kids

How to teach your children about money using three jam jars.

There’s this guy. He’s called The Barefoot Investor. You might have heard of him.

He’s written a little book that everyone in the world in my office is obsessed with. We ran a story about it, here.

Mr Scott Pape promises he can give you the tools to save up a six-figure house deposit in 20 months, double your income and save yourself seven years of mortgage payments, all of which sounds marvellous, but he also hasn’t forgotten about the little people.

No, not the ones who are priced out of a semi in Woop Woop, I’m talking about The Kids.

He has a system for the kids that has changed my life.

LISTEN: Holly Wainwright is using the ‘jam jar’ method to teach her kids the value of a buck (post continues after audio…)

My small people, like many others, are obsessed with what money can get them – teeny-tiny plastic collectables, lollies, spiky Lego, chicken nuggets – but have no concept of money itself.

So when we spoke to Mr Pape for our podcast This Glorious Mess, Andrew Daddo and I asked him how to remedy that. How to make the little buggers grateful.

And he told us – three jam jars.

One marked Spend, one marked Save and one marked Give.

My kids got most excited about decorating them – with my nail polish and some sticky-notes.

And now, any time any money comes their way – from the tooth fairy, from a birthday card from Poppa, from me on a weak day – it gets divided between the three jars.

As you can see, this is a very serious financial plan. (Image: Supplied.)
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And then it gets used that way. Last week it was Jeans for Genes day at five-year-old Billy's preschool. "I'll take my money out of the Give jar!" he said, all excited, and hoping his slightly more financially-literate sister would count out the coins for him.

This weekend, when the campaign for a family pet - a goldfish, I'm not stupid - came up, Matilda, 7, dumped out the contents of her Spend jar and started working out if there's enough for a tank (spoiler alert: there isn't).

And the Save jar is getting fuller and fuller until we're going to take it to the bank for one of those very satisfying coin-counting sessions (they still do that, right?).

So thank you, Mr Pape, for writing the book that all of my friends are raving about and for giving me somewhere to dump all my loose coins at the end of the week.

Life, changed.

Now, can we move on to magically filling up my bank account?

Check out the full episode of This Glorious Mess right here...

How do you teach your kids about money in your household? Would you try the jam jar method?

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