A smart piggy bank? One that will engage app-obsessed kids while teaching them about saving?
This piggy may not fly, but as soon as I saw Porkfolio (from Quirky.com) I knew it was going to land under our Christmas tree this year.
My boys have always had chores - since they were toddlers and first showed an interest in the mop, broom, duster, vacuum and watering can, I've tried to muster up & maintain the patience to let them pitch in.
The way I see it, why not start training them when their interest is piqued, when all they want to do anything Mommy or Daddy is doing, instead of trying to draft them into duty later on when they're so much less inclined to want to help. Start right off the bat teaching them (in age-appropriate ways) to be responsible. If not, at what point do you start? And when you finally do inform them you're not their personal maid or butler, how successful will you be at getting them to pitch in?
Weeksworld is not a hotel, it is a family and a household, and running them requires teamwork. Your jacket, hat, gloves, shoes, backpack don't belong on the floor - you know where the hooks, racks & bins are. Laundry belongs in the basket, not on the floor beside it. And toys don't sleep on the floor, they have bins too.
When they were wee little ones, hugs & kisses, a "thank you", and maybe a bit of applause were sufficient reward, but once they started to grasp the concept that money bought stuff, I started giving them an allowance.
At first allowances were just a few quarters, enough to buy a few pieces of candy at Souvenir Village, our friends' little gift shop in the Adirondack hamlet we called home. As they've gotten older, their chores have matured - making their beds, setting & clearing the table, unloading the dishwasher, dusting, helping with the garbage - and their allowances have grown along with them.
We don't "pay" the boys for doing chores or helping out with a project - that's what family does, they helps each other. Their allowances are their money, their share of the family economy (shh, don't tell them it's not an equal cut), but allowances may be garnished or lost for underperformance or bad behavior.
Their allowances were just a buck or two each week, but now that they grasp the buying power of a dollar (not much), and understand what those price tags mean, they began bucking for bigger allowances. So this summer we sat down and discussed how bigger allowances came with more responsibilities - helping with vacuuming, mopping, toilet & tub scrubbing, and putting away laundry were added to their list of chores. Slowly, their wallets have fatten.
I continue to be amazed when they beg me for something on the shelf at Target or something they've seen on TV and I say they can use their own money to buy it - suddenly they decide that necessity isn't so necessary.
Another savings trick we have in Weeksworld is the change jar - everyday we add whatever coins have collected in pockets & purses, and when the jar is pretty much full we take it to the local bank where the boys have their savings account. They love dumping the coins into the change counting machine and seeing just how much they've saved.
When Quirky introduced Porkfolio - a smart piggy bank, connected to a savings tracking app on your iPhone, invented by a dad looking for a fun way to teach his own daughter about saving money - I immediately put it on my Christmas list.
Do your kids have chores? Do they get an allowance? How are you teaching them about saving for a rainy day (or that video game they can't live without)?