9 Charities Kids Can Donate to where $12 or Less Makes a Big, Tangible Impact

I'm looking for activities to teach kids kindness and help commit acts of kindness for kids. One of the ideas I like is them donating part of their allowance to a charity. #teachkidskindness #kids #randomacts #ideas| https://www.moneyprodigy.com/9-charities-commit-acts-of-kindness-for-kids/

Show your child how to be charitable by helping them commit acts of kindness for kids with their money. Choose charities where a small contribution – $12 or less – makes a tangible difference to engage your child.

You’re trying to raise a giving, charitable child, right? But how are you supposed to get them motivated when their small amount of dollars and change barely makes a ding in the cause they’re trying to fund?

We need kids to feel really good + resourceful with being able to help out the world now so that they habit stays with them through to when their paycheck allows them to ACTUALLY make huge splashes in this world.

So, I’ve got a list of 9 charities where less than $10 charitable donation really means something tangible your child can sink their teeth into.

Note: these are not recurring donations, they’re one-time donations, which is what your child is much more likely able to make.

Charity #1: SharetheMeal

What $0.50 Gives Other: Feeds one child for a day. So, for $10? You could feed a meal to 20 children!

The United Nation’s World Food Programme created this app (yes, you need to download an app to donate) that allows people to donate small but meaningful amounts of money with the tap of their finger, starting at $0.50.

Seeing their Money in Action: Your child does get to choose which country they’d like their donation to go to, and a child will be fed in that country.

Charity #2: Project Night Night

What $3.50 + Item Costs Gives Others: A tote you fill with a (new) stuffed animal, blanket, and children’s book. You also can just purchase one of those items and donate them to be included in a tote.

Your tote is donated to a homeless child to provide them with comfort.

Note: you need to either mail the tote or drop-off at one of their locations.

Charity #3: Fundacion Reforestemos

What $4 Gives Others: Each $4 contribution plants one tree!

This charity is all about caring for + recovering Chilean eco-systems in Patagonia.

Seeing their Money in Action: The cool part? Your child’s purchase is published on their (or your) facebook timeline, they receive a Certificate of Restoration by email with exact tree coordinates where it will be planted and they can even locate it on Google Maps thanks to geo-tag linking.

Charity #4: Against Malaria Foundation

What $2 Gives Others: A net to protect children and adults from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Half a million people (70% of which are children under 5) die each year from malaria.

Seeing their Money in Action: This site tracks net distributions by videos and images (not sure that your child’s particular net is tracked).

Charity #5: AppleTree Institute for Education

What $10 Gives Others: A book for a classroom library serving kids in low-economic neighborhoods in Washington D.C.

This charity seeks to close the education gap for kids in low-economic neighborhoods by the time they reach the age of kindergarten.

Seeing their Money in Action:

Charity #6: La Esperanza Granada

What $10 Gives Others: Choose between a backpack filled with supplies, a child dental treatment, one month of art supplies, or a set of wooden teaching blocks.

This charity is focused on child education in Granada, Nicaragua.

Seeing their Money in Action: Your child will receive a photo of what their money has purchased + a thank you.

Charity #7: Google’s One Today

What $10 or Less Gives Others: $4 gives one child with pneumonia a dose of antibiotics, $1 allows 1 child to receive clean water for a month, $1 pays for 1 chick for a farming family, and $3 plants a tree in China to restore Panda habitat.

You’ll need to download the One Today app, and then your child can choose which specific cause calls their heart.

Charity #8: The Life You Can Save

What $10 Gives Others: There are all sorts of charities on here where you can donate $10 to and where they’ll tell you exactly what it goes for, such as providing 38 people with “food-based micronutrient fortification for one year,” through Project Healthy Children, and provide 4 Ugandans with vital health products and services through Living Goods, and provide safe water to 11 people for one year through Evidence Action.

Play around with their calculator to see exactly how your child’s money will impact people through a list of 17 different global charities.

Charity #9: Oxfam Gifts

What $12 Gives Others: Choose from either a pack of seeds for a farmer who lost his/her harvest due to drought, or a pile of manure (yes, MANURE!) to increase crop yields.

This is a collection of gifts to make an impact to another person, and you can donate it in another person’s name.

Seeing their Money in Action: The fun thing with this is that your child can make a micro-donation that buys something tangible for someone, and do it in honor of someone else who will then receive a card detailing the donation made in their name.

