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Maybe a time frame and budget?

June 15, 2009

What if I did a specified time frame and budget for Jackson? Every two months allow him to get something for $20 or less? To some people $20 seems like a lot, and to some it may not be much. I cringe when I see toys that are $39 plus. Usually, anything that is more than that, I consider Santa Claus material. But, these days, even Lego sets are about $17… back when I was a wee-one, in the ’80’s, I remember keeping a “chore” chart, and working my way towards Lego sets, and back then I don’t think they were more than $7….

Sooo, okay, maybe a chart of some kind. I’m not certain about “chores”, or at least not labeling it as such. Psychologically, “chores” is an ugly word. I don’t even like it. If I think of the things I need to do on a daily basis as “chores”, I am much less motivated to do them. They are simply things that must be done in an effort to keep the household moving smoothly. Laundry. Cleaning. Cooking. etc… he’s too young or little to some things. He’s too short to do dishes, and I certainly don’t need him dragging the vacuum around the house- that will just turn into Electrolux rodeo, especially if his little sister has anything to do with it.

toddlers love electrolux vacuums!!! they think its rodeo time. (image from http://newsroom.electrolux.com)

toddlers love electrolux vacuums!!! they think it's rodeo time. (image from http://newsroom.electrolux.com)

Small “chores” for a four year old? collect dirty laundry, put away toys, heck he could dust… I could give him a dust rag and show him how to wipe down baseboards…

And yet, a darn chart seems like more work for me… one more thing for me to have to keep track of…. which is why, could it not just simply be a time frame and budget? Besides, that way he’d be forced to learn how to read a calendar, and also realize the frame of mind of budgeting…. or, on that note… they preach teaching your child how to budget/save….

What if every two months or every month, we put $10 in a savings account, and the other $10 he could decide whether to get a toy, save it to add to the next month’s $10, or put the whole $20 into the account. Then he’d really be forced to “think” and “think ahead”….

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2009 9:56 am

    I’ve been wondering about this alot lately. One article I read said to give allowance, and not tie it to chores. I struggle with this one. The theory is that they should be doing things anyway – why should we pay them to clean up a mess they made themselves, for example? Or to make their beds?

    The best answer I’ve found is weekly allowance for young ones, in high school it’s monthly. The allowance is equal to their age, and they save 1/2 and are able to spend 1/2. I’m not sure what they save toward – is it for the future or Christmas presents, or what? Perhaps another reader can elaborate on that.

    Let us know what you decide. I want to start this with my daughter soon. I don’t think Jon’s ready for it yet (7yo with autism), but I’m trying to think of other ways for him to learn about the value of money also. Good luck!

    • fayezie permalink*
      June 17, 2009 6:59 pm

      Hi! just posted about my “experiment”… πŸ™‚ we shall see how it goes. πŸ™‚ http://fayezie.com/2009/06/17/fayes-magical-experiment-in-preschooler-budgeting/

    • fayezie permalink*
      June 17, 2009 7:18 pm

      This is also an experiment for myself too… being recently divorced, mother of three, learning to budget has taken on a whole new meaning. I am for the first time in my life having to think each month’s budget through, and even then I get stuck losing sight, (usually half-way through the month)… it is easier for me to start saving under the “umbrella of doing it for my kids” than for myself. I was thinking that if I can just get “used” to stashing SOMETHING away SOMEWHERE, then eventually I can work the habit into bigger and greater long-term plans…

      I was considering that I simply do the same savings for Olivia. She, of course, is going to need long-term financial plans, and I feel like this is a simple way for me to get into the habit. Then grow from there.

      πŸ™‚ I also searched and found a bank that has minor accounts with no minimums or fees. I think it would be even more meaningful if Jackson and I went together TO the bank to open the account.

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