By Jen Wilson
When I was a kid, I had no idea how to manage money. If I had it, I spent it. This went on longer than it should have and when I was out and on my own, I soon found myself deep in debt. It wasn’t pretty. I wish that I had learned to manage money properly when I was younger, as it would have saved me a lot of frustration and interest payments.
My eldest daughter has been getting an allowance for about a year now. She has a certain amount of chores during the week and if she does them, she gets her allowance. Thus far, we have let her spend her allowance as she wishes. She gets only a small amount, and usually spends it on school book orders or candy.
My younger daughter is a week away from her fifth birthday and has been begging—no, demanding—that I give her money. “When are you going to give me money, Mama?” is something that I hear often. Now, I don’t give in to this, and I’m constantly reminding her to stop asking for money (although she just lost her first tooth and was stoked that the tooth fairy gave her money), but I also think she’s old enough to start doing some chores in exchange for an allowance.
In addition to learning how to wisely spend their measly allowances, I also want to teach my children how to save and how to give. These are two things I am still learning, so the way I see it, we can all learn together.
In searching for a way to visually teach my girls how to divide their “income,” I came across the Money Savvy Pig. It was developed by a mother of two who is also a private banker and whose dream it is to teach kids, starting in elementary school, about personal finance. The Money Savvy Pig is divided into four compartments: save, spend, donate and invest. It’s available in six colours, as well as in cow and football form.
I am determined to train my girls to use their money wisely, and to be generous. I’m counting on the Savvy Pig to help me out.
Do your kids get an allowance? How do you teach your kids to manage their money?
Jen Wilson is a married mother of three super-awesome children—two girls and a boy—who range in age from 0-10. She enjoys photography, organizing, reading, TV, and sarcasm. She drinks her coffee black and dreams of one day owning a dishwasher. You can also find her on her blog, Hey Mrs. Wilson, where she has been writing about life in Saskatchewan since 2004.