.  However, I thought if I started early enough with Caleb...maybe just maybe, I could minimize it.  It was also a great pin about teaching the value of a dollar.

So I took the idea and ran with it.


  1. 2 clear cups...or any cups or jars you have laying around.
  2. Bible Verse "Do everything without complaining or arguing" Phil. 2:14
  3. Tape
  4. Quarters-Caleb gets 3 dollars in quarters placed in his cup weekly (3 years=3 dollars)
  5. 3 Labeled Ziploc bags (God, Bank, Child's name)
  1. Tape the Bible verse on one cup, and fill the cup with a weeks worth of quarters.
  2. Explain the Bible verse to your child, and let them know that if Mama hears them arguing or complaining that they will loose a quarter. (I always give one warning) 
  3. Move quarters lost during the week into the empty cup. 
  4. At the end of the week count the money left in your first cup with your child. (Great way to practice counting/learn how many quarters make a dollar)  
  5. Divide it into 3 bags with child 
    1. 10% of what is left goes to God. (I tell Caleb that we give money to God so he can help people who do not have money).  Your child can take his God bag to church to place in the offering, or use for a worthy cause.
    2. 50 cents-1.00 is placed in the Bank bag.  I generally decide how much I place in his savings by how many quarters he has left each week.  Caleb knows that we put money in the bank so he will have money when he is older.  He loves to take the money to the bank to place in his bank account, even if it is a 1.00 :)
    3. The remaining amount is placed into his Caleb bag.  This bag is used to save up for a toy, game, or something special that your child wants.  It may take a few months to save for a special toy, but it teaches your child to work, wait, and save. 
  6. Refill the cup with quarters for the next week.

So, we have been doing this for about 3 months now.  When we first started this process I asked Caleb what he wanted to save his Caleb money for.  He immediately said "The red ninja turtle". So we went to the store, and wrote down the price of the turtle, and I told him that we would have to save until he had that many quarters and then we would go buy it.  Each week after we counted his money I would tell him how many dollars we were away from getting the turtle.  Well, yesterday was the day that he finally had enough money.  

Nick and I were shopping for Easter baskets when we realized that the turtle was 3 dollars off the original price. There was only one red one left, so we went a head and bought it for Caleb.  I wanted him to be able to go to the store with me to buy it, but I was afraid they would sell out.  So, when we arrived home we explained to him that the turtle was on sale so he had enough quarters to buy it.  

He and daddy counted his money

He put the turtle toy in his cart

He checked out and paid for it

He loves it

I love this picture even though it is blurry.  Kinlee did not understand the concept of "Be gentle", and got brother.  He is yelling "GENTLE!!!!!" :)

This is such a great activity, and one that has become a part of our every day life.  It has really cut back on the complaining and the arguing, and also on the "I want this".  If Caleb sees something when we are out that he wants I simply tell him that "You will have to save your quarters for it".  He says okay and leaves it at that.  Win Win for us all.  


1 comment:

Tammy said...

what a GREAT idea! And kudos to you for sticking with it. I am going to bookmark this for when Morgan gets to the appropriate's coming too soon!!