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graduation from “a money system that works”

by Shawni

Years ago I wrote about this wing-dinger of a family bank:

What’s that you say? You can’t read the engraving?

That’s because that thing is as old as the hills. I mean, that sucker was around when I was a kid for crying out loud.

So I’ll translate:

Those words carefully carved into that wooden box by my dad say “The First National Bank of Eyrealm.”

Because that was our family bank growing up.

It’s survived a few things through the years, including, as you might notice, the fact that we lost the key to the padlock years ago, so someone had to unscrew the screws to open up that treasure chest (very secure, right?).

It was the bank where we put our “slips” in each night for our family money system growing up.

It was in that bank where I kept my check register to keep track of all my earnings for our complicated family “point” system. Where I kept track of our awesome interest system (10% per quarter baby!). Where I learned the beautiful 10-20-70 principle Dave and I have worked valiantly and painstakingly to teach our own kids for all these years. That’s where I kept my tithing, carefully divided from my babysitting money so I could keep track.

Oh boy. All the memories.

And I wrote all about them in several different posts through the years (linked below).

But for today, let’s talk about how the last of our children “graduated” from the family bank a few weeks back.

You see, all of our kids have moved on to a “real” bank account when they turned sixteen.

They were ready for their own debit card, and to be able to have more ease of access to pay for gas, entertainment, all that jazz when they could drive.

But Lucy here was ready early.

She is a girl who knows how to take care of things meticulously well, and she understands numbers like nobody’s business, and as I have mentioned before, she is working diligently on a list of things to bring her more independence.

So we helped her start her own “real” bank account.

She gathered all her bills she had been saving in her wallet, and we looked over her check register (see it on the right below?) to see how much she had in her “spending” and “savings” accounts, and helped her open her own bank account.

We showed her how to deposit in the ATM (as well as getting her set up with the bank app in her iPod), and showed her how to transfer that 20% to savings when she earns anything.

And that girl is pretty excited about that new little independence development.

Now to try to help her figure out how to earn money.

Which she wants desperately to do. And also which is tricky to do when you don’t have much vision.

She’s thinking of starting a little cookie business. (She has a pretty great recipe down-pat, and I think she could make a good little business of it.). But we’d love any other ideas if anyone has them to throw at us.

So there we have it: the graduation from our little family money system that has kept us going for so many years.

So grateful for that family bank that has been with us through thick and thin.

Now I wonder if any of our kids will want to inherit that beauty golden family bank for their own families!

Family Money Systems

A Money System that Works

A Money System that Works Addendum

Money and Savings

Money Matters (how much money to give your kids)

Money Matters (part 2…we all do it so differently!)

Goals & Money Q&A

Deliberate Parenting at it’s Finest (My Dad’s money system video he made for us kids)

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18 comments

Alyssa May 24, 2022 - 6:16 am

Congrats Lucy!! This has led me to look for our own family bank. Thanks!

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Heidi May 24, 2022 - 10:24 am

Way to go Lucy!!!
There is subsiding so exciting about getting that first bank card!

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Molly May 24, 2022 - 10:41 am

There’s a movie theatre by me that is either a b-corp or a non-profit and it’s mission is to employ people with physical or intellectual disabilities, as well as able bodied people. Not sure if something like that exists in the greater PHX area but perhaps worth looking into.

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Shawni May 26, 2022 - 7:43 am

Yes we definitely need to look into something like this. If not a movie theater perhaps a grocery store or some other place that hires kids with disabilities.

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Bennett+Delaney May 24, 2022 - 10:48 am

Does the bank box go to Charity and Ian now for their little crew?

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Shawni May 26, 2022 - 7:41 am

If she wants it, yes, it’s all hers!

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anonymous May 24, 2022 - 11:51 am

Perhaps Lucy can read braille books to her cousins for bedtime stories or afternoon quiet times so that the mama can do something for herself she can read the book via zoom and you can share the screen of the picture book via online library check out. For baking & cooking have you seen these on Amazon? Measuring cups & spoons with large print. There’s also low vision clocks, timers, playing cards and scrabble. Just type low vision in the search bar.
https://smile.amazon.com/Large-Print-Measuring-Spoon-11-pc/dp/B00H7EDL1W/ref=sr_1_64?crid=177IWBA4PVVE4&keywords=low+vision+products&qid=1653417676&sprefix=low+vision+%2Caps%2C122&sr=8-64
Perhaps if she enjoys reading to her younger cousins, she can look into this:
https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-become-an-audiobook-narrator#what-is-an-audiobook-narrator
Happy Summer Days to you & your family.

