A couple of weeks ago I was chosen to be on the launch team for Dave Ramsey and, his daughter, Rachel Cruze's book Smart Money Smart Kids.  It comes out on April 22nd, but you can pre-order the book now and score some serious deals. Just click on the link to the right to take you to their website where you can also read the first two chapters for free!  I am so happy to share some insights from this book with you guys! I love Dave Ramsey and his financial principles.  My hub and I are working on getting out of debt with the help of Dave's book Total Money Makeover.  The money guidelines we have learned from this book are life changing. I am so glad that Dave and Rachel created a book to help parents teach these principles to their children. No matter how old or young your children are, you can start using the guidelines in this book.  Let me tell you about our first teaching moment with our daughter.

Before I dive into the story, let me tell you a little about what's in the book. Dave and Rachel talk about the importance of teaching children value of hard work and the relationship it has with money. If you want to help your kids with this, give them opportunities around the house to earn "commission" as opposed to giving them an allowance.  For younger children (ages 3 to 5), it's important to pay them right after they have finished their chore so they can learn to understand that work/money relationship. It is also a good idea to get a see-through container for your kid's money so they can really see how much money they are earning. The next thing to do is take them out to spend those hard earned dollars!

Further on in the book Rachel says,
"There is an enormous sense of accomplishment for a child when he walks into a store and makes a significant purchase with money that he earned himself.  Something inside him lights up and shouts, Look what I just did! Having Mom and Dad alongside, cheering him on, adds to the thrill because he's so proud of what he's achieved. (p. 65)"

That is exactly what we experienced the other day.  My four-year-old came up to us and said that she wanted to get this blow-up pool toy we had seen a week earlier at the Goodwill (one of our favorite places to shop). I told her that if she cleaned up her room all by herself, without me asking her a bunch of times to stay focused, I would give her a dollar.  That was about how much I thought the pool toy was. So she worked pretty quickly and earned her dollar. We got in the car and drove over there before my husband and our only car had to go to work.
 We got in there, found the one she wanted and looked at the price.  Oh NO! It was actually $1.99.  My husband and I looked at each other and said, "What do we do?!"  It would have been so easy for us to just get it. It was only one more dollar! But, after a few seconds of pondering, I said "Looks like its a little more than we thought.  You will have to do one more chore and then we can come back and get it." She was a little disappointed (as you can see) but agreed.
 We came home and she was immediately up to the sink doing the dishes. (LOVE it when I am not the one that has to do those!) At this age, she still needs a little bit of help making sure to get all the food off and staying focused but she did a great job.

 She did all that. And this was not including all the dishes that went into the dishwasher!  I did help/do all of the sharp utensils you see.
Now don't tell me that is not a proud and happy girl.  We had to wait until the next day to go back to the store and she could not wait!
 When she woke up the next morning she said, "This is the best day ever."  Now, we were also getting pedicures that morning before we went to the store and she was WAY more excited to go get her toy then getting the pedicure!
 Finally, the moment arrived. I told her to grab some extra change from her piggy bank because of tax.  I was thinking like 6 cents right?  Well we get there and it was like 13 cents.  Thankfully, the cashier (whom we told the whole story to) said, "O I am not going to let this moment go" and gave her a dime so she could finish her transaction.

I can not explain the joy she expressed from this experience.  It was greater joy then if I would have just bought the thing myself. 

As you can see from the pictures, my four-year-old has a two-year-old brother.  I had a difficult time deciding what to do about him. I want him to have a pool toy too!  I couldn't decide if I should just get him one or if I should try and let him earn his own as well.  I decided to see how well he could do with a chore.  So, he helped me dust our one book shelf, small computer desk, and rocking chair.  It was a little difficult keeping him focused throughout the entire job but he did it. He loves helping me with the laundry, so I thought he might be able to earn another dollar with that or cleaning the toilets. Kids that young LOVE helping. He was excited to get his dollar and we put it in a mason jar. Even though I can tell he doesn't quite understand the money thing as well as my daughter does, I know that he will get it soon.  Especially when we take him to spend it!

So, click on the Smart Money Smart Kids link on the right to learn more about the book.  This book is an easy and quick read.  Dave and Rachel share some pretty funny experiences they had as the Ramsey kids grew up. Also check back next week for another blog post with more insights from the book. 


  1. Your kids are adorable and what a beautiful real-life lesson you were able to teach your daughter. Kuddos!

  2. this is a great post! LOVE the whole idea! ;)!

  3. Super cute! I need to get my 4 year old to do some dishes. He is always asking for things and I tell him he needs to do chores to earn the money, but he cries before he even gets started, lol. Trying to teach him hard work earns you money. :)


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