The kids have each been getting $2 allowance since we started our Sunday night Family Meetings two weeks ago, and they absolutely love it. We wanted them to do more than just pocket it, lose it, spend it, or heaven-knows-what-else with it, so I went on Amazon and got these Money Savvy piggy banks for each of them. (Chloë picked purple, Sophia pink, and inexplicably, Jack wanted a football. He has no care for football outside of this bank, so I was amused by this choice.)
When the banks arrived in the mail, I took each child aside and explained what each section (Spend, Save, Donate, and Invest) was about, and how we wanted them to portion off their money for each.
First, I told them that "Invest" was a special kind of savings that we would talk about further later but not really deal with at present. So none of their allowance currently goes into that slot.
Second, I told them I wanted them to donate about 10% of their allowance to the cause or charity of their choice. Chloë decided she wanted her donations to go to CHKD, which I think is great because both Jack and Sophia have been treated there. Her siblings followed suit, so we'll all be donating to CHKD when their donations have grown. Mom and Dad will make matching donations for each child. One of our local radio stations teams up with CHKD to get "change bandits" like our kids to donate their loose change, during a big fundraising push (I think) in the Fall, so I'll wait for that and then get them to call in and donate their piggy bank money. I think they'll like that!
Then we discussed "Save." I asked each of them what they might want to save up some of their money for. Sophia decided she'd like to have a nice Barbie or two. I told her that would take about 20 bucks or more, so she would know when she had enough money to go to the store.
Jack saw a nice helicopter toy when he was out with his dad recently, and I forget how much it costs, but that's what he decided to save up for.
As for Chloë, when she turns 10 in September, we're going to celebrate the milestone by taking her up to the new American Girl store in D.C. to pick out a look-alike American Girl doll, maybe have a tea party, and do whatever else we can there. I have to do more research; she knows more about AG than I do from studying the magazine and catalog she gets monthly! Anyway, I told her I would pay for the trip there and the doll itself, but any ear-piercing or accessories or whatever else, would be hers to cover. So she's saving her allowance for that, and it's really thrilling for her.
As for the "Spend" category, I told each of the kids that after putting money in the "Donate" section, they could put no more than half the remaining in that slot, with the other half (or more) going in the "Save" slot. So far they have chosen to do that, half and half. They went to the store with Dad the other night and each brought along what "Spend" money they had collected in their banks, but none of them decided to spend any of their money. I think they're already realizing that it's a lot harder to part with when it's your own, and they are being careful with it. I think that's fantastic!
So if you have any suggestions to go along with this new money-saving adventure for them, please let me know. When their "Save" sections are full, I plan to take them each to the bank to open a children's account and learn about banking some more. Should be fun.