Yesterday I did a product review of a piggy bank like device, called the MoonJar, that helps teach children how to handle money.  More specifically, the Moonjar allows children to separate and store their money into 3 compartments; spending, savings, and sharing.  I think that this product is great for kids as both an educational and financial tool.

As a thank you for doing a review of the product, The Moonjar company has generously offered to giveaway the Moonjar to 2 lucky readers!

How to enter:

  • What are your thoughts on how to teach a child about money?  Or, how were you taught about money as a child – were you given an allowance?  Your answer/comment is considered an entry.

The Rules:

  • 2 entries will be drawn at random from qualified comments.
  • Please only 1 comment entry / person (please enter a valid email address).
  • Moonjar will ship anywhere in North America for free.


  • Giveaway will end on 5pm EST Friday Dec 5, 2008 and names will be drawn shortly afterward.  Just in time for Christmas!

Good luck!

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  1. cbez on November 27, 2008 at 9:06 am

    As a child, I was given an allowance but never truly taught how to save. I think the Moonjar is a great idea and a good teaching tool for parents to use.

  2. George on November 27, 2008 at 9:11 am

    My parents taught me the value of money mainly by using nothing but cash. It’s amazing how much a child can learn by just observing their parents handing over a wad of cash to purchase a big item – it’s easier to understand than the abstract concept of debit/credit cards.

    As a result I’m an adult who uses plastic almost exclusively, but I always know the value of a dollar when I spend it.

  3. Quick Lunar Cop on November 27, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I had an allowance as a child and I did put some money into a bank account, but I was never taught be spending vs. savings vs. giving, so I tended to buy whatever I wanted as soon as I had enough money.

  4. Steve on November 27, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I think it would be a great gift idea this season for kids. However, for it to work and continue, parents must do the same to set an example. This along with perhaps reading “The Wealthy Barber” to the child might set them on a path of financial well being.

  5. Lyne on November 27, 2008 at 9:29 am

    When I was in elementary school, personnel from the local “Caisse Populaire” would come to our school on Monday and we would all line up with our little book and our deposit for the week (my parents would give me 1$ and I would sometimes add money I had received as a gift). Looking back that was a great way to get kids used to putting money away regularly. The accounts were set up so we could not take money out, of course, without going to the actual Caisse with a parent.
    Aside from that, I don’t remember getting a real, regular allowance until I was a teenager. And I started having little jobs very young, around 9 years old.

  6. Brad Castro on November 27, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I want a moonjar!

    What sticks with me most in my money education memories is the contrast between my two older brothers. They were just a couple years apart from each other and both worked at the same grocery store when they were in high school.

    Brother #1 spent his paycheck as quickly as he could – mostly on electronics and new music. Brother #2 not only didn’t spend his money, he wouldn’t even cash his checks! A sock drawer filling up with uncashed paychecks was his self-imposed savings regimen. He only deposited a paycheck when he absolutely had to.

  7. Sean on November 27, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I was given an allowance, but was never really taught about money. Thankfully, I managed to learn about that on my own.


  8. The Reverend on November 27, 2008 at 10:13 am

    I’ll probably teach my kids from a combination the Bible and The Richest Man in Babylon.

    I think giving is a vastly overlooked aspect of how we handle our money so I think this product idea is great. Will visually reinforce how much money we spend on ourselves now (spending), ourselves later (saving) and others (giving).

  9. lhowes on November 27, 2008 at 10:33 am

    My parents didn’t give me an allowance, I got things I asked for if they thought I deserved it. I didn’t learn anything about saving money until I started doing odd jobs at about 12yrs old. I’m still not a money expert, but I ‘m trying. I definately have a lot of things to teach my kids of what works and what doesn’t. My 11yr old daughter helped me pay bills last week, it was interesting to see how she reacted to how much things cost. This then progessed into a discussion about investing. Exciting stuff.

  10. Jennifer on November 27, 2008 at 10:42 am

    While my parents are extremely financially stable and have done very well for themselves, I have struggled my whole life with my finances. I was never given an allowance – the money was just there. I had a part-time job starting a 14 and always worked but always lived beyond my means, as did my husband. We are finally on a better path and with a new baby, I think a lot about being secure enough for the future. Part of that is teaching my son how to properly manage his money. We have set-up an RESP and as soon as he is old enough, we will be following the principles of the moon jar. I don’t ever want my son to struggle the way his father and I have and to waste the 1000s of dollars we have wasted on debt.

