Friday, May 27, 2011

The Value of a Dime

or even a nickel.

There are a number of values that we are working to instill in our boys. One that we wanted to start working on with them at a young age was the value of money. Hunter is nearly four and he is starting to ask about money and buying toys.

Matt and I both grew up in families that worked hard for everything they had. There were no handouts and no welfare cheques. We did without a lot of extras and learned to save our pennies if there was something special we wanted to purchase. Those values have followed us into our adult lives. We manage our money very well now, have little debt, invest ten percent of our income and are also able to live comfortably off of just Matt's salary. I am proud of our accomplishments and am thankful my parents instilled these values in me.

As a kid I started making extra money by picking up pop cans in the ditches. Sunday drives with the parents were also bottle gathering expeditions. I have many a memory of digging through garbage cans in the campgrounds too! Just like a raven. So this is where we decided to start Hunter off. I am sure most people start by paying their kids to do chores around the house, but we believe that those chores are just part of being a family and you don't receive money for that.

On our last trip to Ross River I told Hunter that all of the beer and pop cans that he saw in the ditch could be turned into money if he picked them up and took them to the recycling depot. And that later that money could be used to buy a new toy that he could take on the plane for our vacation to Cape Breton. Well he was hooked right away! He walked 2km picking up pop cans as we went. Cavan even pitched in! Over those 2km of picking up only the cans easily in reach, he had filled two of the white Glad kitchen garbage bags. When we returned to Faro, we told him he could have all the cans from our house if he helped load them into the truck.

So with the truck loaded with cans, we took him down to the recycling depot to get his money. Hunter also had to unload all of the cans off of the truck. Hunter had actually took me literally when I said we would turn the cans into money. As Peter, the man in charge of our recycling centre, sorted the cans, Hunter kept asking how he would turn them into money! So cute.

In the end, Hunter ended up with $17 from all of his cans. We held his money for him for a few days until we got to Whitehorse. In Walmart he picked out a toy and one for his little brother for the plane. We had the most fantastic cashier that day too. Hunter took the toys and money up on his own, told the cashier about all the cans he picked up and even remember to say thank you as she passed him his change.

It was one of those proud parent moments for sure.

So what are you doing to instill the value of money in your children? How was it instilled in you?

Watching intently as Peter sorts the cans:

Let's tally this up:

Receiving his money:
And a huge thank you to Peter Kazda at the recycling depot for making this such a fun experience for Hunter!


Tigger said...

Peekaboo and Ezra love saving pennies and nickles they find for trips to the Thrift Store! They know the toys are used, but also know they cost less. When she gets money as a gift, Peekaboo always choses a toy for herself and her brother, and is always sure to write a Thank You note!

The can thing is a great idea though, yay! I don't think they pay for cans here....?!?!

Morena said...

My parents tried very hard to make us see the value of money. At a really early age my $5 allowance was budgeted into special things, Bank and spending money.I also worked at my parents drug store and had to pay for half of any big ticket item that I wanted. Unfortunately, all their efforts where lost on me. Not that I don't value money, I just can't seem to budget very well. Thankfully, Nick is good at it so he keeps me in line.

I may take your lead when O is old enough. The can idea is great. And I agree, you don't get paid for household chores you should be doing anyway.

Linda said...

My grandchildren live outside a small town on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Since they were small the fun trips to the thrift stores are where they have bought all their toys and clothes. Even at 16, 12, 10 and 8 they still buy their school clothes there.