Friday, April 1, 2016

Financial Peace Junior!

Last month I read a post on a blog that I love. The Journey Of Parenthood is written by Emily Parker. I found her blog a couple years ago when I went looking on Pinterest for party ideas for a Toy Story Party. I loved her ideas and thought I would check out her blog more. She and I have some common kids, SAHM, she's a Christian and she's a big support of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace. Well last month she did a post on the kids version of Financial Peace. It's called Financial Peace Junior. I had looked into getting this for the kids, but just wasn't sold on it yet. I love to get recommendations on products I buy. After reading her post I knew it was something that I wanted to get our kids started on right away. 

One of the things I love about the kit is you don't have to buy a kit for each kid. You can buy the main kit and then choose sibling packs. We got the kit + 3 siblings. They actually go up as far as 4 siblings. Here's the link to the kits. One of the things I love about buying stuff from Dave Ramsey is you can't use a credit card! You have to either use a debit card or type in your bank account information. So cool! 

Of course we ended up getting sick and starting the program got push back another week, but once we were better we jumped right in. The kit comes with a small parent guide that is a really quick read. If you've been through Financial Peace University then all the information won't really be new....just a refresher. We had already been teaching our kids about giving the church a portion of the money they earn and we already paid them for jobs they did, but it wasn't so structured. 

The kit also comes with an Activity book to go through with your kids, envelopes for them to put their money in and then the Chore Chart for them to keep track of what they do. 

The sibling kits don't come with everything since of course you don't need 3 additional parent guides. It only comes with a Chore Chart and the envelopes. I did end up calling the company because I thought that they should also come with Activity books....hello each of the kids is going to want their own. Sadly they don't, but once we started doing the Activity book it really wasn't an issue that we only had one. 

When I first sat down with the kids to officially start....we had been talking about it for over a was fun to hear their answers to certain questions. For example they have you say a word and see how your kids respond. So I would say....sweep....Owen answered...porch! I thought that was funny because I sweep the porch about twice a year, but the inside of the house....ALL THE TIME! It was fun including them and getting their input. 

Then I brought out the Chore Charts and we let the kids pick their jobs. The Chore Charts come with lots of different magnets with jobs already listed on them. There are couple we've had to get creative with. Such as 'Pick Up Clothes' is what we use for Bring Down The Laundry. I are picking up clothes! 

We made sure that the older boys were keeping in mind that they have two younger siblings that might need to take the easier jobs. 

Here's a closer look at Owen's chart. There are some things that are listed on there that he doesn't get paid for....Packing His Lunch, Doing His Homework. Those are things we just expect him to do, but he gets to check them off and have that feeling of accomplishment. When a job needs to be done on a certain day that's when I put a square around that day for that particular job. 

Side note....You'll find out why Owen owes $45 in a future post! 

The other job magnets that aren't being used are stored on the back side of the chart. See those 4 magnets in each corner of the chart....yeah they aren't really that strong at all. That's why in the picture of all 4 of the kids charts on the refrigerator there is a heavy duty hard drive magnet under Zeke's chart. 

One thing that was fun with the Activity Book was doing this lesson on spending. The boys got to see how far their money would go if they were going to the fair. They are learning that they need to have a plan for their money or they might end up spending all their money on games at the carnival and not having any money left over for food or rides.

The best part about this whole thing is it's teaching the kids responsibility. They are in charge of their job and they only get paid if they do it. This is not an allowance! We are working towards me not having to remind the kids to look at their chart.....Ella now doesn't need me to remind her to get the mail from the mailbox after school! Of course there are jobs that I do need to inform the kids it's time to do them....such as....Zeke sets the table every night. When it's time I call him in and he takes everything that I've placed on the counter and he puts it on the table where it goes. He's enjoyed getting to pick out which plate goes to which sibling....even if the siblings switch them when it's dinner time! 

Sunday is our payday. I add up all the jobs that the kids do and then I pay them and have them put their money into the correct envelopes. 10% goes into their give envelopes and then the rest into the spend and save envelopes just depending on how much they have earned. For instance Jackson had $5 leftover once he separated out his give money. I have explained to the kids that they should always save more then they spend. So he put $1 in his spend and then $4 in his save envelope. 

One of the things that really surprised me with this whole thing is the fact that it has actually made our lives run smoother. Since the 3 older kids have been in school we had really gotten relaxed in regards to them doing jobs. I just felt so bad that they had to go to school, do homework, eat dinner, read books, take baths and then go to bed....sometimes it just seemed like they never got any playtime. I was worried that packing in jobs on top of all that would just be too much. It's been the exact opposite though. I swear it feels like we have more time now. I think it's just because we do have so many things that need to be done that we are being more conscience of how our time is being spent. For example one of Owen's jobs is unloading the dishwasher. I usually do dishes right after dinner so the dishwasher is ready to be unloaded first thing in the morning. I told Owen that if he wants to get paid to do that job he's going to have to unload the dishes in the morning. I'm not going to wait around for him to come home from school for him to unload the dishes. He completely understood and now he unloads the dishwasher every morning without me even asking him to! Also it's amazing at how truly helpful they have been to me! I was just trying to do everything and that wasn't healthy for me and my sanity. Now it feels more like we are a team working together! 

PS....Even though this is being posted on April Fool's Day it isn't a joke! :)