  11. MC Fresh in T Dot on November 27, 2008 at 11:03 am

    My 4 year old has been receiving an allowance for over a year now. We have a list of activities and tasks that he is to do every day – get dressed, no whining, use toilet, etc. We have a magnet board to track – tasks in the first column and the days of the week going across – we all cheer when he gets a complete column each night.At the end of each week he gets a nickel for each full row and each full column. This encourages persistence and consistency.

    Every Sunday we count the complete columns and rows and add up his allowance. He then gets to put it in his piggy bank.

    As he’s gotten older we’ve made some of the tasks harder – from “use potty” to “be nice to sister” for example.

  12. Scott on November 27, 2008 at 11:17 am

    As a point of controversy…why is “giving” part of any financial plan?

    I can think of maybe a couple instances where it would make sense (cents?) in a numbers/tax context, but isn’t giving/donating based more on moral (or even religious) bearings?

    I was reading a Buffett interview a while ago and he said the middle-class economy donates more of it’s earnings (% wise) than the upper-class or wealthy donates. Makes you think…

  13. sun on November 27, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Be entrepreneurial to make some money, and then learn how to invest. At least this is how I’ve learned about money.

  14. Daniel on November 27, 2008 at 11:19 am

    My 3 year old has a savings account for her “Lucky Money”. Money that was given to her by friends and she has her piggy back where she stores spare change.

    By the time she understands what money is truly about she might have close to $1000 in her bank account. I don’t know what the money would be used for yet because i want to teach her about money and make it her decision.

  15. Spudman on November 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I still have my first piggy bank and still use it 30 years latter. Its a ceramic bag of chicken food, got it from 4-H! I put all my spare loonies, tonnies and quarters in it and every year I buy something fun.

  16. JME on November 27, 2008 at 11:45 am

    The Moonjar is great. We just started giving our daughter an allowance, and this is how we want to encourage her to use her money – share-save-spend

    The share/save/spend method is a great way to teach kids about money

    Share – helps them to understand that they are fortunate and that there are so many poor people in the world

    Save – put it aside for a rainy day (or you see the webkin of your dreams) – and also learn about interest

    Spend – allows them to have fun with it.

  17. Sean on November 27, 2008 at 11:45 am

    When I was younger, I got an allowance and was encouraged to save it, but never really learned anything about money at the time, and later developed bad habits.

    I love the idea of this bank because it encourages realistic habits of saving some, spending some, and giving some.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  18. FE on November 27, 2008 at 11:47 am

    We give our kids an allowance for helping pick up around the house. We give them an appropriate amount of work to do based on their ages and if they do it, they get their allowance – $1 for each year they are old. We then have them split that between two piggy banks. One for savings and one for spending. We ask them what they would like to get and then tell them how many “allowances” they need before they can get that and they count down until they have enough and then we take them to the store to get their item. This usually take 5-8 weeks for them to get what they want so they are definitely learning patience if nothing else.

    We have not focused too much on the giving part from a put part of your allowance aside for it but every year at Christmas we take them to the bookstore and they get to pick some books/toys to buy and then we take them to a local store that is doing a toy drive and have the kids put what they picked in the box after we explain what it is for.

  19. Chris on November 27, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I was given an allowance, but was never really taught about money. It was once my father was on strike for a few months, that I realized the importance of money. It is a lesson that I have never forgotten.

  20. Marianne O. on November 27, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I never had an allowance. Instead I had to make a case for every request for money. Often I’d go without rather than ask for money, because I knew mom & dad would be disappointed in my frivolous requests. This is probably why I’m something of a tightwad now — and why I appreciate the financial security that my parents have achieved (vs. my husband’s parents who are in dire straits).

    @ Scott: I do see giving as part of a financial plan. Aside from the moral/religious motivation to give (that’s for another discussion), there’s the practical side: if you know how much you want to share with others, and take the time to select the recipients / charities carefully, you’re not caught off guard by phone and door-to-door solicitations. You also help the recipients/charities to stabilize their cash flow by giving regularly and in predictable amounts, rather than whenever you happen to feel like it. And of course by planning your givings, you don’t end up giving more than you can afford (or less!). So there are valid reasons for making giving an ongoing element of your financial plan.

    I find it odd that so many people resent being contacted by telemarketers, or via ad mail, for donations… but they don’t seem to realize that knee-jerk giving (i.e. giving only when asked, and often out of guilt) actually encourages these fundraising practices.

    Again this leaves out the moral/ethical debate. I am religious and take the concept of “tithing” seriously, but realize that this is an increasingly rare attitude.

