Play Money--Works for Me Wednesday

The budget is slimmer this summer, but the activities all cost more! Even the 'free' movies cost $1 per person. Add a box of candy from the dollar store (the same box they sell at the theater for $4!) and a simple outing can still cost $10/day.

So rather than take money from our budget, I decided to 'cash in' some of the loose change that has collected in various containers. After we filled a couple of banks for the boys'  Sunday school and VBS giving, we dumped the rest of the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into a basket.

The boys started by sorting each type of coin into a bowl. Then I gave them each a muffin tin and had them count the coins into 10's in each little cup. I put them into coin wrappers and then we took them to the bank and traded them for $5's and $1's to be used for ice cream, movies, and other 'treats.'

I give them their own money to hand over to the cashier so they start to understand that all of those activities cost actual dollars. And a dollar spent at the movie today might mean there isn't a dollar for ice cream tomorrow (since they seem to think there is always another dollar or five for whatever they want).

At 5 and 8, they aren't to the stage where they can earn all of their own spending money, but by letting them see that there's work involved in getting it, and that it only goes so far, I hope we're starting to build better money understanding with them.

Find other useful tips at We are THAT Family's Works For Me Wednesday Blog Carnival.

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