I try really hard to teach my children the value of a dollar. This is done through many teaching moments such as explaining why they can't have a $60 toy at Walmart "just because", making them earn a slurpee after school, asking if they are going to pay for dinner when they want to go out, that sort of thing!
The one thing I find really works is having an allowance system. My kids get $5 per week for helping out with chores. If they don't help out that week, they don't get allowance. Chores range from empyting the dishwasher, taking the recycling to the curb, wiping down a bathroom, cleaning their rooms, putting away their own laundry, helping with supper, or setting the table.
Generally I let them decide how to spend their allowance. At christmas time they had about $30 each saved up and spent a lot of it on me!!! Sometimes I will save up the allowance and just give them a $20 bill every four weeks. I find they recognize the value of money this way. They are only 7 and 8 years old, but if we are shopping and they want something I make them tell me how much it is and then I ask "is that something you want to spend your allowance on?" and they will often say "no, I was hoping you would buy it". I will tell them that it is not in my budget either, but if they really want it that bad then they can pay for it. My daughter recently wanted to get a third remote for the wii so that I can play mario with them when they play. My husband and I agreed to pay for half of it since it will likely be by more than just her, but she handed over her $20 to pay for half of the remote! Now that she has payed for part of the wii system, I think she appreciates it more and is more careful when she plays it.
Having an allowance system works for us! It teaches the value of money, the value of hard work, and responsibility!
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