Our Money System

I don't follow many blogs. I'm sure that's surprising especially because I design blogs for a living, but I just simply do not have the time. I limit the blogs I follow to the blogs of people I personally know or have met with one exception:


I've never met Shawni from 71toes, but her blog totally rocks! Recently she posted about a money system that I fell in love with the moment I read about it (read the details here). I knew it was something we just had to implement with Bryson and it has been amazing!
Mike and I have always believed very strongly in the principles of staying out of debt and saving for a rainy day using the 10-20-70 model (10% tithing - 20% savings - 70% living) and want our children to learn to live by those same principles. We've always tried to provide Bryson with opportunities to earn his own money so we can teach him the value of hard work and the joy of being able to save up and pay cash for something you really want. So when I came across Shawni's money system which implements all of those principles, I naturally fell in love.

I'll share with you how we've implemented the system (we've changed a few things to meet our needs), but I highly recommend you go here to read the original version because it has a better explanation than I will be giving here.
This is Bryson's check-list that I print off and tape to our kitchen wall at the beginning of each week. There are four things that need to be checked off on a daily basis in order for him to earn his weekly dough:

1) No whining. Bryson is in this horrible whining stage, so having this as a daily goal has worked wonders in helping him control the whine. He gets one warning and then he loses a sticker.
2) Daily chore. We have his (& our) chore assignments for the week written on a chalkboard in our kitchen, so he goes there to know what chore needs to be done each day.
3) 30 min. reading. He reads to me for 20 minutes and then I read to him for 10.
4) TV schedule. He is allowed 1 1/2 hours of TV/Movies and 30 minutes of computer time each day. He gets to decide when to use that time throughout the day. He can't go over his two hour limit or he loses a sticker.

We'll change and adapt the four things as he gets older but for now these are working great.

Every week he has the potential to earn $5. When he turns six he'll have the potential to earn $6/week, etc. If he misses even one sticker during the week, his earnings are cut in half. If he misses two stickers, he gets nothing...nada...zilch! He can however earn his missing stickers back by doing something really hard (determined by me) -- like doing an extra chore or eating a food that he doesn't want to eat, etc. The other day I pulled a shirt down from his closet for him to wear to school that he absolutely did not want to wear. He put up quite the protest about wearing it, so I told him this could be the hard thing he does that will help him earn back his lost sticker and sure enough, he put the shirt on and wore it the entire day.
Every Sunday is pay day and Mike acts as the banker. I love watching Mike teach Bryson about money. Mike has always been very wise with money and has taught me so much in the ten years we've been married. Right now if there's a toy Bryson wants, we make him earn and pay for it all himself. As he gets older we'll start making him responsible for earning and paying for more things like his own clothes, shoes, etc. In this picture Mike is helping Bryson use his fingers to count up all of the money he's earned over the last month.
Bryson earned a total of $20 this past month and was so excited because that's the exact cost of the pirate treasure box he's been saving so hard for.
But then Mike reminded Bryson about the 10-20-70 principle which meant that he first needed to pay 10% of his earnings to our church in tithing. Bryson wasn't too happy about giving up two whole dollars but Mike helped him understand that the money he earned wasn't really his--but that it was a gift from Heavenly Father and that paying tithing was a way of showing our gratitude for all we've been given. It was cute watching Mike teach Bryson how to fill out a tithing slip and lick an envelop.
Then Mike helped Bryson count out another 20% or $4 to put in his savings for college & his mission, which he puts in this cute little missionary bank (see previous post about it here). Mike was able to earn enough money growing up to pay for his entire mission all by himself and still have money left over for college and we really want Bryson to be able to do the same thing someday. So far he's off to a great start!

...and this is the look that came over Bryson's face when he realized after paying tithing and putting money in his missionary bank that he no longer had enough money in his spending bank to buy his treasure box....at least not yet! DARN! I have a feeling he's going to be extra motivated to earn all of his stickers these next few weeks...haha!

If you don't already have a money system in place for your children, I highly recommend this one. It has been wonderful and has helped us teach Bryson so well about giving, sacrifice, saving, and hard work.

Life rules.

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