|Piggy Bank (Source)|
It just so happened that I browsed the used book store last week and found a copy of Three Cups by Mark St. Germain. I had picked it up to think about and then ended up buying it without thinking about it. I guess it was God's way of saying I would need it and I did. This book tells about how Mark St. Germain's parents introduced money to him. They gave him three cups for his fifth birthday. One was for spending, one for charity and one for savings. They helped him figure out how much of each allowance should go into each one. He wrote this book to explain the method and to use with his own son.
On Sunday I read the story to Hazel and asked her if she wanted to have three cups like the boy in the story. She did. So we set them up. I grabbed three mugs from our spare mugs and we labeled them with sticky paper and tape. I let her pick the colors for the labels. Then we divided the bills among the cups. The next day we took the savings cup and her two piggy banks (we left her quarter supply since she uses those for rides at local malls and stores) to the bank to deposit in her savings account. The book went into how the bank paid you to keep your money there.
The bank is next to Target, and we needed to do an exchange there, so we headed in. While looking through the toys and such she kept seeing things she wanted. We talked about how we can put them on her wish list (I keep one on Amazon as well as in Pinterest, so I can easily send it to family members) or she can save her spending money for an item.
The final cup is the charity cup. Trying to explain charity to a four-year-old is not really easy. She knows we have gathered clothes and toys for children in need at her birthday parties, but I don't think she really gets it. And right now I am about to kick-off our stewardship campaign at church including lessons for the Sunday School classes, so I have had a lot of charity and giving on my mind. I found a book at Amazon, The Giving Book by Ellen Sabin. This book explains about charity and really works as a journal for children to explore giving and helping throughout the world. It includes stories and things to explain situations as well as places for the children to draw, write and record.
I am going to introduce this book to her as her charity cup begins to fill a bit more.
We have decided to start an allowance for Hazel. I think we will be giving it in change so she can divide it among her three cups. How have you handled money with your young children? What age did you start? What has worked for you?