(Ineffectively) Teaching kids about money

This is what I had to yell into the backseat, as the boys were fighting over who has more money. Our attempt to teach the boys about money with Moonjars (Saving, Spending and Sharing), as well as allowing them to do chores to earn money, seems to have backfired. Now, all that mattered to them was who had the most money. Sibling competition is such fun.

And they are still learning the value of money. They think all of these coins are worth the same amount.

They even put the large, fake coins they found on the playground in their Moonjars piggy banks.

And were adamant that they would be able to buy something with them in a store.

My boys’ understanding of money reminds me of a poem written by the best poet ever. (Ever.)


My dad gave me one dollar bill
‘Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes — I guess he didn’t know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ’cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And then I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head —
Too proud of me to speak!

Shel Silverstein

So for now, I think we’ll just focus on teaching the boys to give love and compassion and to serve others. Otherwise, they might try to donate those fake coins.

How do you talk to your kids about money?

At what age do they tend to “get it”?

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