Monday, August 5, 2013

Mickey Mouse Money Saver

We are so very close to our Disney World trip!  No surprise here, but Jake has started talking about souvenirs he may want to buy while we're down there.  My mom and dad got both kids a disney gift card for Easter, so that will come in handy for him, but I wanted to take advantage of this moment while talking about spending money to bring up the subject of chores with Jake.  Up until this point, we've had a very loose definition of chores...Jake has been expected to take his dishes to the counter when he's done with them.  Sometimes he remembers, sometimes he doesn't; sometimes we remember to remind him, sometimes we don't.  Same thing with sending his dirty clothes down the laundry chute after his bath.

So, I figured the time had come since he had been talking about wanting to save up his money to spend at Disney World.  I made him a simple chore chart (with pictures so that he could understand what was expected and check on it himself) with these tasks: make his bed when he wakes up, clear his dishes after breakfast and dinner, and put his laundry down the chute after his bath.

I've struggled with this idea of "chores" in the past; Brian and I want to have him do these things, but haven't been sure that we necessarily wanted to give him an allowance for doing them.  They seem like very basic things that should be done without needing money.  But, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that maybe a small allowance was a good idea.  It gives him motivation AND it can start to teach him the value of money and the importance of saving up for things he may really want.  And obviously, the chores won't always have to be this basic; we're hoping that we can keep with these basic ones until they become habit, then as he gets older, add to it (Brian is so excited for the day Jake can help mow the grass) and he will then get paid for those chores instead.

So, back to the point of this post.  He wanted to save up some money for Disney souvenirs and also for the arcade that is in our resort.  I was going to start paying him a small allowance for those chores, and then I came across this great (and super cheap!) idea on pinterest:

Ta-da!  Original pinterest idea found here.  Breakdown of project:

Folgers coffee can: technically free, since that's the coffee we drink anyway.
Yellow paint: free, we had it from a kids art project kit
Foam balls: $2 for a 6 pack at walmart (I'm sure the other 4 will come in handy for some type of planet science project at a later date)
Black spray paint: free, already had it at home leftover from a project from Jake's superhero party

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