3 Steps to Re-Kickstart Your Kiddo’s Savings Goal After They’ve Lost Interest

Goal setting for kids | activities | ideas | students | growth mindset These are GREAT ways to help get my kiddo working towards a goal again. They seem to lose interest so quickly! #goal setting for kids #activities #ideas #students #growth mindset| https://www.moneyprodigy.com/goal-setting-for-kids-when-they-lose-interest/

Goal setting for kids – especially goals around money – needs to have these steps built in for when they lose interest and belief that they’ll actually ever get there.

So, your kiddo has declared a savings goal they’re going to save up for…and gave up on it after only a week (again)?

It happens.

Heck, it even happens to adults (anyone notice the difference in gym traffic February 1st versus January 1st? Same concept).

Right out the gate, a goal is exciting. Maybe it’s thrilling, slightly intimidating, but makes you feel important enough to announce it to everyone.

Then when the going gets tough – your kiddo sees something else they’d like, or they stop believing they’ll ever actually reach the more expensive goal and so opt for the instant gratification purchase instead – the goal just kind of fades away.

Let’s discuss strategies for getting your child to re-kickstart that savings goal of theirs, even after they’ve lost interest and moved onto the next thing.

Jump Starter #1: Have the “People Make it on the Second-Go-Round” Talk

Chances are, if you point out the fact that your child has given up on their savings goal so soon, it’ll probably make them a bit bummed (if they’re not kicking themselves about it already).

SO, now’s the PERFECT time to introduce a pep-talk with concrete examples of really popular inventions/events/goals where the original person had failed to create on their first try, that we all take for granted today.

A few come to mind for me:

  • Walt Disney: The man behind Mickey Mouse was actually fired from a newspaper once because he was thought to not have enough imagination and not enough good ideas. Go figure? Thank goodness that he kept going, as we would have all missed out on Disney World, The Little Mermaid (my personal favorite), and all things cartoons.
  • J.K. Rowling: Her goal was to get her Harry Potter series of books published. And yet, she was rejected by 12 different publishers first.
  • Jim Carrey: He knew he wanted to be a comedian since before 10. At 15, he took the stage for his first routine ever…and completely bombed it. But he kept going!

Jump Starter #2: Break the Original Goal Down into Pre-Chosen Rewards

Goal setting for kids 101: Your child has got to BELIEVE that they can actually reach their savings goal. Otherwise? Well…they’ll give up again.

Adults do it all the time! Like…:

  • I can’t actually save up for a trip to Paris, so instead I’ll use the money I have saved up for a beach weekend getaway.
  • Paying off all our debt is impossible to do, so instead of throwing any extra money towards it, I’ll let it get eaten by our checking account gremlin.
  • I feel really crummy about not getting what I really want, so I’ll spend $9.42 on my Starbucks order.

This go-round, help them break the goal down into tinier chunks with rewards at the end of each.

It’s like building a personal board game of rewards!

So, for example: a purchase goal that will take $52 can be broken down into three $17 chunks. Each time your child achieves a $17 increase in their savings, they can reward themselves – with your blessing – by:

  • Having a friend sleepover.
  • Getting to choose what’s for dinner (Mama’s homemade cooking!).
  • Getting to choose the movie for family movie night.

Jump Starter #3: Introduce a “Surprise” Money Incentive

This time ‘round when goal setting for kids, keep them motivated for longer by introducing a surprise money incentive from the Bank of Mom & Dad.

Choose a random week (perhaps when they seem a little eager to give up…like week 2), and tell them that all money that hits their savings account for their goal by Friday is going to be doubled by you guys!

Goal setting for kids is really about stretching and growing their instant gratification muscle. And it’s hard to do. You’ve now got 3 smart strategies for getting your child to follow through with their goals. Which are you most excited to try?

9 Books to Teach Children to Save Money

Kids save money | children | ideas | jars | quotes | tips | Teach children to save money...I cannot think of a more important money life skill to pass on. These books go beyond the jars. #kidssavemoney #children #ideas #jars #quotes #tips | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/teach-children-to-save-books/

Teach children to save by introducing the concept + diving deeper into it through this list of money books. Broken down by age.

If you’re like me, then you like to prime your kids for the next phases in their lives through books. And books are an excellent way of introducing new concepts to them, peaking their interest, or diving much deeper into a topic you want them to explore.

While my little 21-month old is more into the realm of potty-training + identifying colors in books, yours is likely ready to tackle some of the money issues − and specifically, how to teach children to save money − you’d like to pass onto them.

So today, we’re going to do just that by offering a curated list of books to teach children to save.

Saving Money Book #1: The Ant and the Grasshopper, Amy Lowry Poole

Ages: 4+ years

This is a twist on the classic Aesop’s fable, where the ants consistently, and without hesitation, prepare for the winter months while the grasshopper focuses on games + entertainment in the Chinese Emperor’s Summer Palace.

