Grow small change in your kids! New school year, new money habits

August is here, and for us, it’s time to go back to school. 

As parents, we're simultaneously overjoyed and stressed as summer ends and we prepare for the new school routine. While challenging, starting new routines can be an easy way to introduce new habits. 

Think about introducing three new money routines as you prepare for the academic year.

Money on a Weekly Basis

Small Change believes money should be a skill you practice just like reading or playing a musical instrument. This means hands-on learning. The only way to do that is to give your kids small amounts to 'train' with. You can tie this money to activities or chores if you want.

The important points are:

  1. Pick a consistent day to settle up
  2. Pay in small amounts that are easy to split up. For example, give your child five one-dollar bills instead of a five-dollar bill.

    Spend, Share, Save

      Another crucial step is to practice dividing money received into three categories – Spend, Share, Save. Small Change created our wallet sets to help keep kids’ money organized and easy to take with you to the store. The amounts are not as important as the discipline. So if your child receives five one-dollar bills, you can put $2 in spend, $1 in share, and $2 in save. 

      The key ideas are:

      1. You don't get to spend every dollar you receive
      2. Each wallet has a different goal and purpose to be working towards

      Small Change - Spend Share Save - Families Talking Money
      Set Spending Parameters

      Small Change believes 'hands-on' learning means allowing kids use their SPEND wallet to buy things. It’s important to establish parameters or your child will want to buy nothing but apps or candy.

      It's best to keep everything simple. For example, start with healthy snacks and educational books or small toys. Let them make their own spending choices. Make a list together so you can refer back if necessary.

      The main things to remember are:

      1. Allow them to spend their money to start understanding the value of things
      2. Only let them use what is in their SPEND wallet. Hold firm. No borrowing or bailouts.


      Beginning new routines is a great way to introduce new habits. It gives you a clean slate to take action.  The important thing is to begin.

      Start talking money with your family today. We have great resources ready to help!

      CFP®, Co-Founder

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