Our summer is in full swing with lots of hiking and river floating, beach days, summer festivals, Musical Mondays, farmers markets, waffle breakfasts, and of course… lemonade stands!
The kids have finally realized that we only have about two weeks left before our summer vacation and they are suddenly budding little capitalists. There is not a chore on the planet that they wouldn’t do right now for an extra buck or two. Seriously. All for a little thing called the Fun Fund Jar.
About five years ago I decided I was done listening to the continuous requests for gifts, tshirts, treats, toys, and other souvenirs while we travel. I mean seriously, how many times can one kid ask for the same thing? A lot, apparently. So naturally I decided it was time to do something about it, and drank a jug of wine. No really, I did. For good purpose though: we rinsed it out, the kids decorated it with all kinds of trip-related stickers that we picked up from a scrapbooking store, and we implemented the Fun Fund Jar strategy. All year long, the kids find ways to contribute to the Fun Fund. Their extra chore money and lemonade stand profits go towards the jar, we use it as a “loose change” jar, and as a “bad word” jar, so my husband and I get to contribute fairly regularly as well. Then each summer we count it up, cash it in, and split it evenly between all three kids. This is the only “spending” money we give them for the trips. They are each responsible for handling their share throughout the whole vacation, and they can spend it on anything they want, but when its gone, its gone, and they can’t ask me for anything else.
The jar has worked wonders. I think each year the kids have actually come home with leftover money to start the next years fund. They are so much more conservative in regards to picking out the things they want to spend money on when it is their own! It has taught them to make thoughtful decisions about spending and not to spend everything they have at the first stop, not to mention that we have completely eliminated all the little “can I have this” requests. Whether it is a visitor center, museum gift shop, or truck stop, they bring in their envelopes and decide their own purchases. I also really like that this jar gives them an opportunity to save spending money for their vacations that is separate then what they are saving in their bank accounts. The kids aren’t spending money they’ve received for birthdays, or earned for grades or from working.
That’s it for today! I feel like I’m getting a little behind in my posting with so much going on throughout the summer, but there is a lot in the works! I hope all of you are enjoying a great summer too.