As you have probably heard your preschooler talk about Financial Peace Jr. or Junior himself recently, I wanted to give some suggestions on how to incorporate this program into your home. Over the past few weeks the kiddos have been introduced to new financial vocabulary including bank, store, money, work, spend, save, give, and dept. We have presented new concepts to the kids about the financial world and how to distribute money they earn. Lots of wonderful conversations have taken place and they have shown growth in understanding the concept of working and earning money. Bringing this program into your own home is an easy and beneficial system to have in place.
The first step is to establish what jobs or chores you would like your child to do in order to earn money. Working is the first step of the program that we covered. The students all have one job to do for the day, if they choose to do their job-they get paid. If they choose to NOT do their job, they do not get paid. We tried to make the concept super simple—Working = payment. Just as in the real world, when you show up and do your job, you earn a paycheck. So, at home for this area you need to establish chores you and your child agree upon that they will complete and then get paid for. Some chores may be expectations within your family, so they would not be paid. Establish the frequency of the jobs and the payment amount for completing each job as well. Establishing clear guidelines and walking through the entire process will be very helpful to make sure your child understands the expectations and process.
To help keep track of the jobs completed and payment you will want to set up a job chart in your home. You could simply handmake one or find a template you like online. If you want to be able to reuse the chart every week rather than making/printing a new one, just laminate the chart or easily use a page protector for simple wipe off with dry erase markers. Make sure that you and your child are marking the jobs completed or not completed each time. Follow up with conversations if they do not complete their job-What happens next? Do they still get paid? Encourage your child to try again tomorrow and remind them of the motto Hard Work = Money! Follow up with praise and support when jobs are competed! Make it a big deal so they will be eager to continue to do their jobs.
Next, you will need to set up the envelope system of how your child will divide up their money according to the guidelines in FPJ. For the preschool age group at school, the kids can earn $5 a week for doing their job every day. The program encourages them to split up their money as follows: Give-$1, Save $2, Spend $2. Now, this is a newer part of the program we are just now exploring so your child may still be trying to figure splitting up their earnings. Once each envelope gains larger values, spending that money accordingly will follow. Giving could be donating to a local charity, buying supplies to donate to a cause, or buying supplies in order to make something for others. Savings will go to whatever treat your child has had their eye on and spending will go to the little extras they may want to purchase. For example, have your child bring their spending money to the movies, have them take responsibility in buying the candy they want if you agree to only buy popcorn. Setting up the envelope system helps kids to establish how to prioritize their money now, which will greatly help them in the future.
Having your preschooler practice the Financial Peace Jr. program at home not only reinforces what they are learning at school, it is helping to build a foundation for future smart financial making decisions. Why not provide this wonderful opportunity? Bringing this program into your home will be so beneficial for the entire family! Practicing smart money making decisions now, will only lead to bright futures later!
Lead Prekindergarten Teacher