A great way to ring in the new year is with a Giving Jar that teaches your children valuable money and life skills, as well as the importance of giving back.
I really wanted my children to learn about money and saving while they were young, so many years ago, we started giving our children an allowance.
Many families do some sort of an allowance, but most do things a little differently. (Whatever works for your family is great!)
We give the amount of their age each month, so if they are nine years old, they receive $9.00. They have a list of expectations around the house, but we give this set amount because we want them to learn about money, and we just expect that they will help out and do chores around the house because they are a part of a family.
With that money, they first pay a 10% in the tithing jar as a donation to the church we belong to. Then they pay 25% to long-term savings for education and their future. The next jar is what we have termed the Giving Jar, and they put in 15%. The remaining 50% is for them to use at their discretion–this is always more than enough. They also have to learn patience and self-control to save for something they really want.
Then we use the money collected in the Giving Jar to donate to a worthy cause of their choice. Children can donate by shopping for dog food or treats and taking it to the local SPCA. They could also buy some cans of soup and take it to the Food Bank or donate to another charitable organization. It is up to them where they choose to donate the money from their Giving Jar, and it is a wonderful way to teach money skills and to encourage making a difference.
Gather enough canning jars for your children to each have four (tithing, long-term savings, Giving, and spending–if you would like to use those categories) and have them decorate the jars.
Spread newspapers on the table and bring on the paints. You could also use tissue paper cut into little squares, and they could glue or Mod Podge the jars. Kids will have a blast decorating their new allowance jars.
Use alphabet stickers to label each jar.
Take time while you are decorating to discuss with your children what each of these jars are for and why it is important. This will lead to many great teaching moments.
Discuss together what each child would like to do with their giving jar money.
This is a perfect way to bring in the New Year . . . a focus on giving!