  21. Mike on November 27, 2008 at 11:55 am

    The timing of the Moonjar couldn’t be better for myself and son. I believe its a great idea to introduce the basic concepts of money management to children. I was recently talking to my son about opening a bank account because he wanted to begin saving money for more expensive toys and the Moonjar can act like the bank. Not to mention the responsibility of saving and spending responsibly is something that he would gain from this.

  22. Bud Davidge on November 27, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    The Moonjar is an excellent idea because it requires thought and action on the part of the kids. I plan to get it for my grandchildren. A great prize idea.

  23. Sampson on November 27, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    As I child I was given allowances, and started working quite young (13, tutoring math and english to children). My dad was a big proponent of the Wealthy Barber and really hammered home the importance of savings. I don’t recall how he pitched the importance of saving, but made us save into mutual funds early and I think I just absorbed much through his own actions.

    To this day I maintain a very frugal lifestyle and save 25% of net income (65% if you count mortgages). If my wife and I have children, I think I’d teach them about importance of savings, don’t know what spin I’d put on it – all I know is that I’ll have them save into individual stocks and DRIP plan instead of mutual funds.

  24. Gusto on November 27, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I had an allowance and parents who really preached the Wealthy Barber thrift and investing methodology… if only I wasn’t too stubborn to really learn it then, I wouldn’t be learning it again 20 years later with larger debts and squandered savings.
    I like an approach that gets one thinking of 3 areas everyday, saving, investing and giving. Is giving really an important part? I like to think of it as investing in social infrastructure.

  25. karash on November 27, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    My grandson would love this..!!!

  26. Inglis on November 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    My parents tried to make allowance about work (making bed = 5 cents, washing dishes = 10 cents, vacuuming = $1, etc…), to a max. of $5 a week. However, with 5 kids and a complicated tracking system/chart, it was difficult for me and my siblings to understand and very difficult for my parents to maintain. Plus, it never seemed to add up and I was never motivated. In their defense, when you have 5 kids, things like managing an allowance system aren’t that important.

    I didn’t really start understanding saving until I started babysitting at 13 yrs, and putting away $10-$15 dollars at a time. It was rewarding to save up for items I really wanted (clothes, cds, etc…) and not just candy.

    When my kids reach 7 or 8, I intend to give them $10-15/week, but I will expect them to save and to buy their own clothes, toys and entertainment. Not helping out with chores will result in a significant allowance penalty- the price to pay someone else to do it.

  27. Susan Campbell on November 27, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    My parents had lived through the Depression and taught us to save every penny. I still find it difficult to spend money on non-essentials, my own children have a much better balance. I’m sure they would love the Moonjar for my grandchildren!

  28. G on November 27, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    My brother and I were given an allowance as a result of weekly chores – lawn mowing, vaccumming, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, litterbox, etc – and were helped to open our first bank accounts to “save” our own money.

    However, we weren’t explicitly educated on the importance of regularly setting aside a portion of your earnings for the long-term, but did learn quickly that we could save up for bigger ticket items that our folks didn’t feel they should just go out and buy for us (although, we wanted for nothing). We were often reminded of others less fortunate and were appraised of how lucky we really were.

    As a result, as adults we’re now both managing debt and savings (and I give spontaneously rather than as part of a budget) but we definitely each fell into the trap of living a little beyond our means. I think this was a result of my parent’s not having any “extras” when they were young and wanted more for us and set somewhat unrealistic precidents about what some lifestyles really cost.

    As a new parent, I am excited to see such a great product -and at the prospect of building on my parents’ teachings to establish a more realistic outlook on managing cash flow and planning for the future.

  29. Steve on November 27, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I remember the initial feeling of ‘doing’ work and ‘earning’ money. This is basic – you work, you earn money. Money is earned as a result of effort rather then it magically appearing when needed.

    The idea of allocating money into 3 unique buckets is a wise concept.

  30. ryan on November 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    i was always taught the ideals from the richest man in babylon. Money spent cannot earn interest while you sleep. This means you can only make as much as the amount of work you can physically shoulder. If you save and earn interest, you can sleep instead of toiling.

  31. cannon_fodder on November 27, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I still remember being a kid and having a passbook for my savings account. I loved to look at the numbers, the interest (someone was paying ME!) being added every month. I hated to spend and loved to save… if only I could teach my kids how to be prudent with money.

  32. Michelle on November 27, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    My parents didn’t teach us anything moneywise, something that has not served us well. Now as parents, we’re struggling with the concept of allowances. We want chores to be a given as part of the family, you chip in and do your bit. My 6 year old is motivated by money already and I don’t want the how much will doing that chore mentality. All we’ve come up with so far is basic chores get your a base allowance, extra chores mean you can earn more.

    The moonjar looks like a neat product.

