In the past few months Eli has requested he be allowed to buy legos at Target with his own money. Two times he's been granted permission and fun math and savings talks have followed. We've also discussed tithing several times, and Eli has even participated willingly. But we had yet to really dive into savings and how to manage money as it comes in yet. And with Eli's last birthday and some recent extra jobs for Daddy, money has been exchanged more than usual.
So tonight we talked to the kids during dinner about how our family manages money. For them it meant setting up three piggy banks in each room (not a problem because they've received plenty over the years): one for tithing, one for savings and one for spending. We talked about what each bank was used for and we also let them know that any money put into savings would be matched by Lehr and I. For us, savings is not saving for a week to buy a set of legos, or even a month to buy a bigger set of legos, but more of saving for several, many months, maybe not even with a specific goal in mind. That bank is not to be touched without Mom or Dad present.
The conversation was great and the follow-up activity was even better. Both kids went to their rooms to get all money and banks. Lehr helped Maddux and I helped Eli as we then counted it all (hello, math!) and sorted all coins into dollar piles. Then we talked to them about how they wanted to divide it. I'm not sure of Maddux's strategy, but they piles seemed somewhat even. Eli wanted to split it totally even, three-ways. His bills lended themselves to one pile being a little larger, so I suggested he put that pile into savings, which he was happy with. I feel really good about the direction we're hopefully leading them in with money. So far Eli has been so willing to tithe when he receives money....hopefully it will continue, especially when he's able to see how much money God is still allowing him to use at his own discretion.