I love these segmented banks, which I bought for my daughters a while back. They’re from MoneySavvy Generation, a Web site created by Susan Beacham. I interviewed Susan for a Parenting magazine article about allowances, and thought her banks were a great idea so I ordered them the next day. (This company also has segmented banks.)
Each bank has a slot for “Spend”, “Save,” “Donate,” and “Invest.” (We’re not really using the “Invest” slot yet, but we will.) When the girls get their allowances, the deal is that they must put SOME money in each slot. We talked about it ahead of time, so they have a regular plan for how much they’ll put in each compartment. Greg and I didn’t tell the girls how much goes in each slot; we wanted them to make that choice.
Sophie gets $8 a week (she’s 11). Right now, she chooses to put $3 in Save, $3 in Spend and $2 in Donate. Flora, who is almost 7, gets $2.50 a week. She puts $2 in Spend, and a quarter each in Donate and Save.
The girls did NOT like separating their money and not being able to spend all of it. At first. Then an amazing thing happened: Their “Save” sections got so stuffed with dollar bills that we had to clean them out and open bank accounts. Sophie deposited $63 the first time she went to the bank! She was thrilled and I was reminded how important it is to save automatically. Sophie never even felt the pinch of that money not being available to spend. She had gotten in the habit of ignoring it and putting it in savings.
And once Flora saw how much Sophie was putting in the bank? Her entrepreneurial spirit was challenged! She’s now actively looking for ways to earn money—above and beyond her allowance – so she can have as much money socked away as Sophie. Her latest plan: A neighborhood dandelion removal service (5 cents per pulled plant).
As you can (sort of) see in the pictures, each of the girls now has a little sticky on their bank reminding them of what they’re saving for. Sophie wants a special, second saxophone (she plays in band). We’ve offered to pay half of it if she pays the other half. Flora wants a Razor scooter. She’s about halfway to her goal.
If kids can do it, we can, too—right?