What would you say if I told you that my 4 and 5 year old get up, get dressed, and even make breakfast on their own every morning – and have been doing so for over a year? Or that they already have a strong grasp on the concepts of earning, saving, budgeting and even giving money?
So what’s my trick? In two simple words: START EARLY!!
It’s all about empowering our kids from the beginning. We’ve made it a point in our family to help our kids learn autonomy early. We are firm believers that:
It’s not what you do for your children, but what you teach them to do for themselves, that’s most important.
And today, I’m SO excited to unveil a whole new printables pack that will help you give your kids the gifts of autonomy, family contribution, money smarts, and a giving heart.
MPMK’s Kids’ Responsibilities & Money Management Kit
- Morning Routine Checklist (2 versions – one with graphics for pre-readers and one with blanks to be filled out to fit your routine)
- Evening Routine Checklist (2 versions – one with graphics for pre-readers and one with blanks to be filled out to fit your routine)
- Family Jobs Worksheet
- Money Jobs Worksheet
- Spend, Save and Share Ledger
- Savings Visual Goal Sheet
- Printable “Spend”, “Save” and “Share” labels for DIY Banks
Get your printable pack here:
I wanted to make sure it was extremely flexible and could be used by family’s practicing all types of chore and responsibility systems in the home.
So we designed it to be used in a variety of ways. Take each kid to buy a special binder and fill it with some colorful stickers to make their own personalized Responsibility & Money Management Book or laminate the sheets and stick them up around the house, on the fridge or the mirror of the kids’ bathroom.
Here’s how it works…
First up are our Morning and Evening Routine Checklists. These are key for establishing great self-care habits with kids! Both have the activity to be checked off along the vertical column and the day of the week across the top.
For younger kids (especially pre-readers and emergent readers who like to practice), there is a version with colorful graphics and simple labels for each task.
Since each family’s routines are different, we’ve also included versions of each routine checklist with blanks that you can fill in. Sitting down with your kids and deciding on the order of morning and evening tasks together is a great way to get them invested in, and excited about, the process!
If you’re new to a morning and evening routine, my recommendation is to work on the tasks together in the beginning. As you and your child complete items together, make a big deal about marking it off with a sticker!
You can also make these sheets reusable by laminating them and marking each task off with a dry-erase marker. In the past, we’ve also put them on the fridge and used small round magnets, which we slide onto the appropriate circle for the day.
Once kids get in the habit of marking off their accomplishments, you can begin to encourage them to do some things on their own. It will give them a sense of pride to show you what they can do independently. Plus, kids absolutely LOVE IT when they’re allowed access to the sticker pile to check things off all by themselves.
Keep working on transitioning tasks from things you do together to things they do on their own.
You can help your kids succeed by making things in their environment as accessible as possible. For example, keep their clothes in easy to access drawers instead of hanging high in closets. If you want them to work on making their own breakfast in the morning, create a shelf low in the refrigerator with yogurt cups, berries, pre-sliced fruit, pre-filled milk cups, etc. Also, keep their bowls and plates in a low drawer that they can reach instead of in upper cabinets.
Getting kids to take on a few personal responsibilities is a great lead-in to having them take on some family responsibilities.
All families handle chores and allowance differently, and we’ve designed the printables kit to be flexible for that. Don’t do allowance in your house? No problem, just skip the Money Jobs sheet.
In our house we have a list of family jobs as well as a list of extra money jobs.
Since our children are young and, therefore, have different abilities, their family jobs sheets are customized to each of them. A few of the jobs are the same (putting clothes in the hamper, clearing your plate, etc.) and some are different (sorting the socks for little sister and folding clothes for big brother).
We’ve left the spots on these sheets empty so that you can once again sit down with your child and decide together what their family jobs should be. This will really drive home the idea that the family works together and everyone in the family needs to contribute. It will also give your child a sense of ownership of his or her tasks.
Along with the family jobs that each child completes to help out the family, we also have a list of money jobs. These are extra chores that the kids can choose to do in order to earn some money.
Why do we want our young children to have their own money? Because it’s a great tool for teaching them important life skills like saving, budgeting, and giving. It also helps to teach them the value of money in a very real-world, hands-on way.
Again, you can approach money jobs in a variety of ways. The worksheet contains a spot for the job as well as a spot for it’s value (watering the plants earns our kids less than weeding and raking leaves). Each child can have their own Money Jobs sheet or they can all work off one common list.
Get your printable pack here:
Once the kids are earning some money, they need somewhere to put it!
Enter our printable labels for making your own Spend, Save & Share Banks. You can upcycle lots of things to create your banks – we like using glass or clear plastic drink bottles. Print the labels on cardstock and use decorative twine or yarn to tie them on or print on a piece of adhesive paper and stick the labels directly to the bottles. Helpful Hint: Let the kids decide what they want to use to make their banks and spend some time together cutting out the labels and decorating each one.
The idea behind these banks is to teach kids that all money isn’t for spending. It’s also important to put some aside for saving and for giving back. Letting your child pick what she wants to save for and a charitable cause he wants to give to is yet another way to get them excited about this process.
You can decide how much to encourage your children to put in each bank. Since ours are young and don’t totally understand the value of money yet, we keep it pretty simple. Usually we give them 3 coins for doing a money chore (or $3 if it’s a really big chore) and they put one coin in each bank. You may want to do 20% of earnings in savings, 10% in giving and the rest to spend – it’s totally up to you!
To give you an example of how we’re currently using these banks – the Spend Bank has been used for small purchases such as a $.99 app or an ice cream from the neighborhood ice cream truck. It’s also being used to save up for a $20 LEGO set. The Save Bank is money that will be contributed towards a family trip to Disney Land and the Share Bank will be used to buy some school supplies for local foster kids.
Another tool in the kit that the kids use along with their banks, is the Save, Spend and Share Ledger. We fill it out together and the notes section is another way of showing them how their money is accumulating as well as where it’s going.
So when my son wonders why it’s taking so long to save up for that LEGO set, he can see that it’s because he keeps buying ice cream!
The Savings Goal Sheet is another easy way for the kids to visualize how their savings is going. Simply pick an item the kids want to save for and fill it in at the top. Then write the total amount they need to save in the top space and fill in the incremental amounts they’ll need to save enough.
Every once in a while, get the kids to empty out their bank and color in the chart to see how much progress they’ve made.
Helpful Hint: The banks and goal sheets can be awesome catalysts for getting the kids to work together and share. Once my 4 and 5 year old saw how long it was going to take for big brother to save for the LEGO set, little sister decided they should pool their money since she’d likely want to play with it too. Similarly, my friend’s daughter recently used some of her “Share” money to buy her little brother an ice cream cone when he didn’t have enough money of his own.
That’s it! Everything you need to start raising some happy, self-sufficient, money-smart and generous kiddos!
P.S. If you buy the pack, I’d love to see some shots of your DIY banks or even the kids using the routine charts, savings sheets, etc.
Get your printable pack here:
P.S. If you’re interested in the binder featured in the photos above, it is Martha Stewart and can be purchased on-line through this affiliate links:
And here is the affiliate link to the laminator I use for all my projects if you’re interested in making the pages in your kit reusable: