Is it ever too early to learn how to manage your money?
One of Frannie’s favourite birthday gifts this year was her Moonjar Moneybox, purchased at a local retailer for $29.99 (less expensive versions are also available.) There are three compartments in this savvy-kids’ piggybank are labelled “save”, “spend”, and “share”.

At first I thought the easiest route was to teach her to divide by three, so I gave her three of the same coins at a time, and she distributed them equally. I have to be honest, though: in real life, my charitable donations, while existent, do not equal my savings. And they certainly do not come close to the amount I need (choose?) to spend each month. I’m thinking of giving her an allowance of $1.50 – the loonie for spending, and the quarters for the “save” and “share” compartments.

Check out Moonjar’s website for more information on their products or for great ideas about teaching money-sense to your children. They also have great classroom programs, which I will be exploring in the future as well.

Frannie certainly recognizes the importance of money. We donate to our church each week, and Frannie loves to drop the envelope in the basket as it goes by, but we never realized that she was unaware of the contents of the envelope. That is, until one week we forgot the envelope and just got her to deposit the cash in the basket. As soon as the collector was past the pew, she shouted “Hey! I want my money back!” I guess we need to work on the “share” thing.

So, what’s your stand on allowances? My brother and I always got a standard, no-questions-asked amount of money, dependent on our ages, and we were expected to make all of our own non-essential purchases. As I got older, I earned additional money by doing extra housework or bigger jobs, but the basic allowance was not related to our daily chores, which were just expected of all family members.

And how much is the right amount? Some of you might think giving a four year-old an allowance is ridiculous, but she is still at the phase where she asks for something in every store we visit, (even though I use the standard “Put it on your Christmas/birthday list” line, and have absolutely never given in and purchased anything more expensive than a bag of cheesies.) I think having some of her own money to spend would be good for her, and I love the share/save components of her moneybox as well.


7 comments on “Our Little Banker: Frannie’s Moonjar Moneybox”

  1. I think this is a great question and something we are pondering about to. I would love to add a questions, How much control should we as parents have over what they spend it on? I wouldn't want they to spend it on "junk toys" or candy (which they get enough of already)but if it is their money should they be free to buy whatever they like?

  2. Check out

    The 4 Little piggies is a book about teaching kids about money, ans similar concepta about saving a sharing.

    I think it's great to give youe kids a bit of 'allowance'. I think it teaches them the real value of money. Encouraging sharins is also fantastic.

    My son has already figured out that dollar store toys break quickly and aren't the best use of his money.

  3. Amanda poses an excellent question…like Anonymous says above, kids learn quickly that their money is wasted on dollar store junk…so I think I would let them make small mistakes like that. I would have concerns with my daughter spending, say, twenty bucks on chocolate though. I would certainly try to persuade her to make a better choice.

  4. I like your idea of having them divide their allowance into spend, save, and share! I've always just given them an allowance and they have to save it until they reach the price tag of that "special something" they want.
    I think the $ amount for allowances depends on what chores they are responsible for or what tasks they complete. Younger kids are much easier to please but once they get to school age they start to have more expensive tastes in rewards.

  5. I actually have spent quite a bit of time thinking about this. My 6yr old has a give, spend and save jar. He gets a loonie each day, only if his chores are done. He is also expected to help around the house as asked, but he does have a daily routine of vacumming with bissell sweeper, make bed, put toys away and feed and water the dog. I ask him to alternate where the loonie goes each week. In his savings jar he is saving for our trip next year to Disney World. In his "giving jar" this is what he gives to the church. And his spending is just that – his spending. If there is a bake sale at school, he uses his own money or a fundraising lunch, again his own money. He goes without sometimes, and that's okay.
    When shopping, he does sometimes ask for things, and sometimes I'll buy him something, sometimes I won't. If I don't have money for that today, I will tell him that, and that's a final answer.
    My hope is that he will understand the differences between needs and wants, grow to have a good work ethic and value for his hard earned dollar(s) and be responsible with his spending and conscientious with his giving.

    I'm looking forward to reading the other responses here also…

  6. thanks for coming by my blog!

    to allowance or not allowance…this is something my husband I have debated many times. We have tried a vast array of ideas and different methods….teaching our girls about money is crucial and something we want to correctly. I like the 3 compartments in the money bank…that is a great practical and visual way to teach them!! I think I will have to get those!!

  7. Thanks for popping by.
    We've tried the 3 jar/compartment system too. We haven't been very consistent with it and the savings portion of it has blended with the spending money. We debated for a while about whether/how to do allowance but soon realized that teaching her about saving/spending/tithing was important to do early.

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