Author Archives: Melanie Day

Teaching children to save money

Years ago, I purchased a book called, “The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent” by Merrilee Boyack.  From that book (which I LOVE by the way), I created a plan to help teach our children the importance of earning and saving money.

We first purchased a posterboard for each child.  Each posterboard had enough space for six paper printouts on each side.  Each paper you see taped to the posterboard represents a one year period.  Each month is listed along with what the child needs to put towards their savings.  Below that are two squares — one for the child and one for the parents (we match what they save).
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When the child reaches their monthly amount and puts it into savings, they get to put a sticker on that month.  When mom and dad match the amount they deposited, we put a sticker on our box.  The amount they owe each month was determined by my husband and I in advance.  We made a plan of how much we wanted them to save over the years to have for a mission, marriage, school, etc. and made a plan accordingly.

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Each time their birthdays roll around, the amount they owe increases.  In the beginning, when they were small, they only owed $1 a month.  They would help do extra work around the house or for grandparents and would get soooo excited when they could put their money into their account.  As time went on and they started owing $5 a month or more, they really had to get creative and figure out how they were going to make that happen.

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How have my children earned their money?  Babysitting, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, cleaning out cars, soccer refereeing, dog sitting and more.  One summer we temporarily had a cotton candy machine and made up a whole bunch of cotton candy and sold it throughout the day.  We divided the earnings between the children that helped and it helped get them ahead.

Do they ever fall behind?  Yes.  Sometimes with school work and life, they fall behind, but they understand that when an opportunity comes for them to make money, it will go into their savings first.  When they are caught up, they can choose to get ahead or have some extra spending money.

Not only that, there have been a couple of occasions where we have had to remove some of the stickers.  One of my sons was almost a year ahead of schedule and was doing wonderful!!  However, at church they did a fundraiser and sold some coupon books.  My son was given three books to sell and unfortunately he lost them all.  He had to take money out of his savings to cover the lost books, leaving him barely on schedule (savings-wise) and no longer ahead.  He learned his lesson and has never had money taken out of his account since.

Find what works for your family.  We’ve adapted the original idea into something that has worked for us.  Saving money is much easier in bite size pieces than trying to come up with a huge amount all at once.  It’s an important lesson for our children to learn in responsibility, self-reliance and budgeting.  How do you teach your children to save money?

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Pioneer Children Song

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Here is a cute (and simple) idea for teaching the song, “Pioneer Children Sang as they Walked“.

Items needed:

– a rectangular laundry basket
– items one might find in a pioneer handcart (clothing, food, dishes, etc.)
– doll (to represent the people that might have to ride in the cart)

To introduce the song, hold up each item before putting it in the cart (basket) and ask them why each item is necessary.  Tell them that the pioneers couldn’t bring a lot of things because they needed to be able to push their carts a long, long way.  So the only things they took were essentials.

Choose three or four children to push (walk) the cart around the room while the song is being sung.  (Create a clear walkway for them before Primary begins so you have more time to sing.)

It’s easy to sing it multiple times because the children will all want a turn.  🙂

Our Family Printable

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For family night, think about gathering your family together and create a list of family guidelines you want to strive to live by. I say strive, as they are goals to reach for and we all know that on any given day, someone in the family is out of whack or the day just doesn’t go well. Chin up… tomorrow is a new beginning. (Note: Hence the Fight and Forgive on the list). Family life can be messy, but we are in this together and there is no place we would rather be. Think of this as a living, breathing document and as you hold family councils, look at the list you have created and add or subtract items, depending upon your needs. Every family is different with our own unique set of strengths and weaknesses…  print out your list and have everyone in the family sign and frame it ! Find it here

Have a wonderful day! Brenda

Family Time Fun!

Summer is in full swing now and many have exciting plans….some of which include family reunions.  Today I thought I would share some fun activities you could do with your family (at a reunion, for Family Home Evening or anytime really)!

pinata-tshirt-gameThe Pinata T-Shirt Game

2016-06-05_1730Epic Game of Slip and Slide

pass-the-water-summer-gamePass the water game

beach-ball-towel-game-620x456Beach Ball Towel Game

beach-games-houseofhepworthsSponge Water Bombs

water_pinataWater Balloon Pinata

2016-06-05_1756Yard Yahtzee

IMGP8060Blanket Run

Family-Reunion-Ideas-13Who am I?