My four year old seems to be really interested in money lately. Ever since she connected the fact that us running out of things and not having them connects with money, she seems fascinated. Why don’t we always have enough extra cash to do what she wants to do? Who has money, and how do they get it?
It embarrasses my husband a little, because she tends to announce to anyone and everyone that we don’t have any money if I have told her we can’t buy something. (For example, the other day in Hobby Lobby she asked me for something, and when I said I couldn’t buy it because I didn’t have the money—I would have bought it for her if I had the funds at the time—she told a lady who was making a bouquet that she was sorry, but we didn’t have any money to buy her flowers.) I am not embarrassed. I am very interested in teaching my girls about finances early on.
That being the case, I have begun to give my four-year-old an allowance. I think she might be a bit young, but if there is one thing I have learned about with kids, it’s that you capitalize on their interest before it’s gone. So, in the spirit of things, I have given her chores to do. I have her feed the cats and dogs in the morning, and keep dishes out of the living room by putting them in the sink. It’s not much, but if she does those chores every day at the third day I give her a dollar. So, she gets about two dollars a week. Not bad for a four year old.
I am hoping to teach her not only about spending and saving, but about being responsible for helping out with the house. In a little while, when she has gotten used to the chores she has I will give her new ones, and teach her that she is no longer receiving money for feeding the animals and picking up the living room—those are her responsibilities and she is expected to do them without reward.
I’m not sure if this is the right route to go or not—heck, I’ve never raised a child before! But I’m keeping my fingers crossed.