There’s an old saying, “Watch your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves”.  This year, I’m giving the kids a visual application of pennies to dollars and other financial principles with the Johnson Weekly Savings Plan.

A picture has been floating around facebook showing the compounding that comes when you start savings with a single dollar and increase the contribution by a dollar each week. At the end of the year, you end up with 1,378 bucks.  I love this idea and pilfered it for a cool lesson for the kids.  Our children have their own savings accounts and 529 college savings plans – but the money is in the bank or with the state. They don’t see it, touch the money, or regularly participate in the savings (the college fund deposits are done via payroll deduction).  We are doing the plan this year for kinesthetic learning.

The Setup

First I made a spreadsheet (most cool plans start with some kind of a spreadsheet). We all start with a penny and each week the savings will increase by an appropriate amount.  Etana will increase by a 5 cents, Jabari 10 cents and I will increase by 50 cents.  Year-end savings will be $66.82, $133.12 and $663.52 respectively.

The spreadsheet was printed as a chart to be posted in the secret hiding place for our savings.  Each Saturday we will go deposit our savings and check the week deposit as done on the sheet.  Jabari (and I) love checking stuff off lists. We are doing the secret hiding place to increase the fun factor for the kids. They  added whispering and tip toeing to and from the hiding place to the process – hilarious.  The secret place is also to reinforce that you don’t have to show or let people know how much money you have. 

To hold the funds, we are using plain old marinade and mason jars with a slit cut in the lid so they can see the savings grow. 

The Source of the Savings

We don’t do allowance.  The concept that someone will give you money for just waking up isn’t productive. So, Etana and Jabari, (oh – me too), will earn or otherwise morally secure the money.  It can come from money we already have or receive as a gift.  In the beginning, savings deposits can probably be found on the ground or between the sofa cushions.  Find a penny, pick it up and all day long…you’ll know you can add it to your savings. LOL.   As needed, Will and I will give the children extratasks they can do around the house or in Momma’s business to earn money.  We’ll also explore entrepreneurship a bit by helping them make and sell something – a painting, a kid’s shirt design for Tell ItTee, cookies…a bean pie – ROFL.  We’ll see what ideas they come up with and get excited about.  

At year end – what will we do with the loot?

I’m not sure. We have a year to figure that out.  We tithe, save, give and spend.  See Malachi 3:8–10, Matthew 23:23, Proverbs 21:20, Proverbs 30:24-25, Luke6:38, and Ecclesiastes 2:24.  Jabari is used to hearing these concepts and does them as we direct (except for the spend part, he got that down independently).  We’ll continue all of those as usual during the year the year.  At year end, it will be interesting to see his choices for the savings in front of him.  Etana still doesn’t have a concept of money  – we’ll see how she develops over the year.

The kids are excited about this plan (see picture LOL).  I am too.

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