Thursday, 11 July 2013

Managing Money: A learning opportunity almost missed!

Pocket money has been something that has come and gone several times in the Gracie household. We always tie it to some form of responsibility, and initially it goes well, but Cosmo gets bored. Currently pocket money is tied to him independently completing a set number of worksheets each day from our Timberdoodle curriculum, without complaining. 

We have always had 'spend', 'save' and 'give' jars, and he must put a little of his money into each jar, although the ratio is determined by him. He has historically been very generous with giving, kept  enough to spend on 99p toys from poundland, but not really been motivated to save beyond putting a small random coin in... until he had something to save for. 

Saving with a goal in mind has inspired him. He recently told me that he wanted to save up enough money to take the whole family to Gulliver's land (family ticket = £90). I had laughed it off and explained that it was a lot of money and would take far too long to save up his pocket money. He worked out that it would take just under two years, and that he felt he could wait that long.

A little later I read this blog about a four year old who saved up to buy herself, and her baby brother, iPads. I realised that we had a fantastic teaching opportunity, which I was missing by assuming he was incapable. 

So we had a chat about how to raise extra money for his goal. He has donated some toys to a local charity shop which pays him £2 a bag. He has also discovered ebay and listed his duplo set there (three days to go if you want to bid!) and is planning on selling his 'Swim fin' too. Grandma has been paying him 'a penny a pine cone' to collect kindling for her fire and a small amount for watering her plants. Even little Lychee got in on the action, attempting to sweep the Grandma's kitchen after a BBQ so she could earn some 'Gulliver money' to give to Cosmo.  
What I love most is his little determined character isn't undermining his giving attitude. He still puts money in his give jar. He still took the best bits of duplo (in his opinion) to save for his cousin Jonathon, and most notably, as well as saving £90 for our family ticket, he now also wants to save £180 so that he can take his cousins with him. 

We've created a spreadsheet for him so he can add to it when he earns money and watch his goal drop down. He's so excited and I nearly missed all this because I assumed he couldn't do it. 

Let your kids dream big.

*Update is available here*


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