We gifted my daughter my hand-me-down Kirsten doll this past Christmas. I have enjoyed seeing a purchase my parent’s made over 20 years ago turn into a great investment in inter-generational joy. When my daughter told me she wanted to purchase Kirsten a backpack stating the exact details of the contents and the exact cost of the purchase I knew we were in new territory when it comes to money. My children have always told me various things that would like to have and we have discussed putting said things on birthday or Christmas lists, but this time was different.
As a child firmly in the second plane of development I knew she understood the concept of saving and delayed gratification, but I wanted to see if she would really follow through with a long term goal. Would she change her mind or waiver on the end product? We set out to test this new drive and push us as a family to think about children earning money in a new way.
I have discussed in the past that my children to do not get paid for
chores household expectations. I hold firm to that idea so it was a bit of struggle to think of how she would go about earning money. We decided that she would need to go above and beyond normal expectations to work towards her goal.
We started our money saving journey by finding out how much she already had saved and how much was left to go before reaching her goal. This was a great practical life math lesson and increased her urgency and excitement around her goal.
Things she did to earn money included earning $1 for emptying all of the dishes from the dishwasher for the family and $3 for doing all of the “kid clothes” laundry including putting it in the washer, transferring it to the dryer, folding all of the clothes, and putting them away. The biggest pay day she received was helping her dad build a railing on our deck. This took several days and required her to commit to the project in order to be paid. After two weekends she earned $10 and lots of pride for a job well done.
All in all it took her about a month to earn and save enough to meet her goal. We celebrated with a Mommy-daughter date to make the purchase. She was beaming as she handed the cashier her hard earned savings. I look forward to this becoming routine for our family.