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Shawni May 26, 2022 - 7:41 am

We did try those measuring cups but for some reason she didn’t like the feel. Interesting right? For some reason younger kids are tricky for Lucy, but it would be SO GOOD for her to do something like this! Love it and thank you for the suggestion!

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Kristen May 24, 2022 - 12:05 pm

What about petsitting when neighbors go on vacation to earn some income?

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Shawni May 26, 2022 - 7:38 am

This is a great idea as well. xoxo

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Patricia May 24, 2022 - 2:36 pm

Your blog always gives me a lift! Lucy impresses me as a high achiever. Maybe she would be interested in starting her own blog. I would be very interested in hearing her thoughts and feelings about her everyday life just as other members of her family are sharing theirs. Her perspective would be unique and inspiring.

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Shawni May 26, 2022 - 7:34 am

Oh I WISH she would do this! It would be therapeutic for her as well as such a great way to keep up her writing. So far she balks at any suggestion like this but I’ll definitely keep on trying because she really is such a good little writer! Thank you for the kind words!

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Jolene May 24, 2022 - 7:53 pm

If Lucy wants to make cookies (and can ship them), I’d love to buy some and could Venmo the payment. Otherwise, I’d buy some for her to share with someone in your area who needs cookies!

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Shawni May 26, 2022 - 7:33 am

Oh you are so nice! Thank you, We’ll definitely be back to share if she decides to start the cookie business!

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Kathy D May 25, 2022 - 12:06 am

Cookies are a great business for kids! Two of my kids have had their own business where they make them to sell at our local farmers market. They buy their own ingredients (except flour, sugar, salt, and levening agents) with money they earn from selling and keep track of income and expenses. We have a base amount of money (like $30-50) that they keep for their expenses and anything over that they can pay themselves. Some weeks they sell out of cookies, so they make a pretty good profit. And other weeks they barely sell enough cookies to break even. We’ve never done an order system, we’ve always stuck to the farmers market route. It’s been a really good experience for my kids. It’s taught them how to budget for their business, and they’ve learned that sales aren’t always guaranteed. They also have to sell their product, so they learn how to engage with potential customers (I tell them they have to keep their eyes up, no looking down at phones or books). Plus they do all the work of making, Baking, and packaging. After every market I go through their sales with them, we keep track of how many cookies they sell, and what kinds (chocolate chip, lemon sugar, jumbo chocolate chip, or brownie) and reconcile all the money at the end. We’ve always just done cash only sales, so we make sure that we can make change for those who need it.

I was also thinking, Lucy has such a talent for writing thoughtful, heartfelt messages, maybe she could look at writing the messages for greeting card companies like Halmark or something.

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Shawni May 26, 2022 - 7:32 am

Wow this is awesome your kids have been able to do this! Thank you for sharing and it gives me some good food for thought to help Lucy. And interesting thought about the greeting card thing, she sure does think of thoughtful things to write!

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Melissa May 26, 2022 - 2:04 pm

I would love a post about helping older teens through early twenties become financially independent. Obviously you don’t need to share your personal family finances, but some general thoughts about helping them take on more and more financial responsibility. Thanks for all the inspiration.

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MK May 27, 2022 - 7:27 pm

Similar to what someone mentioned above with cards – maybe Lucy could design her own cute greeting cards or stickers with her thoughtful messages! They are pretty inexpensive to get printed in bulk, and she could sell them at a booth at a fair or farmer’s market, or even on Etsy. Small shops/boutiques if you have any nearby might like to buy them wholesale from her and sell them too. At the gift shop where I work, a local autistic young man in his 20s sells us origami Christmas ornaments that he makes. We put up a sign with some info about him and how creating them helps him express himself and learn business skills. Customers love the product and supporting a young artist!

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