Managing your financial life is not just about money.

Forget Dollars and Cents, Let’s Talk Dollars and Quarters


For the Love of Kids

My five-year-old asked me to come into her pre-school class and talk about what I do for a living. I blushed at the thought of her being proud of me and, of course, I sent a note right in to the teacher to schedule a time. I never go into anything unprepared, so I spent an entire evening thinking about my talking points and packing visuals for the kids.  I’ll admit I was nervous!

Beginning with Basics

I opened with the basics: quarters and dollars. Then I pulled out a toy and asked them what they could do if their parents couldn’t/wouldn’t buy it for them. We did some math and I helped them figure out how many quarters they would need to save to buy that toy, and how many days would have to pass before they could buy it (assuming one quarter per day). This is called patience, my little friends!  As a side note, none of them (besides my daughter) knew what an allowance was, or had any idea of the concept of helping mom and dad and earning a coin or two.  Perhaps I’ll blog about that another time…




This Little Piggy

Then I took out three piggy banks: one labeled “spend,” one labeled “save,” and the other labeled “share.”  My mother-in-law bought these for my daughter (thanks, Mimi). I talked to the kids about the importance of not spending every quarter or dollar that they earn, and how important it is to save and to share with children less fortunate than them. The kids threw up their hands and had all sorts of ideas of how they could share — it was adorable!

The End is Just the Beginning!

For my closing, I handed out a coloring sheet with a pig on it; a piggy bank, of course!  I divided the piggy’s face into sections, so that the kids could visualize how they may divide their money. The biggest section was “spend,” but I also had sections for “save” and “share.” I asked them if they could promise that for every dollar they earn (4 quarters), they would put one quarter in “save,” one quarter in “share,” and the other two quarters in “spend.”  They assured me that they would; how amazing would it be if they could carry that lesson with them for life (in some form on another)? I think I need more piggy bank sheets: one for elementary school kids, high school kids, college students, young adults, and older adults.  Stay tuned!  I have to get to work drawing…


Leave a Reply