Once again I thank Dave Ramsey for such a good idea in teaching about money. This one is for the kiddos! My four year old is beginning to learn the value of money and how to work for it. Now let me start off by reassuring you that he does have household responsibilities because he is part of the family and we all contribute! Things like picking up toys, helping me with cooking, and putting dishes into the sink is all routine. This idea of working for money is in addition to his normal responsibilities.
These extra tasks we call “jobs.” Micah can choose to accept or deny this “job.” This gives him the freedom to understand that working is a choice (at this point in his life) but it yields great reward. I usually pick a harder task for his 4 year old body; usually something that has to take some time and commitment. Some of these jobs include doing a few loads of laundry (helping me separate darks from lights, washing process, drying process and sorting.) His newest one today is going to be putting his own clothes away after we labeled his dresser drawers with “socks” “shirts” etc. Other jobs have been taking out the trash, sorting/rolling huge piles of change, and sweeping/mopping the bathroom floor. These have been great learning opportunities. His young age means that I am usually having to help him accomplish these things or cheer him on; but I am looking to the future where I see a young man capable to take care of himself and understanding the value of hard work. These are teachable moments.
Micah gets to decide (for now) which jar he would like to place his dollar. I chose a dollar for every activity because it’s large and it’s simple math for him. As he gets older we can then place different values on different jobs. His jars are labeled with GIVE, SAVE, SPEND.
The “Give Jar” we are using for him to give to our church or possibly to give away to a friend or any other need that he sees. We want him to see that giving needs to be just as intuitive as spending. The “Spend Jar” he can choose to spend at ANY time. If he wants a $1 toy car, he can buy it. If he wants frozen yogurt, we can go buy it with his money. I want him to feel the immediate rewards of working. Lastly he has the “Save Jar.” As he gets older we can save this jar for longer periods of time, but I think we will wait about 6 months. That will feel like forever to a 4 year old! Surprisingly, Micah chooses to put his dollars spread across all jars! If he notices one is lesser than another, he will try to balance it out. At four!
Making these jars is quite simple. I took 3 smaller jars (used to have coconut oil in them) and ran them through the dishwasher. I noticed the label had a hard time coming off, so after researching it online I learned that pouring boiling water into the jars released all the sticky and it worked! Next time I will reverse those steps! After that I just used our label maker and that was it! Save those spaghetti jars, jelly jars or whatever you might have and make your Give, Save, and Spend Jars!