One of the moms in my homeschooling group, Tes Wilson, is a financial fitness coach. When we met up last Wednesday, she gave the kids presents in the form of Moonjar money boxes. I really appreciate the gift and I think it's a really nifty concept, considering I've no head for money matters. I know how to be frugal, but I wasn't trained to go after something that I wanted that was "beyond our means". In a way it was kind of a good thing in that I turned out not materialistic. However, thinking that way was very limiting and it discouraged me from exploring creative possibilities. It also ingrained in me a feeling of helplessness and lack of control, an idea that when it came to finances, I was just supposed to be dependent on my parents and limit myself to what they gave me. I did want things, but somehow had this notion that it was wrong and just pointless to keep on thinking about them, so quell the desire I did. I think I turned out rather evasive of finances, like money is not something I could directly look at. I'm very conservative about it. I stay out of debt, but somehow cannot deal with it at all, as though it was embarrassing to think about it. Now that it's my turn to teach a child about money, I want to be able to do it right in such a way that she will have a healthy attitude toward it. I want her to see it as a blessing to enjoy as well as manage correctly. Definitely, it's something to be grateful for.
Marguerite has started with Moonjar. She's only four, so a big part of the fun is putting the money boxes together. There are 3 boxes marked Spend, Save and Share. We were supposed to glue pictures depicting the goal for each box, but since I didn't want to cut and glue, I just drew pictures on Post-its (easily replaceable too).
Marguerite has decided that she wanted to get Legos since she enjoys playing with them at Hobbes and Landes. That's going to be her first purchase under Spend.
The saving part was a little harder to explain, but she did say she wanted to go to the beach when I asked her if there was a trip she wanted to take or a place she wanted to see (I was so relieved she didn't choose a place abroad, lol).
For sharing, I kind of decided for her. I thought orphans were something she would easily understand and relate to, besides the fact that our church is already affiliated with a local orphanage/shelter.
Since we were already teaching her about money, I thought, why not start with tithing too? It's a habit/practice that should start as early as possible, as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, it might turn out to be something that frequently slips the mind or something that is easily compromised with.
There is even a passbook for this ingenious coin bank version. With it, you can note the percentages (tithe is automatically 10%, of course) and actual amounts. You can keep track of deposits, so it's an early lesson in bookkeeping, I reckon. :)
We got started right away. Mark and I gathered all the coins we had on hand and gave them to Marguerite.
Note to Tes: It's a terrific gift for both the teacher and the student. It made this valuable lesson easier for me to teach, and Marguerite is definitely having fun using it. Many thanks once again! :)