  33. jineshwar singh on November 27, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    children should be taught the value of money in their formative years. A fixed sum of money for prescribed duties in the house should be given. They should write what they spent on. If they are not able to, parents should provide a small tape recorder where they can record and listen to after a week or so. They would love to hear their voice.
    I was not given any allowance as such but in the festive seasons my parents would buy clothes and sweets. I liked that. But that was 69 years ago!!

  34. Scott on November 27, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    My parents started paying me an allowance when I was around 7 yrs old and opened a savings account for me at around the same time. Every year during Canada Savings Bond season we would go down to the bank as a family (Mom, Dad & sister). Whatever I had saved by the end of the year, which was usually about half my total allowance, was then put into savings bonds. This really taught me to view saving money as more of a necessity rather than an option. My parents always kept the message as simple as possible, but it has definitely had a profound effect on the way I handle money. Now I’m 23 years old, finished school, working full-time and well on my way to a million dollar journey of my own!

  35. Jenny on November 27, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I was given an allowance, but it didn’t teach me that much about money. Most of what I learned was a result of things I picked up from my parents and my own personal beliefs.

    @ Scott, I think that it’s important to give or else we could all end up like Scrooge.

  36. Jenny on November 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I did recieve an allowance, but I don’t really feel like I learned much about handling money from it. I think that I picked up most of what I think about money from watching my parents and from my own personal beliefs.

    @ Scott, I think that it’s important to give or else we could all up end like Scrooge.

  37. DBennett on November 27, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I’d be interested in this for some presentations for kids.

  38. Teach1 on November 27, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I teach accounting at a secondary school in Ontario. I spend a great deal of time talking about the importance of ‘paying yourself first’, hiding the money on yourself, investing it passively, having the patience to never touch it and then reaping the rewards decades down the line. Using excel to show them how much $25 a pay cheque can turn into in 3 or 4 decades certainly gets their attention!

  39. Thierry on November 27, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    I don’t think this will change their (my kids) way of saving but if I am lucky I’ll take it for my 8 years old. I think he’ll be delighted.
    My kids save naturally simply through emulation. We are frugal so are they.

  40. Chelsea on November 27, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I think this is a great idea, I wish I’d had a Moonjar as a kid!

  41. viennatech on November 27, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    What a great idea! The three basket approach in a simple format. I learned a lot about saving from a brochure that the royal bank used to hand out. I also had a CIBC “smartstart” account as a child and utilized their literature in how to organize my allowance. My own kids use TD banks free account which also gives online access and a true debit card.

  42. Millionaireby45 on November 27, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    My son is only four but we are already trying to teach him about money. He currently has a piggybank and when he finds any of my loose change around he asks me if he can have it. I usually tell him yes as long as he puts it in his piggy. Then when he wants to buy a Hotwheels car ($1.50), I tell him that he has to use his own money. He brings it with him, he picks the car he wants and then he pays for it himself. If he asks for something that is too expensive then I tell him that he doesn’t have enough money. He has tons of toys so this is more of a way to teach him that if he wants something else that he cannot have everything that he wants all the time and that things are not free.

  43. kelf001 on November 27, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    My father owned a variety store. As kids we spent time ‘helping’ at the store before and after school. And received an actual paycheck for our efforts. We were then responsible for things like buying our own clothes. I’ve been budgeting for clothing since I was 8 :)

  44. Mintycake on November 27, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    My father taught me two very important things about money:

    1) know where your money is going, so you can cut out frivolous expenses (I’ll never forget the lecture on ATM fees!)

    2) Net dollars: if you want something that costs $100, chances are you need to earn $150 or more to pay for it, thanks to taxes.

    My husband’s parents taught him there is no free ride: he had to pay for everything himself including University…there was no allowance in his house, so he worked since he was a kid (went from paper route to babysitting, to shovelling driveways and mowing lawns to a part time job in high school).

    I intend to teach my future kids to be frugal!

  45. Scott on November 27, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    @ Jenny

    What did you read in my post that led you to assume I was a “scrooge”? All I was saying is I have been raised to have a fundamental belief in paying myself first. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy giving from time to time as well ;-)

  46. The Reverend on November 27, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    @ Scott: Interesting post and worth discussing. I imagine that most interpret Buffett’s comment as a cause (giving inhibits wealth) but I think its very likely an effect as well (rich people are less generous).

    While any $ given is one that can’t be saved, I think it teaches us a lot about spending as well. The more you give to third world or local benevolence type causes, the less likely you are to splurge on the unnecessary luxuries available to us in Canada.

  47. Debt_Free_in_5 on November 27, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    You can’t start teaching them early enough.

