Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Use an Advent Calendar to Teach Your Kids About Money

Money is NOT Sweeter Than Chocolate
The last evening of November is a big deal at our house. That's the night the advent calendar goes up on the wall. And this year I decided to do things a little differently.

On the morning of December 1st my six-year-old shuffled bleary-eyed, bladder-full into the living room completely focused on one thing: getting the day's sugar fix, and nothing more.

Imagine her surprise when she reached her fingers into that soft felt pocket and pulled out a Loonie. She was not happy. In fact, she looked quite miffed. Now imagine my surprise.

My daughter has been enjoying the fruits of her savings account, stocks and income fund for a few months now. Since she started investing this fall, she has marveled at the fact that her money is growing and paying her every month, and that she doesn't have to do anything other than watch and grow richer.

The monthly inventories of her portfolio's holdings that we record in a lined exercise book left over from grade one have inspired her to habitually save a large chunk of any money that comes her way. Silly me. I thought this money-wise kid would love my new Loonies-in-the-Advent-calendar idea. No chance. "There's no candy, Mom!" is what I got for my creativity plus a sour face all the way to school. It was like I had somehow ripped her off. How ironic.

A Loonie a Day for 24 Days
Sour face aside, I've stuck with my plan: a Loonie a day for twenty-four days, with one little adjustment. I have put a Hershey's kiss in each pouch along with the coin. I have to admit that I was hoping to move away from the chocolates altogether, but I see this as a first step.

It's the eighth day of Advent today and this morning, my money-wise girl reached her fingers into that soft felt pocket and exclaimed, with a bleary-eyed smile, "Hey! Another Loonie!" She ate the Kiss, of course, but it doesn't seem to be the highlight anymore.

Today was also her day to record her portfolio earnings to see how much she has made since last month. She said (and I'm such a proud mom) that she is going to deposit her Advent Loonies in her savings account. She's thinking about buying more stocks.

Maybe money is sweeter than chocolate after all.

Copyright 2010. Laura Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
For reprint permission contact Laura at

No comments:

Post a Comment