When we started learning about finances, and took/led Financial Peace University, it became clear that we needed a good way to teach our children about money. But we also did not want to just give them an allowance. We want them to associate money with work. So…we came up with a system that has worked well so far.
Luke bought this markerboard from Steelcase employee sales for about $3 a number of years ago. It just happened to be perfect for our chart.
First, I used a permanent marker and a ruler to draw grid lines on the markerboard. And then I read that permanent marker can come off markerboard if you write over it with a dry erase marker and then erase it. SO, in order to make my grid more durable, I used thin grid tape over the lines. I made one grid per kiddo (four in our case).
I had purchased some really cute Scrabble letter magnets from my cyber-friend Marla, to help her raise money to go on a missions trip to Cambodia. I used those to spell each child’s name at the top of his/her grid.
Next, I used a dry erase marker to write M-T-W-Th-F in the grid squares, and a list of appropriate jobs for each child on the left (including a “Mom’s Choice” space, just in case I need it). I purchased little magnets for each child and put them under the grid.
Our “workweek” is like Luke’s: Monday through Friday. So, during the workweek, the kids have a chance to each earn up to $1. Each child has 10 magnets under his/her grid, and each magnet earns him/her a dime. Whenever a job is completed, they may move a magnet up to the correct place on the chart.
(Can you tell that everyone – including me – has been slacking this summer? During the school year Grace and Caleb had their grids full or nearly full every week.)
Anyway, payday is Friday evening or Saturday. We sit down with the kiddos, and we count out how many magnets they earned. Then we count out the corresponding number of dimes. They are then able to divide their dimes into their Give-Save-Spend jars. They can choose how much to put in each jar, as long as they put at least one dime into each. (And sometimes we give them gentle guidance, too.)
So far, it has been a great introduction for our children to how money – and work – works.