  48. Matt on November 27, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    My father also taught me about saving from an early age. Earnings from my first paper route went towards Canada Savings Bonds as a kid. By high school, I had most of my money in Mutual Funds. Learning early is the key!

    I only received toys at Christmas and for my Birthday so I was forced to resist impulse buying at an early age.

  49. Michael on November 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    My favorite story is about a friend’s son who got paid 10% interest on his piggy bank balance every month. That is until he learned he could borrow $20 from Mom on interest day, put it in his piggy bank until Dad paid interest and then pay Mom back at no cost.
    Fortunately or Unfortunately a future hedge fund manager in the works!

  50. mel on November 27, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I had an allowance as a young child, but was never really taught anything about finances. When I got older, my parents would just give me the money whenever I needed it, depending on what it was for.
    With my kids I intend to give them an allowance, but to also teach them to budget their money and about wants vs needs. And I don’t intend to link allowances to basic chores, that didn’t work for me and I don’t think it’ll work for them.

  51. John on November 27, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    I think this is a great way to teach children about how to manage their money. I was given an allowance as I grew up, but very little was taught on what to do with the money. I wish that a consistent message was given regarding the importance of saving AND sharing with those less fortunate. I have a 10 month old baby and I want to make sure I share these values with her.

  52. Brian on November 27, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    I received an allowance per week, in exchange for work done around the house. Though the amount didnt vary per week, so I didnt get the full effect of receiving pay for amount of work.

  53. Deb on November 27, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    What a wonderful thing for kids to learn. When I was a child the only thing I knew was that we didn’t have much and had to be very careful with money. I basically raised my children the same way. (As a side note I still have never really learned to manage my money the way I should) My children are grown and make way more money than anybody has a right to and so my grandchildren aren’t being taught anything except extreme consumerism!! I saw your article and went to their website and (in a small irony, I have to wait for a payment to go through on my credit card before I can order) but my plan is to order the metal boxes for all four of my grandsons for Christmas as well as two of the books, one for each family!! I know that learning the principals early on is the key to making smart financial decisions. I want my grandsons to have this knowledge and the freedom from stress that will come from planned spending as opposed to the ‘winging it’ lifestyle that I have always led.

  54. Maiku on November 27, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I was taught the unfortunate lesson of never trust others with your money. As a child my parents had access to my account and would, on occasion, raid it. As soon as I could I removed them from the account and learned to save as much as I could. Then I started to learn about personal finance so that I would never wind up in the same situation.

    Interestingly, out of 3 siblings, I was the only one that turned out to be a saver. The other 2 unfortunately spend money on pleasure before debt which constantly worsens their situations. One of my siblings actually had to put my mom back on his account as a co-authorizer to prevent him from spending every paycheque he put in.

    Hence, I really like the idea of these Moonjars to teach children the importance of dividing your money into different uses and keeping track of what you are putting in and taking out.

  55. Chuck on November 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    My mother taught me how to distinguish between what I need and what I want, and I often ask myself the question do I really need it when faced with a spending decision.

    I endeavour to teach my daughter that she needs to work to earn money and set aside some of that for “savings” and the rest for stuff she needs and wants.

  56. Dwight Thompson on November 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I get them to budget for what they would really like to buy. Once they purchase the item and if something should happen to it, they get to understand the concept that nothing comes without a sacrifice

  57. Andrea on November 27, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    We got an allowance at the end of the month… But I do like the idea of dividing out the money right away (bugetting). This would pose a problem, as we will have to have smaller change on hand to divide the money up.

  58. Vincent on November 27, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I was given an allowance but never taught how to save. I think the Moonjar is a great idea!

  59. Digger on November 27, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I also received an allowance as a child but was not taught about saving and giving to others. I think the idea of teaching children about saving and giving to others is a great idea.

  60. Little Ms. Scrooge on November 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Great post and a creative product. I have 2 girls and every opportunity I get I drum into them the importance of saving, spending wisely and the all important question ‘ do I really need it?’ It is really hard for them to understand the difference between wants and needs. Also, in our family, I make my kids look through their toys, select and bag the toys (gently used) that they have outgrown/don’t play with any more just before Christmas and their birthday, for donation. This pile will also include any unopened birthday presents that they were not too fond of. This is in addition to any monetary contributions that they make to charity. My daughters remark soon after we had dropped off her toys at a local charity? “that feels sooooooo good”- she was 5 then!!
    As they slowly move away from toys( they are 11 and 7), they have started requesting gift cards ( for book stores- they love reading)for their birthdays and I have taught them to include the % of tax to be added to their product so that they can ‘budget’ their purchase. I hope I am on the right path and like any investments:) only time will tell how much they have learnt from all this.

