May 18, 2013

Never underestimate the power of a single learning experience.

Back in June of 2012, Nathan from Share Save Spend led a learning event for alumni at my alma mater, St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. During the presentation, I talked about the benefits of using a Share Save Spend allowance with kids as a way to introduce them to the topic of money.

While most of the attendees had an interest in the topic, one gentleman, Billy, was especially interested. More specifically, he wanted to know how to implement the allowance with his two young sons.
I didn’t think much of our exchange until I received an email from him in late March giving me an update on how things were progressing with his boys and their allowance.
Here is a brief recap, in his words, of the experience with his two boys:
I attended your workshop last year at the St. Olaf Reunion weekend. Your message landed and I have implemented your suggestions for almost a year now. I created Share Save Spend banks for both sons (with the virtues attributed to each distinction: generosity, gratitude, patience, discipline, needs vs. wants).
Each boy receives money for each bank every week. In the course of the year, my oldest son, Leif (8 yrs) was bothered by seeing homeless people asking for money on the city street corners. He decided he wanted to give his “share money” to a homeless shelter. I promised I would find a resource for him to give.
Two months ago, I found Street Works, a local nonprofit that assists homeless youth and adults. We drove to the main office in downtown Minneapolis and my son had a chance to not only to give his “Share money”, but also, find out how it would be used to help homeless people in Minneapolis.
The Street Works coordinator said Leif was their youngest donor ever

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and they invited him to attend the outreach workers monthly meeting where they will honor his generosity and compassion for the homeless. I am very impressed with the results of this Share Save Spend concept: In practice it has yielded rich results. Thank you.

Billy’s recap is an excellent reminder of what can happen when you take a simple concept and stick with it for a period of time. Not only is Leif learning how to make wise money decisions, but he is also beginning to understand that his resources can make a difference in the world – even as an 8 year-old.

Gotta Have it Now!

Only 1% of parents that give an allowance say their child ever saves any of that money – American Institute of CPAs.

Try This

For young children, interacting with money in a tangible way is an important part of learning healthy money habits. Our Raising Financially Freed-Up Kids DVD & Workbook is an excellent resource to help your children build habits for success.

Money Talks

If you use an allowance, be sure to link it to a weekly money talk. Devoting 10-15 minutes each week to issues related to sharing, saving and spending will make a huge difference in the life of a young person.

Source: Share Save Spend