Where does money come from?
Do we as adults even know?
How do we teach our children to value money?
Here's what works for us:
I frequently take my kids shopping with me. In the grocery store I have my eldest calculate the best unit price for a particular item. The next two have learned to look for the unit price on the shelf tag and I am teaching them about finding the best deal, Because it is not always cheapest to buy the least expensive item- think unit price. The 4th is in charge of finding cereal for $2 or less and the 5th is in charge of not touching anything and looking cute when he asks for a FREE cookie. (Or "lick cream" at Starbucks.)
When we go to the clothing store, we shop the clearance racks and I have taught my children no disdain for 2nd hand.
We have recently committed to no more eating out. *Sob* This includes my beloved Starbucks. Sorry, Jonah, no more "lick cream" for you. But even before the new commitment to eating out of our own refrigerator I could learn you a thing or two about eating cheap on the town.
Red Robin has coupons that they give to doctors, dentists, and chiropractors for free kids meals. My dad happens to be a chiropractor. At the local Denny's, kids eat free from 4pm to 10 pm Tuesday through Friday. And not just one or two kids per paying adults. I once took all 5 of my kids in for a free linner all by my self. On Sundays a local Mexican restaurant has kid's meals for 99 cents. And they don't care if I only order a coke and eat all the chips and mild salsa. I asked.
As for financial responsibility on the kiddo side....
We decided before our first child had teeth that there were no "magical creatures" that would leave money lying around. Lose a tooth, bring it to mom, walk away a dollar richer. All presents come from mom and dad, not some fat guy with infinite resources. And there is no rabbit dropping money filled plastic eggs in the yard each spring. That's not reality.
We have a job board, where each week the jobs are posted. The jobs that are beside each kid's name are the ones they are expected to do each day. There are other jobs on the board too that can be done for extra money- but only after all the regular chores have been finished for the day. The kids can do as much "overtime" as they want, provided they have already finished their assigned jobs. If they are asked to do a job that is not on the board, and believe me there are plenty, then it is understood that it is a job they do because they are members of the family.
If the kids miss no more than one day of chores in a week, the pay is $5. If they miss 2 or more days then the pay is $0- and we don't work on Sundays. From the $5 they tithe $.50, and $2.25 goes into each child's savings account. I make the kids go through the exercise of splitting the money up and I make it easy by providing the correct denominations. Then we make the trip to the bank where they make their own deposits. The other $2.25 is theirs to do with as they please. The catch? If we are at the store and the kids ask for something that is not a basic need, the answer to their question will always be a question of my own: "Did you bring your money?"
OK, I'll climb off my soap box now. I want to hear what works for you- and I especially want to hear from you, Kris.