  61. dee on November 27, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I never had an allowance as a child but starting earning my own money by babysitting when I was 12. The rule from my parents was that they would provide for my basic needs but luxuries had to come out of my own money. To them this meant: I NEED jeans, I DON’T NEED jeans that cost $100. I would get $40 to cover the need and if I wanted to spend more, it came out of my pocket.

    I now have a 3 year old and although we haven’t started giving her an allowance, we plan to, almost as soon as she can reliably count and understand that 5 is bigger than 4. This means we’ll probably start in a year or two. When she is little we will encourage her to allocate her allowance into similar categories (the moonjar would be one way to do this). I think, more importantly, though is that we already try to model saving behaviour. We talk about money between us on a regular basis and she is present for these discussions. This includes talk of setting spending priorities (ie if we go out for dinner tonight, we have to sacrifice ‘x’) as well as discussing short and long term savings goals (at the moment, a new TV, a house downpayment and retirement). Hopefully this will at least have her thinking about money and that it is a tool to get what you want but needs to be handled responsibly.

    When she is much older (maybe 12-13 we haven’t decided) we would like to put her on a very generous allowance (maybe $200-300/month again haven’t decided) but this money would be hers to spend/save for all of her NEEDS and WANTS. In a way I think this would make our budgeting easier as the money to support her would be consistent in our budget. Also, it will start her thinking about her own spending priorities from a young age.

    These are just some ideas that we’ve had and she’s still young so who knows how we’ll feel in 10 years.

    I”m always eager to see how other people deal with their kids and money.

  62. Michael on November 27, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I never had an allowance, if I needed money I just asked but I was not one of those kids that got everything he wanted. If my parents thought it was a good purchase, right price, etc…then I got the money.

    Now with my children, when they are old enough to put money in a piggy bank and not their mouth I will be trying to each the 80, 10, 10 rule. They will get 80% to spend on what they need and want, 10% goes to savings and 10% goes to “Giving” which will probably be our Church or some other charity. There will be rules on the 80%, there are certain necessities that we will cover but if the child wants the new video game or designer clothes, they will have to cough up the extra cash. If they want something that costs more than their 80% they will have to save for it.

  63. Paul on November 27, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    This looks really neat. After reading an earlier post about teaching kids about money, we set up a 3-jar system, which is now a 2-jar system with an actual bank account for the savings portion. They certainly bug us less about buying every little thing now that they’re aware of how much they have to spend in a given month.

  64. marion on November 27, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    what a great concept; might have to get one for myself!
    My kids no longer get a regular allowance, as they both have good earning opportunities periodically through the year. This allows for a sense of accomplishment when they have saved up to get something special. I think its important to let them spend it all sometimes, so they understand the concept of it being all gone. Rather do that while they have a roof over their heads and they don’t have to pay the grocery bills, than experience empty pockets on the streets.

  65. Sarah on November 27, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    I’m not quite ready to begin teaching my 18-month-old about finances yet (although I’m limiting what we buy him for Christmas in order to teach about not wanting TONS of stuff).

    But, I was raised in almost the same way that this jar teaches. I was given an allowance which had to be divided into 3: tithing at church, savings, and spending. I think my first allowance was $2 or something like that with $.50 each for church and savings and $1 for spending. I think it worked well because even now I tithe, save (although not a quarter of my earnings) and of course, spend.

  66. Shannon M on November 27, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I was never taught about money as a child. I had no consistent allowance and had very little concept of the cost of things. My parents were and are terrible money managers.

    As an adult, I think I have learned from their mistakes (and a few of my own) and teach my 2 year old daughter about money. She has a piggy bank and can earn money by voluntarily helping out with jobs around the house (above and beyong tidying up her toys). I will often give her money to ‘pay’ for things at the store as well, and on special occasions will allow her to buy herself a special book, but give her a budget to work within. Small things, but we are starting her young and hopefully it iwll make a difference.

  67. Erick on November 27, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    I was given an allowance and encouraged to save for non-essential items (games, comics, etc) not covered under the family budget.

  68. kasm on November 27, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I received a small allowance for chores.

  69. G-money on November 27, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Presently my 7 year old daughter has her “rich bucket” which is simply an old ice cream container….whenever she gets money (i.e birthdays, allowance etc) half goes into the rich bucket and the remainder into her wallet to spend as she wishes….the moonjar looks like a great replacement for the rich bucket

  70. islander on November 27, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    i think the moonjar is a great idea. i hope to win one.

