When the KidsWealth Money Kit arrived, I took one look at it and decided that this was a product my husband should review and then I could interview him. He’s much better at money management, and teaching it, than I am.
Although the box had been opened and I knew he had looked at the product, time passed and my husband still hadn’t used it with the kids. I finally said, “I really need you to do this so I can write my review,” and he replied, “I’m just not sure that this is something we want to use.” Uh oh.
You see, KidsWealth Money Kit uses an allowance type of system and we’ve never given allowance (certainly not from lack of asking on the kids’ part). With eight kids it has always sounded like a “break the bank” proposition, and not having received allowance as a child has left me with no frame of reference.
I was undone by the prospect of a review product we couldn’t test, so my husband and I sat down and thoroughly analyzed the product. KidsWealth Money Kit is designed for children ages 4-8. You determine the amount of money that you spend on your child each month for allowance; arcades; books/Scholastic; candy/treats; charity/donations; computer games; designer clothes; DVDs; gifts; movies; music/CDs; restaurants; savings/trust funds; souvenirs; spending money; toys/games; trips/museums, and video games/rentals. Basically you are determining the amount of money spend on wants, not needs; don’t include things like food, clothing, shelter, school, sports, and lessons. Total this amount and then divide it in half. This is the amount of money that you will use for that child’s monthly KidsWealth Money Kit income.
Each child has his or her own workbook – designed for ages 4-6, 7-9, or 10-12 – and a kit, which consists of a calendar, pencils, calculator, stickers, and color-coded “wallets” to separate their money by percentages into the following categories:
Long term investment account
Set a goal and develop a plan to achieve it: savings for more expensive items
Money for books, software, museums, and other educational activities
Just what it says: money for whatever you want
Helping others by donating to church, charities, benefits, or other worthwhile causes (we included gifts for our Compassion International sponsored child)
The more we studied KidsWealth Money Kit, the more we wanted to figure out a way to make it work for our family. If we started with a very modest amount of money per child – $3 per month for our 5 and 7 year olds; $4 per month for our 9 year old; $5 per month for our 12, 13, and 17 year olds – that would equal $25 per month. My husband tosses his change into a jar each night and he had just brought home empty coin rolls to start rolling it. Using that change would make it easier to divide up the kids’ “income,” and we determined that we probably had enough for at least the first 3 months’ worth.
We saw an opportunity to create a win-win situation: The kids would get some money of their own, and we would have extra leverage for things we wanted from them – mainly clean rooms and school work done on time – by giving them the opportunity to increase their income the next month.
We gathered the kids around our kitchen table and explained the KidsWealth Money Kit, and then took each child separately into our bedroom and ceremoniously printed their name on each wallet and placed their first month’s income inside. You might think they would turn up their noses at such small sums of money – and we worried about that, too – but they were actually thrilled. They then took their kits and added any other money they’d saved. I was touched by how much was added to the Angel accounts, which they’ve used for contributions at church.
Individual KidsWealth Money Kits sell for $39.95 and can be ordered here. If you decide to purchase your own, please let them know that I referred you.
[When my seven-year-old son saw that I was working on this review he asked if I mentioned that it was “the awesomest thing we reviewed.”]