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Quarters, Nickels and Dimes - Oh My!

By now you should know that I like to get right to the point of each blog. Yes, I love to socialize, but hey, I know that we parents want it quick, correct and easy! Right? Ok, here ya go. BTW, this will be my LAST blog before my newest son comes any day now! Should you need to block tutoring time, e-message me please!

Teaching money is the perfect candidate for hands-on learning. Kids love to spend money. Teaching them to count it, save it, and give it is good training. Each time they have an opportunity to handle money they will become better and better with money and how to handle it! My 10 year old daughter ROCKS! Today, we went to Ikea. They are offering free lunch till the 5th of this month for kids up to 12 yrs old. My yummy food came to $5.99. Although I had my 4 kids with me I only paid for my food- awesome right? So, I gave the cashier a $10.00. Before she could give me my change, my daughter had already chimed in my change. And she was correct! She usually is though. She had been counting money on that level since she was 8 or so! Pretty good I think. This is a great skill because being pregnant sometimes I don't feel like standing in line. This pregnancy got me pretty good. I look for the closest bench, pass her my coupons, and rest for a second while she pays for our order close by. So reading a receipt and then balancing it in against what she has in her hand is a breeze!

Here's how we did it some 5 years ago! PRESCHOOL: Go to the dollar store and purchase play money, coins too-as soon as they learn how to count. They may not know coin values, but show them small sets of coins separated by denominations and let them count with you.

Gather some "in demand" items from around the house. Set prices on them like .01, .05, .25 and dollar amounts. I give them money to begin or let them earn the money to shop with by completing chores or worksheets. At first it took my kids some time for them to get the exact amount but, it's worth it! When all of their money is gone-the store is closed! For the OLDER KIDS, consider opening a savings account at your local credit union. Not only could they earn a little bit in interest, but can practice the goal of the 1/3 rule. Saving 1/3, spending 1/3, and 1/3 giving. We even included making them a offer to match what they saved in 2 months! You'll be surprised at how responsible and wise they will become with their own money!

Your end product is a child with a great relationship with money, whose not only a human calculator, but also a wise, responsible shopper and financially on the right road.