Daughter Person’s Easter Money

This is the first year that Daughter Person has received small sums of money directly for any holiday – $5 from finding the affikomen at Passover, and $12 from Easter eggs – and we’re not sure what to do with it.  Usually, we’re given a check to put towards her college fund, so we dutifully cash it and transfer that amount to her 529 account.  This year, we feel like it should be *her* money, and not go into her 529 account.  But, we’re not sure if we can use it to teach her about money – she can barely count to 10, much less understand the concept of dollars and cents.  I was figuring I’d wait until she could count to (or at least understand the concept of) one hundred.

She knows we have to pay for things – when we go to the grocery, she’ll carry her bag of goldfish (my bribe to get her to behave long enough for me to actually shop) up to the counter and lay it on the belt for the cashier, but I don’t think we’ve ever discussed amounts – how much we’re paying for things.

I was thinking we could let her buy a doll or other trinket with it, but I don’t think she’d understand the concept of “not enough money” yet – although $17 is enough to buy most of the little things she tends to want/ask for.

The other option is to add it to her savings account – the catch there is that I add a little bit of money there for her every month to use when she’s older.  We have a S is for Savings account open at PNC for her – and I think she’d understand the jars “save, spend, share” – but we’re back at the question of what to save for or how much to save.  Or maybe it just sits there until she’s ready to learn?

Any of my readers have ideas on introducing money to young ones (she’s just over 3)? 

8 thoughts on “Daughter Person’s Easter Money

  1. donebyforty

    That’s a tricky one. I don’t know when the right age is to start talking about those things is. But I think the jar idea is a good one. I wish I’d learned more about the share jar early on…trying to pick it up now is tricky.

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    1. Mom Post author

      We’re not so great on the “saving” jar ourselves. We put some money aside for sponsoring friends and family in races, etc. But we don’t tithe or give money just because. I’m thinking about having her help me pick which toys to donate later this summer, and trying to teach her that there are kids with less advantages than she has. Not sure if it’ll stick or if she’ll understand it, but I’ll have more toys out of the house!

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    1. Mom Post author

      My cousin’s daughter is 6-7 and was able to count up to the $136 that she got for Easter, so I’m really hoping that we get Daughter Person earlier, but I think it depends on her counting abilities – I might start with just dollars when she can count to $20.

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  2. Marie

    My daughter has a junior bank account too. She is a seven – year old, but she knows how to save money. She’s not like the other kids that always wants to buy toys and clothes. I think she is more frugal than me.

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    1. Mom Post author

      We’ve been lucky in that the only thing we really get asked for is goldfish (the cheesy cracker kind). She’ll ask to go “buy goldfish” when she wants some. We don’t watch commercial TV (only streaming), so she doesn’t get inundated with ads and things like that. And even when she does see something that catches her eye in the store, a simple “sorry sweetie, we can’t buy that right now” turns her attention elsewhere.

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  3. Catherine

    3 is still a tricky age, she’s still young. We have a education savings that we use for our daughter as well but sometimes people give her change too which she puts in her piggy bank. She has fun putting it in. Maybe you could try and give her options like ”put money in piggy bank”, ”buy a special treat/toy/whatever for less than <$17. I'm thinking she won't quite get it yet though… but maybe allow her to attempt to pick something out at a store and see if she can or cannot afford it because it's less/greater than $17?

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    1. Mom Post author

      She got $2 of that money in quarters, and I made her count the number of quarters she had, but that doesn’t help her know how much money she has (at least not yet). I will probably go by the bank and get more coins for her and let her put it in her piggy bank (counting the quarters!). I’ve been dumping my pocket change in there since she was born, so it’s probably pretty heavy by now!

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