In every news cycle there is commentary on the economy. From spending to saving, the awareness of how and why we spend money is forefront in our minds. Educating children on how to save and spend their hard earned dollars and cents will help create a fiscally responsible future generation.
The premise of the Moonjar is simple. Based on a John D. Rockfeller's family anecdote, each family has three "jars" for the children's allowances. The total allowance is divided between the three categories (jars) savings, spending and charity. The parents and kids discuss how the money is divided. Each Moonjar comes with a passbook so that everyone can track where and when the money goes in and out.
For example, you give your child $10 a week for his allowance. How do you divide it three ways? Maybe the child gets $6 to spend, $3 save and $1 to charity. Each jar gets a contribution, but you decide on the percentages.
Over time, kids will hopefully grasp that they cannot spend more than the money that they have in the jar. For example, my son wants a new DS game. The game costs $29.99. He only has $15 in his spending jar. He must continue to build his spending jar to achieve the amount that he needs. We do not allow the kids to dip into the savings jar for "fun" purchases.
The charity jar works well in our house too. Usually around Thanksgiving the kids come home asking for pennies for pies. They are able to give their own money to the charity effort rather than saving - mom can I have what's in your purse? It creates a sense of responsibility that will hopefully grow over time.
Moonjar can be purchased at Little Zen Minds for under $20.
I believe that teaching kids about money at an early age is imperative. We can't talk big economics or fiscal cliffs, but we can talk about simple spending and saving. Hopefully, by the time they head off to college, I will have helped them create a responsible consumer.
Disclosure: I received this product to review. All opinions are mine.