Our Ellie girl is 4 years old, and has never really shown interest in money. However, recently, she and her daddy were at Sam’s club, and she spotted something.
“DADDY! LET’S GET THAT CLUBHOUSE! I LOVE IT!”
Never one to miss an opportunity for teaching, Andrew offered her a deal. If she worked to earn money for the clubhouse, we would match it. The one they saw was only about $600, so if she earned a dollar a day, she’d have it in a year.
Ever since then, we have been offering her opportunities to earn money by doing chores around the house. We never pressure her to do the work, but we always say that she can choose whether she wants to play, or do the chore and earn a money for her clubhouse. We have a big glass container for the cash, and Andrew taped a picture of the wooden play structure to the outside. Every time Ellie chooses to clean up, or help with the laundry, or volunteers to help with something, we reward her with some money. Then we talk about what the money is going to buy! It’s a fun way for us to help teach her many different lessons, like delayed gratification, working toward a goal, and the concept of intrinsic motivation.
Today they asked to help with the laundry, so they each got a nickel when all the laundry was in the dryer!
Plus, now when Andrew and I go to work, we can explain to Ellie that we are also working so that we can save up and buy things that we are excited about, like chickens or a tractor. Or a septic system. Maybe not as glamourous or fun as a clubhouse, but another step on the way to our dream!