Tuesday, November 6, 2012

a money system that works

Sometimes I like to try to reinvent the wheel. 

I mean, there is so much new technology there’s got to be a better way to do a lot of things, right?  And then when it comes to parenting, there are new whiz-bang ideas everywhere you look. 

My parents had a money system for us growing up.  It is outlined in detail in this book (and a few of their other books).

I remember pretty vividly the day my Dad introduced the new “system.”  He sat us down on our big brown patchwork sectional (the vintage one I wish I had a picture of) and showed us a video he had made… of himself explaining our new money system.

I think I need to try that method of getting children to listen if I can still remember it all these years later…

Anyway, the system worked.  It was a little complex, but boy did I want to earn money.  I had to pay for my own clothes starting when I was eight so you bet I needed it.  Plus our system provided ten percent interest per quarter.  You sure can’t beat that!  I had enough saved up (because of our 10-20-70 principle we adhered to strictly…all about that back here) to write up a big check from my account in the family bank to pay for my first year at Boston University.

When I became a mother I wanted to teach our kids money from the start.  I just didn’t think I had it in me to do the whole shebang my parents had done.  And Dave, who didn’t grow up with our system, had his own ideas.  We came up with several more simple methods for kids to deal with money. 

Well, as all parents know, as with any parenting idea, these things have to be worked and re-worked. 
And then re-worked again. 

Depending on ages and stages and understanding and availability of the parents.  So that’s what we did:  over and over again we re-vamped our money system.  Because let’s face it, who doesn’t want their kids to grow up money savvy and UN- “entitled” in a world that could eat you alive if you don’t understand things like credit card debt and the concept of savings?

Some things we did worked great.  Others flopped.  But finally this year, as our kids have finally reached an age of understanding a little bit better, we were ready:

We adopted “The Eyre Money System” in it’s almost entirety. 

And we’re finally in a stage where it works.  REALLY works.

This is what we do with our few little tweaks:

Each week I tape these little puppies up for the kids to check off on a daily basis:
2012-09-23 Barney ranch 60817
Yeah, as you can see, it’s taken certain kids a little longer to get going on this than others, but three of them are full-fledged into it now every week. 

We have a little work to go on the others…

There are just four things they have to do each day, but some are inclusive of more than one task. 

1)  “Morning Stuff” includes all the stuff they do before school: make bed, tidy up room, do breakfast jobs, come to the family room for family scriptures on time (6:30).

2) “Practice” is just their practice on the piano (we are wimpy and only practice 20 minutes per day right now…), and Grace and Claire have to practice their math flashcards 3x each.

3) “Zone” is from our zone chart I wrote about back here.

4) “Reading” is that they must read by themselves outside of school for a half hour every day. 
When they complete their four things for the day, they get Dave or I to sign off on them.  2012-09-09 misc 60239
Each week the kids have the potential to earn their age in cash from these nifty charts.  That means Max, being fifteen, has the potential to make 15 bucks.  Which is good money as far as I’m concerned.  He has to pay for half of all of his own clothes though so he really does need it. (The kids have to pay for half of everything when they turn twelve…except for underwear, socks and Sunday clothes cause research shows they won’t buy that stuff….our research….the kind that errs on the side that will ensure they have something decent on Sundays and that they don’t blow people away with stinky-ness.)

On Sunday afternoons we have “pay-day.”  (Growing up we did this on Saturdays, but we can’t, for the life of us, fit that in.)

We pull out the good old family bank I inherited from my family and get to work.  2012-09-09 misc 60233

Dave is actually the real “banker.”  I love that.2012-09-16 Barney ranch 60482
And really let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that handsome guy for a banker??

If they miss even one check-mark during the week, they only get half of their age for that week. And if they miss more than two, they get zero. We’re kinda serious business around here. But we do let them memorize one poem a week to make up for one missed mark if they need it (that’s my FAVORITE part…more on how much I love having them memorize poetry soon…).

Here’s Elle memorizing a poem so she can make up for a missed mark:2012-09-16 Barney ranch 60483

Let’s give that little golden box a little shout-out:2012-09-09 misc 60241Don’t you love how that opens?  (The key for the lock was lost long ago.)

My Dad carved that sucker for us as kids all those years ago.  It says “The First National Bank of Eyrealm.”   (Much more about that bank over here.)

I love it.

Let’s take a look inside:
2012-11-02 home 64103
We pay the kids their cash from here each week.  (And for some reason Dave got a few two-dollar-bills last time he was at the bank which Grace only realized recently are actually real money…)

As I’ve talked about a bunch before, we are huge proponents of the 10-20-70 principle (here) and we adhere to it with a vengeance.   As soon as we determine how much each child has earned for the week they calculate out how much of that they owe for savings and tithing.  They put their 10% tithing tucked away in an envelope in a drawer in their bedrooms until they bring it to church.  They put their 20% savings back in the bank and it’s safe in there ‘til they need it for something big like college or missions some day. 

We keep track of savings for each child in a check register like this:2012-11-02 home 64102

They totally help so they can have ownership of the whole deal…and it’s great for their math skills as well.2012-09-09 misc 60240

Although Max does these charts (with as much enthusiasm as you can imagine a 15-year-old boy would) he's kind of on a different system because he has his own real bank account.  (More about that near the end of this Q & A.)  When he gets paid for this money system, instead of having his own check register in our family bank, he makes a deposit at the bank.  He automatically transfers 20% to his own savings account there and takes out 10% for tithing.  He is still eligible for the high family interest in his savings account cause we want to help it grow for him.  We'll start Elle on that system soon.

I know there are tons of things I haven’t answered.  I have a bunch of money questions stored up in my “blog questions” email box that I’ll try to get to along with any new questions on Friday.  But for now I want to link to a “work and money” program my amazingly talented sister just put up on Power of Moms. It is really cool because it walks you through each step of the original Eyre family money system along with a bunch of other ideas and has worksheets and stuff to help people make a system that works uniquely for your own family.  The link for more info. on that is here.

2012-09-23 Barney ranch 60823
So, after all that effort trying to re-invent the wheel, here we are back at the beginning. 

And boy am I grateful for this system that works. 

Sure, we have tons more tweaks to go, and it is certainly not fool-proof by any means, but we’ve been going strong for a few months now and I’m loving it.  I love that it has all the potential to really help our kids understand more about money in the long run...and savings.  And giving.  And work.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being so deliberate about all that stuff when you were raising us.

P.S.  Oh man I don't want to get political but I'm just gonna say, REMEMBER TO VOTE!!!

(Lot's of answers to the questions that came in the comments to this post over here and also here.)
Related Posts with Thumbnails