Did you know that “In God We Trust” wasn’t added to coins until the American Civil War? It was first inscribed in 1864 on a two-cent piece. Even then, money and budgeting were an important part of daily life.
According to the Federal Reserve as of April 2017, there was approximately $1.54 trillion in circulation in the United States’ economy. With one-fourth of adults in the United States barely able to pay their bills each month despite the amount in circulation, it’s more important than ever to teach kids how to manage their money.
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In our home, we have used a three jar system to help the kids understand where their money is and where it’s going. Since we have been working to teach our kids to track their money, it helps them to physically see it versus putting it all in the bank.
We also discuss the lifespan of paper money and how having it tucked away in a jar might impact that (it’s a great science lesson!). Did you know that the average lifespan of a $100 bill is about 15 years while a $10 bill only lasts about 4.5 years? Can you guess which one is circulated the most?
The labels on our jars indicate their purpose: Save, Spend, Give. Each week, when they get their allowance, (or in my oldest case- earns money at his lawn mowing job) the kids have to divide their money and place it in the proper jars.
It’s been a great way to teach them to save up for the things they want and has cut down on them asking for things at the store! To create your own saving jars, just follow the easy directions below. It should take about a half-hour to 45-minutes to create all three.
DIY Kid’s Money Banks
- 3 Empty food containers of various sizes with lids
- 3 Sheets craft paper with designs
- 3 Sheets colored cardstock paper
- Letter Stickers
- Hot Glue Gun/Glue Scissors
- First cut each piece of design paper to the size of each container to wrap around it.
- Wrap the paper around each container and glue down edge.
- Using your scissors, cut a small rectangular hole into each plastic lid, large enough to fit coins into.
- Cut small round pieces of the design paper out to fit onto each plastic lid, glue on each lid, and cut through the paper to make an opening where your hole is in the lid.
- Now cut 3 rectangle size shapes out of the colored cardstock paper. Make sizes of your choice based on each container size.
- Using the letter stickers, spell out the words: Save, Spend, Give. Put one word on each rectangle paper.
- Glue each paper word to a container of your choice.
- Just snap the on the lids and you’re ready to start filling with money! It’s a great way to teach kids money handling skills!
Don’t forget to print out the directions to have handy!
Want to go a step further? Check out these books to learn more about teaching kids financial responsibilities!
Finance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to MissThe Everything Kids’ Money Book: Earn it, save it, and watch it grow!How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save! Invest!What All Kids Should Know Savings and InvestingMoney-Making Sunny (Finance Whiz Kids Book 1) Money Matters for Kids All About Money The Money Savvy StudentThe Lemonade War