Store Play- Counting, Financial Responsibility, Money Sense

When is too early to introduce money sense to your little one? I tried to do a little research on this question, but I am going to go ahead and stick with my general approach on a lot of what I am “homeschooling” with my preschooler, and say it is never too early to be familiarizing and introducing ideas.

I looked up in the Iowa CORE Curriculum where money tends to fall in the learning process. Strangely, I only found just a couple of hits- 5th grade teaches money sense and 8th grade slight economics of borrowing, saving, and spending. These were found in the 21st century skills portions of the CORE- https://iowacore.gov/sites/default/files/k-12_21stcentskills.pdf

On another source, I did manage to find 2nd grade as the suggested time to approach money…

I think with the issues on saving and spending wisely we seem to have in this country, which holds a “National Dept” of $21.97 trillion, a more hands on approach can be afforded to teaching money sense.

$21.97 TRILLION isn’t even something we can truly wrap our heads around when it comes to the questions how, what, when, where, WHY!? USA Today has a slightly more comprehensible number, claiming the average household has about $130,000 in debt distributed among credit card loans, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages.(https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/11/18/a-foolish-take-heres-how-much-debt-the-average-us-household-owes/107651700/).

We are not rich, but we are also very secure in our finances. We have played our status in life and come out ahead by exercising good money sense. When my husband and I both secured a job after college, we bought a home worth less than most people’s cars. We did buy that on loan, but threw everything we had into paying off the mortgage quickly as well as our school loans. We have never had new cars. We budget. We invest. We do not live luxuriously, but we also truly want for nothing. We openly discuss finances, even carving out “date nights/business nights” as I talked about in a previous post, “Make a Date Night a Business Night

As our children get older, they too will be a part of these meetings, as suggested by a book I read in the above mentioned post. Of course, we will tone them down to their level. I believe, they need to see the juggling and the consequences of money decisions. I am not sure about rigid chore payments yet, but already we do give little money rewards to Abe (3.5 years old) for little chores he helps out with. He folds pants and towels, cleans up, helps with some construction projects in our fixer upper projects.

We also play store, which he REALLY enjoys. I have that video below.

I don’t know the best approach. I am still doing research about how to teach financially responsible humans. What do you do? How do you feel about money education for kids?

8 Comments

  1. Good Morning Erin! This is great and you guys are doing it the smart way. What difference does it make what car you drive? I don’t know why anyone would spend $600 a month on a vehicle, whether you can afford it or not. As two people who are self-employed with no 401k, our house is our retirement so I applaud that too. We taught our kids from a very young age good work ethic. They have all worked as soon as they could shovel snow or babysit and kept on going. They played sports, had good grades and worked part-time right through college. Nothing was ever handed to them and they bought their own used cars. We paid insurance so we helped, but they paid for their gas. If a car broke down, we would get it fixed to help out – we worked together. xo

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    1. Sandy! Thanks for your support. Developing work ethic at a young age is what we hope to do. It is always so unknown exactly what is the right and wrong way to approach such important characteristics. You have such wonderful, respectful, amazing kids that I have learned about from your blogs. I hope I can mimic the good of the experiences I have had,seen, and read about to do good for my kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree it is important to talk about and teach money skills. My parents only talked about money when they were stressed. Growing up money seemed like a horrible thing.
    My husband and I set up savings accounts for our kids and the credit union gives them a stamp for each deposit. I help them sell goodies at Christmas and organize dog sitting during the summer. They also get to earn money from us for doing tasks we would otherwise have to do. For example they all help take out the trash on Wednesdays – it’s part of the household chores, but if the kitchen trash needs to be emptied earlier, I’ll say, “50¢ to the first person to take out this trash.” It’s great and works well.
    I hope in the process they are learning how to make and save money.

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    1. Wow! This sounds awesome. We have not set up saving accounts yet. Are you able to tell me when you started that for them?

      I love the idea of selling Christmas goodies. I can foresee lemonade stands too. I can’t wait! I hope we can raise little entrepreneurs!

      I will definitely follow your lead with chores and awarding the first person. If I can have little helpers competing to get chores done. Oh, how wonderful that sounds! Thanks!!

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      1. Yes, our credit union had a deal going on where they matched what we put in. So we opened one for each kid and put in $50 each. Our youngest was 3 at the time. Now as the kids get older they are learning to look for opportunities to put money in savings. My husband also helps the older ones invest in stock that gets them really excited.

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      2. Wow! This is awesome. I talked with my husband about this matching possibility. Until you mentioned it, I had not considered that as something available. I will be looking into this option for us. Right now, we do 529’s for our kids. I know those have tax benefits as well as not being taxed upon withdrawal, so that is a route we took. After I talked with my husband about this, he started to do some research on future college costs. I think this is something I will also research and blog about soon. We have felt we have been saving quite a bit, but now we are wondering if it is enough. I am quite new with college funds. I have a lot to learn.

        Stocks.. Ooooh. Is your husband good with stocks? This has always been kind of intriguing to me. I did a little bit of Robinhood, but it turns out I do not have good knowledge of the stock market.

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      3. You can get aggressive portfolios, more risky, but higher possibility for gain. The suggestion is usually, that as you age towards retirement to move your stocks into safer stock portfolios that have less of an increase, but aren’t as volatile.

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  3. Hello Erin:
    Nice post! I think you ask a pertinent question. It seems that money could be introduced as a parallel to math. Things probably got a little out of hand for me when I was about 11yrs old regarding this topic. My parents had divorced and my mom’s financial situation changed abruptly. I learned a lot about money in the following years, but I also was worried about it and started to ruminate on different ways to help my mom with our money shortfall. Clearly, that situation is a little beyond the topic of your post, but it’s something to consider; at what point would family money concerns be picked up by the child and at what point would that become a negative. Great post!

    Roger Petersen
    Mind and Love

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