Teaching Young Kids About Money

I am sorry to disappoint you if you read the title and had high hopes for me telling you how to teach kids about money.  I so do hate to disappoint.

Rather, today I'm going to ask YOU to help ME teach MY kid about money. 

You came here today to read, and now I'm putting you to work.  I have some nerve, eh?

I work with a woman who told me a very wise thing recently.  Her children are older now, but when her kids were growing up, there was a saying in her family.  Each birthday brought every kid "more freedom, and more responsibility".  Genius.

This April, my tiny little newborn will be turning five.


I'm not sure exactly when the right time is to teach kids about money, but I'm going to throw some stuff at the wall, see what sticks, and say five.  My mom remembers taking me shopping when I was around five, and she was looking for some canned beans.  She picked out a can, but was stopped by five year old me saying "mom, this brand is $.05 cheaper.  Let's get these."  So yeah, we're going with five as the magical age for discussing finances.

Going with the simple route, my thought is to give Jack an allowance for chores, etc.  Again, with the simple route, I'm thinking $4 per week.  Too much?  In my mind, where life is perfect, and my son doesn't tackle every child he meets, I will set up four mason jars in his room.  He'll get paid in $1 bills, so that he can divide the allowance without having to struggle with in-depth concepts ("hey Jack, let's talk about amortization").  Each mason jar will have a label, and here is what I'm thinking:
  1. Save
  2. Jesus (offering for church.  Currently, he puts our money in the plate, but I bet my ass (side note: cursing while talking about church gives me complex feelings, but I am who I am!) that he will connect the meaning if it is his own money.
  3. Give (charity)
  4. Spend
So, now that you know my plans, what do you think?  Any tips from the experts out there; from those who have gone through this already?  Please educate me oh wise ones!