Thursday, July 2, 2009

Teaching good stewardship to children

I’ve answered a few different people recently about how we do “chores” and “allowance” at home, so I thought I’d write a post about what we do in our home.
Earning Money
First, we don’t do allowance. You don’t get paid for doing nothing in our family. Instead, Bug (age 5), has JOBS that she is responsible for, and for which she can earn money.

We started this when she turned 4, so we gave her 4 jobs. I’m sure we’ll add another soon since she just turned 5. She is responsible for:
* Making her bed each morning.
* Keeping toilet paper on the roll in her/guest bathroom.
* Setting the meal table with napkins, utensils, and her plate/cup.
* Cleaning up her own toys each night before bed.
For those 4 jobs, she gets paid $4/week. It’s a lot for a child her age, I’m sure, but we also teach tithing and saving, so we wanted to make sure she had enough left over to actually save to buy something in a reasonable amount of time.

Where does the money go?
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$1 goes in her God bank, $1 goes in the Saving bank, and $1 in her Spending bank. Then, she has $1 left over to choose which bank she wants it to go in. 9 times out of 10 she puts it in the God bank. She’s our little giver! All of her “God money” goes to church with us each week where she gives it to the benevolence fund because she wants to “help the church buy food and clothes for people that need it”.
Yes, I realize she is tithing 25% or more, but it was easier to split into quarters when we started. As she gets older and we do more math, we’ll allow her to tithe 10% or more.

Extra Money
In addition to her regular jobs, she has a list of extra jobs that she can ask to do anytime to earn extra money. This rarely happens because she doesn’t care much about earning money to buy things, but it’s available. One day she did all of them in one day as she was saving for a horse toy! For those jobs (mop floor, sweep patio, wash sliding glass door), she does them for a certain amount of time (5-10 min) and earns $1 (which gets split out among the banks).

She also gets money for birthdays & Christmas from some relatives. She must tithe on this money, but we don’t make her save from it.

Just because you live here!
Day to day, Bug is also expected to do some things just because she is a member of our family and needs to learn to contribute and someday run her own household. She often helps me empty the dishwasher by putting away the silverware, all her dishes, and anything else she can reach.
She is also responsible for putting her dirty laundry in the laundry room, and then once I wash and dry her clothes, she puts them all away. I put her clean clothes in a basket, then she hangs up her shirts, folds, and puts away everything else. She has a low hanging rod in her room so she can reach everything she needs.
How do you teach good stewardship with money in your home?

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