I Work Hard for the Money

My mom read an article she was telling me about the other day that pointed out how children these days are becoming less and less able to distinguish their “wants” from their “needs.” The basic premise of the article was that children who never learned the value of a dollar (or how to distinguish their “wants” from their “needs”) often grew up into adults who maxed out credit cards and owed for everything they had. While I searched to find the specific article that she had read online without success, I did find this other equally relevant article that had one point that literally shocked me – did you know that “some university administrators report that they lose more students to credit card debt than to academic failure”????

Apparently, teens entering college are offered an average of EIGHT credit cards during the first week of school and most continue to carry three of them throughout their student years. Here’s the article in full below:


At any rate, my mom suggested that my son (3 years old) was probably old enough now to “learn” the value of money in a fun, engaging way. The last two days we visited our hometown and my parents. While staying there, my mom came up with “chores” Shaan could help with to earn some quarters. For instance, while folding laundry my mom asked him to take some socks and place them in a drawer in her bedroom. Then, she had him help with some sweeping this morning. Throughout the last few days he has done some odds and ends (and age appropriate) “chores” to earn quarters. Earlier today, he was able to trade in his four quarters at the bank of Mr. Sandman (“aka” my dad) for a dollar bill. He was so proud.

It’s been really neat to see how this game has helped Shaan see how difficult it is to earn money and how much “work” it takes to earn the toys he so desperately craves. He now understands that it take four quarters (or four chores) to equal one toy from the Dollar Tree. We told him that he could either use his dollar to buy one toy from the Dollar Tree or he could save it and keep doing more chores to earn something bigger and he’s decided he wants to save it for now. How cool is that???

At any rate, I think the “earning quarters” game is good for several reasons:

1) It helps Shaan understand the value of a dollar and that things bought have to be earned (i.e. “Money doesn’t grow on trees!”)

2) It has helped him understand the concept of different denominational amounts. For instance, he now understands that four quarters make a dollar. Later on, we could introduce that five one dollar bills make a $5 bill, etc…

3) It’s Biblical!!!! “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” – Proverbs 13:4

Just wanted to share in case some of you are interested in letting your young ones “earn” their quarters as well!

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6 Comments » for I Work Hard for the Money
  1. Jo Ann Crow says:

    So wise, Cammie. I enjoyed this. Praying for you and your family!

    • Cammie says:

      Thank you so much, Jo Ann! I really appreciate it (both the encouraging comment and the prayers!!!) Hope all is well with you and your family! God Bless You!!!!

  2. Krista says:

    That’s a great topic. There are so many great lessons to be taught as you already mentioned. Learning to count money, tithing, budgeting, adding and subtracting. I love it! Shaan might like the book “Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.” You may have already read it. It is really cute.

    While it is nice to offer children allowances or payment for jobs, we do want them to know that they are required to help because that is their responsibility and not because they will always get paid. My mom used to pay us for jobs above and beyond the daily chores.

    • Cammie says:

      Krista ~ Thank you so much for the book recommendation! We have not yet read the book, but I checked it out online and it had stellar reviews, so I am excited to read it with Shaan! Thank you, thank you, and keep the recommendations coming!

      Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom! I can’t thank God enough for your guidance and support from someone who’s “been there, done that!” throughout this journey of parenting and life, in general! Tonight at the dinner table, we had a talk with Shaan about how “mommy loads the dishwasher every night, but doesn’t get paid for it” and how “daddy always takes out the trash” but doesn’t earn money for it to try and show to Shaan how some chores are just are our responsibility and not things for which we seek money. I realize it’s a little “stretch” for a 3 year old who really doesn’t have any delegated “chores” yet (in all honesty – he can’t even fully take off his clothes by himself yet, much less take out the trash, unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, etc.), but I think it’s a great idea to start the conversations now and a great reminder for us to not portray all chores as a way with which he can earn money. Thank you for pointing this out! I appreciate it so much!!!

      As always, I value your recommendations/opinions – so keep them coming please! As a relatively new mom, I am seeking what is best for my child and hoping to pass along the treasures I find to other seekers, so please keep the “treasures” coming!!!! :)


  3. Krista says:


    You are so sweet and passionate. It is pleasure to read your posts. You should include a link to your blog in the signature of your emails that you send so your contacts can easily check on new posts. :)

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