  71. Jonathan Kerr on November 27, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    great idea.

    kids need to learn these things early in life.


  72. moneygardener on November 27, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Currently my only worry is teaching my son not to put money in his mouth. He is 10 months. Soon I want to foster the following values with him:

    1. There is no substitute for hard work
    2. Always be thinking in an entrepeneurial way
    3. Don’t be afraid to take risks
    4. Spend less than you have

  73. Jacqueline Russell on November 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    My parents who both only had a grade eight education taught me that should never put your hat where your hand cannot reach. In other words, live within your means. I also saw them save, invest, share, and enjoy life as best they could. I had a young cousin many years ago whom at the age of 10 knew the value of a dollar. Since I saw that in him at that young age. Today, he is land developer and is living comfortably. So, one is never to young to learn how to handl money.

  74. Jacqueline Russell on November 27, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    My parents who both only had a grade eight education taught me that should never put your hat where your hand cannot reach. In other words, live within your means. I also saw them save, invest, share, and enjoy life as best they could. I had a young cousin many years ago whom at the age of 10 knew the value of a dollar. Since I saw that in him at that young age. Today, he is land developer and is living comfortably. So, one is never to young to learn how to handle money. I would like to get a Moonjar for my godchildren.


  75. newinvestor on November 27, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    I was given an allowance as a child. I was taught to save early and not to spend it all. Love one of these for my son!

  76. Terri on November 28, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I was never given an allowance by my parents. I became interested in investing because I saw an episode of Oprah with David Bach and Suze Orman. lol
    I hope to give this to one of my nieces. It sounds like a great idea.

  77. Bill on November 28, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Kids cannot learn financial responsibility from parents that are not financially responsible. I engage my children with helping pay bills, shopping and discussing the cost and benefit of new purchases for the house. All my kids have a (small) savings accounts. They are eager to spend new monies but I tell them that I will give the two times their balance at the end of the year to keep them from spending it all. Last Christmas they all received some extra cash as a gift — it was an expensive year for me…

    I try to teach my kids money works and how to use it wisely.

  78. Fianna on November 28, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Money (and scarce it was) was never discussed in my household growing up. I knew nothing about money, about saving, about living within my means. I would like to teach my children from a young age about saving, frugality, the importance of financial wisdom. I love this type of bank as it is very important to teach children each of these aspects of money management.

  79. Natasha on November 28, 2008 at 7:01 am

    My parents were really good at teaching me about saving…I remember my mother telling me of the virtues of starting an RRSP as soon as possible, and the benefits of contributing, along with the advantages of ‘compound interest’ soon after I entered grade school. It didn’t mean a lot then, but I’m really glad that she shared everything she knew about money with me at a young age. I was responsible with it as soon as I got my first job and it’s a trend that has continued into adulthood – thanks mom! I hope I can do as well with my little guy.

  80. Mark on November 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

    As a child 50% of my allowance, and 10% of any money I earned – paper route, dishwashing, etc had to go into my savings account for ‘the future’.

    Seeing the paltry 2 or 3 cents a month in interest it earned turned me off banking. In highschool, friends had GICs, but I didn’t want my money locked in like that.

  81. Sarah in Ottawa on November 28, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Both my husband and I were very lucky to have responsible, frugal parents who led by example. I am 7.5 months pregnant with our first, and so this fact has been discussed a lot lately in our house.

    I was given a small allowance as a child (it grew as I grew), and I would use it to save up for little things (like Strawberry shortcake dolls). My parents would diligently save my “baby bonus” cheques in a savings account in my name, and all $ from holidays and my first communion, etc. was also saved. By the time I was 3 or 4, I was actively involved in deciding what to do with the money (with guidance from my Dad) with a clear goal in mind – my University education. During the heady days of high interest rates in the 1980s, I locked a lot of it up in GICs. But I learned about investment vehicles and was managing this cash for years before I needed to use it.

    We intend to have RESPs for our kids, but I think that the possession of a savings account (maybe in a local credit union that gives back to the community) is an incredible learning tool.

  82. Elaine on November 28, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I learned about money from the example set by my parents but I was never taught anything about budgeting, etc when I was in high school.

    I think some sort of finance/budgeting class should be mandatory for all high school kids. As well, everyone should know how to file his/her own income tax when they graduate from secondary school. Common sense financial basics.

  83. Ringo on November 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    My daughter will love this! Thanks in advance.

  84. Dave K on November 28, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I was given a very small allowance which didn’t go very far. I took a paper route job and then told my parents. The allowance stopped.

