Sunday, June 5, 2011

Simple Bank Tutorial!

I still do my banking at our little village bank where I opened my first account about 30 years ago. I know...small towns rock.

My children are beginning to show an interest in money. We've never done allowances, or money bribes (say, to get them to practice reading or make their beds); with the pervasive use of chip cards, they haven't had much experience with spending money. Jude has started pocketing spare change he finds scattered around the house. I take back the loonies and "toonies" (for you non-Canadian readers, we have a one-dollar coin in Canada with a picture of a loon on it (hence, loonie); our two-dollar coin has a polar bear on it, and is called a toonie...quaint, isn't it?) but leave him the rest.

When the two older children received cash from their aunt and uncle for their birthdays, I knew it was time to start teaching them about money. Although I realised it would be loads of fun for them to go to the nearest Walmart and blow it on some crappy toy, I also want them to see that saving money, or at least a portion of their "income", will allow their money to "grow"...into a larger, better-quality toy, for instance, or possibly a new pet!

All they needed was a place to save their money and to watch it grow...

A large mason jar makes a perfect "bank"...the growing stash of money is clearly visible, and some can be removed without smashing the whole container!

I used a knife to punch a slot into the top of the lid. You may want to cover the underside of the lid with felt, to cover any sharp edges. Or you may think of a better way to make a slot. But there has to be a slot! Dropping money into a bank and hearing it "plink!" is part of the fun.

You can personalise your bank with a stitched label, if you're so inclined. This was a spontaneous, quickie kind of craft, so I used letter stamps and acrylic paint to make my labels on scraps of cotton.
Using Aleene's Original Tacky Glue, I wrapped a band of colourful fabric around each jar (Jude's fabric is from one of his toddler shirts!) Use the Tacky Glue to stick the label on.

Voila! Done! I love a craft that is this cute, makes little mess, AND is done in about 10 minutes!

The kids are delighted to watch their money grow. Teaching your child about money is as important as teaching them to grow a garden (in my opinion!)...managing it, keeping track of it, planning on how to spend it, making it grow.

It's not about becoming millionaires.

It's about wanting my children to have a sense of the value of their money. It's about wanting them to learn to spend it wisely (rather than blow it on poor-quality, momentary pleasures). It's also about having a bit of fun now and then (by, say, spending 50 cents on nickel candies (I remember when they were called penny candies...)).

What lessons do you hope to teach your child about money? And how do you do it?


  1. I would like to make one of these for John and one for me! For the change on our dressers :)
    We try to teach our children to split their money: save 1/2, give 1/4 away and spend 1/4. If we go shopping, and S wants 35.00 shoes and I tell her I only planned to spend 25.00, then she has the option to contribute the other 10.00. Now that she earns it babysitting, it's not as easy to throw it away. But if she does decide to spend it this way, she DOES take better care of those shoes!

  2. That's a great idea! Thank's for sharing :o)

  3. Awesome! I had been wishing to start teaching Joseph about money and when he made a few $$$ selling Rice Krispie Squares at our garage sale, I thought I might as well start.
    Similar to Lana's comment, J has 4 jars: Spending - 40% (Mad money,he can buy anything)
    Saving - 30% (for planned spending, saving up)
    Sharing - 20% (donations, friends etc)
    Schooling - 10% (post secondary - it's never too early!)
    Obviously he doesn't totally get it yet, but the seeds are planted. I let him take $3 to the grocery store last week. He learned that he could only afford one thing and had to make a choice about what to get and what to leave. He was super proud to tell anyone that would listen that he bought those 'monkey treats' with his own money! (Almost as proud as me!)

    PS - loving the new header

  4. LOVE the new header! So bright and refreshing! I need you to help me jazz up my blog and get back into business. The Letter Writing revolution as been greatly neglected.
    I got caught up on your last three posts and loved them all.
    Great writing and photos!

  5. P.S When you click on the glorious favourite post blocks....upper right.....they don't link up to the post. Might want to check that.
    Love that the best of Knitty Gritty are easily accessible.


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