Where Does Money Come From Mommy?

January 11, 2011

We have been trying to teach our children that, contrary to popular belief among children, money does NOT grow on trees nor does it come for free out of the “Magic Money Machine” (aka : ATM).  We have showed them where the money that Mommy and Daddy makes goes …  to pay bills, to buy groceries, to buy clothes, etc. so that they understand why we cannot keep buying the latest and greatest new toy or electronic device.

I remember growing up my Mom and Dad used Monopoly money to show my brother, sister and I how much money they made and then what bills had to be paid so we could see what was left afterwards. This was a very good visual lesson so I decided to try it with our children I showed them the money that Mommy and Daddy made and put it in a pile. “Now this is called ‘income’ – it’s the money coming in.” I explained.   Then I showed them all the places we had to use that money and they watched as the pile got smaller and smaller. “Now these are called ‘expenses’ – the money that we have to pay out.”  Then I showed them how much money was left.   Emma looked at the small pile of money and then looked at all the money that had been taken away. “So how many hours do you have to work to make the money you started out with?” she asked.   “Well, Mommy works 40 hours each week and Daddy works 40 hours each week and that money is the money we make in 4 weeks so that would mean we each work 160 hours to make the money we started with.”  “Are you serious?” she asked.  She thought for a few more seconds and said, “Money sure seems a lot harder to make and a lot easier to spend.”  Drew laughed and said, “I think she’s catching on.”

We found a visual example like this gives kids a better grasp of how they need to be careful where and what they spend their money on because it goes quicker than you think. After all, if it were as easy to make money as it is to spend it and if it were as easy to lose weight as it is to gain it … we’d all be rich and thin!

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4 Responses to “Where Does Money Come From Mommy?”

  1. Ellen Hinds Says:

    I love how you explained to your beautiful children how easy it is to spend our money. It is much harder to work all of those hours and to have so little to show for it.
    When my children were young and they were taking the bus we had a pet rabbit. Their job was to feed the rabbit and to clean out his cage. Every morning they had to do this before they went to school. I used to baby sit children in my home so I need to be here. One day they both were fooling around with the rabbit and missed the bus. I told them they both needed to give me 50 cents each to take them to school. I told them every time I have to take you to school it will cost you money. They never missed the bus again.
    It was a great lesson for them. Thanks for the great lesson to all of us. Ellen


  2. Hi Ellen – I am loving your idea about the kids having to pay 50 cents each for you to drive them to school … especially since all four of mine missed the bus this morning and I had to drive them to their 3 different schools (in the snow, no less) ~ LOL. I will let them know that next time they won’t get to a free ride 🙂 Thanks for the great idea !

  3. Mo Says:

    What a great idea! My husband and I are both terrible at managing our finances and we haven’t done a very good job of teaching our kids about money either. I’m thinking we could use a visual example like that, ourselves…


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