Money management for the under 5 set

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I’ve debated the topic of allowances before.

There is a part of me that believes you shouldn’t get paid to do…LIFE.

You just do it.

But…my kids could also use some lessons in money management and the fact that you can’t just go out and buy whatever the kid on the school yard has.

Now that we’ve reinstituted the chore chart, we decided to let the big kids earn allowances…but with a lesson.

Because there are strings attached.


Always will be.

Get used to it.

Mason jars with lids spray painted a fun color and some stickers I had from my scrapbooking days.

One for spending and one for saving.

But my favorite one…the one for giving.

When I was asked to review the Child to Cherish Big Ear Piggy Bank, I wasn’t really sure what to do with it at first.

I mean, it’s darling.  I want to squish it’s cheeks it’s so cute.  It’s all cute and round and it isn’t wearing a tiara or have baseballs painted on it.  That’s always a plus.  But there was only one pig.  What was I going to do with one pig when I had four kids?

But then I had an idea:

While each kid gets their own mason jars…they would pool their giving money into one place.

Not only will it accumulate a little faster, but it begins the concept that it isn’t Henry’s money…or Lucy’s money…but already it’s ownership is communal.

(I think that one of the coolest things about the piggy bank is how simple it is…I’m considering painting a globe on the other side of it to illustrate how the money inside is to be given to others.)

In exchange for a fully completed chore chart, the kids will each get one dollar per week…paid out in the form of four quarters.

One quarter is required to go into each of the different “pots”.

Save, spend, give.

With the last quarter being given the option to go into the pot of their choice.

Andy made it a point to explain that the “give” option was our way of honoring God and giving to others in need.

It will ultimately be up to the kids how they choose to give the money when the time comes (maybe every 6 months?), but I think it would be fun to let them go shopping in the Compassion Christmas Catalog with their give savings.

Much to our chagrin, BOTH kids immediately chose to put their “extra” quarter into the spend jar.

Lucy hardly gave Andy a chance to finish his sentence before she quickly exclaimed she wanted to spend it.


Kinda sad how readily a three year old understood that concept.

But really, isn’t that what we all choose most of the time?


Sin nature.

We’ll be working on that.

Baby steps.

For now, I’m happy that we are beginning these lessons early.

Excited to help guide their decisions with that fourth quarter.

And looking forward to helping them take their jars of quarters to the bank at the end of the year and watch them freak out when they realize that they run out of quarters really quickly when they waste it on dumb stuff.

I can feel the tears and protests coming…

Do you do allowance with your kids?  What do you think of pooling the give money?  Who wants to paint an Earth on my piggy bank?

See more of the unique children’s keepsake gifts Child to Cherish provide by checking them out on:  Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Disclosure: “This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™.  I was provided a Piggy Bank for review, but all my opinions are my own.”



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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    Great idea to teach children about good saving/spending/donating habits! My kids are much older, but we have always given an allowance with the main goal being to handle money. We keep allowance separate from the chores. Chores are just something we do as a family to help out. Allowance is given based on age, the same every week. Once they got old enough, we signed them up for debit cards, so for the past few years they have really had a lesson in banking and saving and using the card to spend. Our hope is that they don’t go nuts with credit cards like my husband and I did when we first got one. :)
    Misty´s last blog post ..what i’ve been wearing.

  2. 2

    I think this is a great idea. My kids are 3, 4, 5 right now so this is super applicable to us. We use the World Vision catalog a lot, but I love the idea of having the kids all pool their money together and choose something to spend it on, especially right now before Christmas. I think we’ll be implementing this ASAP. I even have a million of those mason jars around and empty. lol
    Jamey from Zehlahlum Family´s last blog post ..10 Thanksgiving Books

  3. 3

    I like this idea – especially the 1 big “give” jar. My kids are 3 and 5, and I’ve been wanting to start something chore-wise with them, but I too have struggled with what they should get paid for and what they should just do. I saw an idea on pinterest to frame a chart and use dry erase markers on that, so maybe I’ll give it a try!
    Lissa´s last blog post ..The Happiest Place On Earth (Part 1)

  4. 4

    Fabulous idea! I’m totally going to do this with Adam – we haven’t done a chore chart yet, he just does certain things when we ask him to….but I’ve been feeling the need to be more structured in this area :)
    Kirsten´s last blog post ..Yoooohooooo….

  5. 5

    I used to hoard all my money – until my sister stole all of my savings out of my penny bank and my mom didn’t punish her. After that I spent away… When I moved out, I saved 10% of my income, that worked out pretty well.

    Having said that, our daughter 3.5) usually finds our change around the house, asks if it has an owner (we usually say it’s hers) and she promptly stuffs it into her penny bank.

    Until Monday night, when she blew an entire quarter on m&m’s from the candy machine. Boooooo. I think over time kids learn how to handle money in a lot of different ways -primarily by watching how their parents handle money. They are young, and it will be a lesson that will be interesting to watch them learn.


  6. 6

    awesome idea! love the idea of starting this valuable life lesson early on. might have to talk to the capt about this for our kiddos. : ) Thanks for sharing!

    PS; praying all is well on your end at the hospital. hope to hear a fabulous report soon!
    Rachel R Adams´s last blog post ..who are you?

  7. 7
    rachel h. says:

    We just started allowance 3 weeks ago. My daughters, 5 and 7, have been arguing around the clock, so we took a different approach. They each have a mason jar with Phillipainas 2:14 printed on it (DO everything without complaining or arguing), and when we catch them doing just that we tell them they can add a coin to their jar. We are using dimes and hoping to catch them being good 15-20 times during the week. It has made a HUGE difference in the family atmosphere. Then on Sunday mornings, we count our coins and trade them in for the dollars and the fewest amount of coins. (adding a little math in there). Then they take a tenth and give in in the children’s offering at church that morning. We haven’t started a long term savings aspect yet, but we want to add that on eventually too. It’s been really fun so far and a positive experience.

  8. 8

    We just started doing financial peace university. There is actually a whole section about kids and money and teaching them how it is earned and saved/spent/gifted. Our daughter is almost two, so not quite to that stage yet, but it will totally be something we use when she gets there.


  1. [...] money management for children. I still want to do an allowance for the kids but we still haven’t started :: Like [...]

  2. […] it was high time they started to learn the value of a dollar (or quarter in their case), and begin some lessons in saving, spending, and giving.  We finally decided that a chore chart filled with stickers would elicit one dollar per week, […]