It's time to start an honest conversation about money

It will start with three jars.

The first jar will be spending money - for candy and small toys that fall into the "want it now" category.

The second jar will be saving money and we'll stick a picture of whatever he is saving up for on the jar.
Background image by Shawn Campbell


The last jar will be charity money, which mommy and daddy will match and we can spend that money on a worthy cause together.

Three jars and an entire conversation can be started.

You see, my son is quickly leaving toddlerhood behind, and it is time to introduce him to real money. This is a big leap for us from our previous discussion about money in stores or during playtime with his cash register. This is a big leap.

But, it is also an important one: After reading the findings of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research's annual Monitoring the Future study, it seems that by the time children hit their teenage years, all they want to do is spend. I want to give my son a firm foundation in money education (side note: I believe that all high schools should have a mandatory fiscal education class that teaches students budgeting, but that's another post for another day).

So, we will begin with three jars.

How does the money conversation go in your household? What do you do to teach your children about money?

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