Blogging all things parenting… and sometimes a bit in between ;)

How do you spend a penny?

on February 28, 2014

wotw penny

Picture source: The Guardian via Pinterest

In an attempt to introduce our little bear to the concept of the value of money and the decisions it involves, we have this week seen this ‘attempt’ come to fruition.

It works like this.  She gets ‘a penny for her purse’ each time she:

Helps to tidy up

Is patient (while getting food prepared/while on the phone etc)

At random times when she is safe ~ she recently told us to check for fire when the smoke alarm went off, told me to stop before crossing the road)

It also works the other way:

Every Monday morning after breakfast, if she asks to watch TV for a little while, she has to put ‘a penny in the pot for the pictures’ to make the TV work.  We all have to put a penny in the pot at this point.  Once there’s a penny in the pot on the Monday, we can all watch TV for the rest of the week.

Once or twice she has asked for a toy with her pennies which she has been told she hasn’t got enough pennies for.  Then she has asked US to get the toy for her!  So, we have told her we will BUT she has to give us a penny for each day that she wants to play with that toy/watch that DVD (thank goodness for cheap DVDs online!)  

So that’s briefly how it works.  And it’s very interesting to see how savvy she is.  Not only is she thinking twice before she watches TV because she wants to save her pennies for sweeties or a toy at the end of the week (although she inevitably does give in an put the penny in the pot for the pictures at tea time on  Monday night!).  She is also ‘charging’ US to watch a DVD that she bought with her pennies!  And of course we have to oblige.  After all, it can’t be one rule for one…

Some may say it’s over the top.  A colleague joked this week that it’s child labour!  But it works for us and it’s getting our little bear thinking about money in all sorts of ways.  What do you do to encourage your little ones to earn, save and spend?

Another week, another word with The Reading Residence’s #WordoftheWeek

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30 responses to “How do you spend a penny?

  1. We introduced pocket money about 6 months ago, just 50p a week, but it’s surprising how quickly it builds up when he saves it. It means that I no longer buy little toys randomly when we’re out shopping – he has to use his pocket money if he wants something. It’s been interesting to see how he changes his mind about something when he has to use his own money for it – he’ll only buy something if he really really wants it. I’m also impressed by his hoarding instinct – most money gets squirrelled away in his money box and he likes to count it all up frequently. It’s been a brilliant way to introduce the concept of money, and to show how some things cost much more than others. Love your pennies idea!

  2. I don’t think that’s over the top, it’s a great idea. It does get tougher as they get older though 🙂 #WotW

  3. mummytries says:

    Love this, what a fab idea 😊 #WotW

  4. Kate Holmes says:

    Interesting approach.

  5. This sounds really interesting! We’ve not tried anything like this with Boo, but she does love getting rewards such as stickers and charts, so she’d probably love it! Thanks for sharing with #WotW x

  6. Kim Carberry says:

    What a great way to teach her about managing money….I might try it with my girls 🙂

  7. I’m pleased it’s working well for you 🙂

  8. I agree – great idea! How old is your little bear? My JJ is four so maybe this is something we could have a go at…#WotW

  9. I think that’s a great idea, sadly too late to try this with our lot! #WotW

  10. That is a really good idea, I think. Charge a penny to watch TV. I might just start using that in our house soon/ #WotW

  11. This is a brilliant idea! I’m going to do this with my eldest. He’s already obsessed with money (point out cashpoints, raids wallets and purses…).

  12. I do love this idea! Being able to get them thinking and appreciating the cost of everyday life is a vital skill that they can never learn too young. I think we may follow your lead and try something similar. Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. What a great idea! It is never to early to start these kind of things. #WotW

  14. Alice Megan says:

    You’re never too young to learn about money!

  15. Really love this idea may start a similar system with my little ones 🙂 nxx

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