This is how we've decided to start for Chiquita:
- She will earn money for doing jobs. Not everything she does will earn money, there are some things she needs to do as a responsible member of our family. Right now the only job we've had her do for "coins" is feed our cats. I feel like picking up toys and putting dishes in the sink will stay in the non-earning category, but I will be looking for other jobs.
- There will be limits on what I will buy for her "for fun". When we went to the aquarium the other day she wanted to buy something from the gift shop. I told her she could as long as it was less than $5. She picked up a few things that were too much and after finding several things under budget she picked one. I was really pleased that she was so mature! I think it really helped that I didn't have to say no, just let her know what was and was not in her budget.
- She will get chances to spend her own money. For the first time we poured out her piggy bank and sorted her coins. She's just starting to learn numbers so I added up amounts for her, but she got to learn which were quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies and I talked to her about which were worth more. I (sort of arbitrarily) decided she could spend half of her money, so we split each pile of coins in half (she could spend 4 quarters, 10 dimes, 2 nickels and 50 pennies) and she put the rest back in her piggy bank. Armed with $2.60 we went to the grocery store. She got to pick out whatever she wanted, but I did make suggestions. I also let her know if she found something more expensive that she wanted she could save and get it next time. She settled on a bottle of bubbles and playdough, for a grand total of $2.13 with taxes. I let her get the coins out of her purse herself, but I did of course help her count out the right amount. She was very proud of herself (me too!)