  85. Meredith on November 28, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I was never taught how to save as a child, thus my problems as an adult. It is still very hard for me, so it is hard for me to figure out how to teach my children the best way to save money. This would be a great tool for me to teach them.

  86. RickT on November 29, 2008 at 2:32 am

    I do the same thing with 3 piggy banks. Some kids are savers and they need to learn to give. Some are spenders and they need to learn how to save. Looks like a neat idea having it in one jar.

  87. Phil on November 29, 2008 at 11:16 am

    This sure beats keeping it under the mattress. My kids keep it in a pencil box!

  88. Al on November 30, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Tremendous idea!!!!!!!!

  89. Al on November 30, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Excellent idea!!!!!!!!
    A great educational tool for the kids

  90. nobleea on November 30, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Nice giveaways.

  91. slickster on November 30, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I was never given an allowance when i was a kid. I had to ask my parents and if they approved, they would buy it for me. This method doesn’t necessarily work (depeneding on the individual) but it worked for me.

    The moonjar seems like a great idea to get kids thinking about saving. They will always want something but will soon find out that sometimes you have to save to get something more expensive.

    I think a lot of individuals could have used a moonjar while they were kids looking at the populations’ borrowing habits!

  92. TKO from Ontario on November 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I need this bad.

    It’s for my sister who just turned 28 but has a financial mind set of a 7 year old. My attempts to educate her have always been encountered with great resistance. They say “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make her drink”.

    The Moonjar would help to teach her daughter not to end up like her mom.

    Born and raised in Poland pre-1990’s, all our parents taught us was that it’s better to receive Dollars than Zloty.

  93. DwellOn on November 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    why not use 3 separate mason jars? I’ll take a free one though…

  94. Shanny on November 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    The one thing I really missed as a kid was learning that the real value in saving is to not be held hostage by debt to others. ?The moonjar looks like a good start in learning this lesson.

  95. Sarlock on November 30, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Fantasic idea.
    I’ve been teaching my 3 year old daughter about money already, giving her money at the store and letting her choose what she can buy and telling her whether or not she can afford the item with what she has.
    When I was a kid, I’d regularly get a dollar and be allowed to spend it how I chose at the store, or save it for the next week when I would receive another dollar. When I saw an item for 3 dollars, it would encourage me to have the discipline to put the dollar away for 2 weeks and then on the 3rd, buy the item I wanted.
    From the many people I have worked with over the years, many of them have not received such basic teachings from their parents judging by the way they treat their money.

  96. Chartreuse on December 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    My parents basically avoided all opportunities to teach us about money. We’ve been trying to be more hands on with our kids…this product seems like it could really help.

  97. Brian on December 1, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I received an allowance. The money education I remember, and it was an example my parents set, was to only buy what you could afford with the money you had, ie no debt!

  98. Krys on December 3, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Well, I had an allowance and never learned proper money management. I have been digging myself out of a very deep hole since university and have finally learned my lesson. I plan to teach my kids about money with “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and as others have commented, the Richest Man in Babylon. I think the moonjar would help too!!!


  99. Kim on December 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I think kids need to learn about money by real life experience. They need to learn the value of a dollar by earning, spending and saving their own money. The Moonjar idea is fantastic and I would love to use it with my kids.

  100. Heather on December 4, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    As a teacher, I try to teach children about money management integrated in our math lessons. I see so many students who will bring money to a school event and spend every cent, even if it is on something they don’t really need or want, just to spend it all.

    What a great product!!! I will definitely want to try this with my own children when they hit school age.

  101. FearLES on December 4, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I have a little one on the way and this would be great. I want to teach him all the stuff that I had to learn by myself.

  102. Brent on December 5, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Hi all,

    I’m just posting a “thank you” for the great response to the Moonjar Giveaway. Your feedback and comments have all been really interesting to read, and your interest in financial literacy is obvious.

    I am the Director of Moonjar Canada (I distribute Moonjar in Canada, and can’t lay claim to creating them. That goes to Eulalie Scandiuzzi and I’m thankful to her for these great products!). But more importantly to me, I’m the father of 3 young girls and I really love these tools that help teach financial literacy and to some extent, youth philanthropy, to my family.

    I’d like to offer this group a 20% discount on Moonjar products ordered between now and Dec. 8. You can use the coupon code “Frugal20” on our website: (within Canada).

    Good luck everyone, and happy holidays!

    Brent Dobson
    Moonjar Canada

  103. Peter on December 5, 2008 at 9:42 am

    As a child I was given next to no instruction about money… and only recently have I learned the discipline to manage it daily. My son now has three tupperware containers which we daily put some change in but a moon jar would be a neat thing to use instead.