The Money Lesson(s): Consistent, and sometimes hard, work pays off. Preparation for tough times to come − financially or otherwise − is a good idea. That’s why we want to teach children to save money!

Life Lesson(s): The ants may be super prepared for winter while the grasshopper is out in the cold, but there is something to be said for enjoying life more. The lesson here is somewhere along the lines of “work hard, but don’t forget to play hard. Play hard, but don’t forget to leave time for work.”

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Relate this lesson to something in your own household that you do throughout the year in financial preparation. For example, when my sister worked for a school bus company she did not receive a paycheck during the summer months. So, throughout the year she would need to save extra each month to make up for having no paycheck for 2.5 months. What season/item/bill do you financially prepare for ahead of time? Property taxes? Christmas? Summer Camp fees?

Saving Money Book #2: How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty, Nathan Zimelman

Ages: 5-8 years

I love how this book organizes such a huge task − raising a large sum of money − with a child Treasurer who makes reports. The reports break down their interesting and sometimes funny methods to raise money by the expenses and then overall profits. But it’s done in a very story-telling kind of way, not like a profit-n-loss meeting. This book is hilarious!

The Money Lesson(s): You can shoot for high money goals! Also, remember that when you sell something, not all of the money you bring in is actually profit. There are expenses you incurred that you need to account for to come to your profit number.

Life Lesson(s): Have a big idea − like checking out the Statue of Liberty? All of your goals are doable. You just need to brainstorm and take action on your ideas for how to get there.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: What are some school fundraisers you’ve participated in the past? List them out. Now, talk about which ones were successful, and which ones were not. Why do you think some were successful and some weren’t? Which ones did your child enjoy the most?

Saving Money Book #3: Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock, Sheila Bair

Ages: 6-9 years

This book describes two twins who live very differently, and who treat their money very differently. This becomes hugely apparent when their grandfather gives them a very intriguing proposition: He’ll pay them each $1 per week to mow his lawn and wash his car. Then he’ll match whatever they have in savings. One twin cannot keep his impulse purchases at bay − broccoli-flavored gum, anyone? − and the other ends up with a sweet $512 after 10 weeks.

The Money Lesson(s): Aside from ‘you need to have a grandfather who will match your savings from mowing his lawn and washing his car, dollar for dollar’ (ha!)? Saving money is wise for two reasons. Number one, you can afford more quality-of-life changing items. And number two, because your savings grows through interest (and through matches you can score).

Life Lesson(s): Don’t judge a person by their outside achievements. The beginning of this book is interesting because it sets up the twins in that one is a winner, and the other one is a loser. But it turns out the “loser” twin knew his stuff when it came to saving money.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Ask your kiddo to describe a time that they purchased something and felt really bad about it afterwards. Tell them it’s called “buyer’s remorse”, and that sometimes it happens to adults as well. Share your own story of buyer’s remorse with them.

Saving Money Book #4: Less than Zero, Stuart J. Murphy

Ages: 6-10 years

In a little penguin’s world, the currency is clams and the thing to have? An ice scooter (costs 9 clams). Of course, there are other temptations along the way – the Ice Circus, Sardine Fishy Treats, and Fishy Fries.

This book clearly demonstrates both a savings goal, as well as what it means to go down to “less than zero” (owing others money).

The Money Lesson(s): You can go into debt with people, and that’s what happens when you take out a loan. Also, temptations will always show up when you have a savings goal; it’s your decision what to choose to spend your money on.

Life Lesson(s): Be kind and honest – when someone loses their money and you find it, be sure to attempt to give it back to them. It might be their last “clam”!

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Ask your kiddo about trendy things that lots of kids are buying right now. Then ask them about a trend in the past that was “all the rage”, but died out (for example, you don’t still have your slap bracelet, do you Mama Bear? Does your kiddo think it’s smart to spend money on items that become uncool so quickly?

Saving Money Book #5: Start Saving, Henry!, Nancy L. Carlson

Ages: 5-8 years

After weeks and months of mindless spending, Henry the mouse sets his eyes on a Super Robot Dude. The cost? A whole $30. His allowance per week is just $5. That’s when the idea that he can save up his allowance from week to week dawns on him.

Fun aside: does anyone else here remember those giant jawbreakers from our childhood?

The Money Lesson(s): Life keeps happening, despite your savings goal. So, you need to keep coming back to it no matter how far away it might seem. You’ll get there, one day!

The Life Lesson(s): I like how Henry makes the realization at the end that even though he got what he wanted, he’s just going to start saving more money from now on because you never know when you’ll need the cash.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Talk to your child about a savings goal that they have that would cost more than their weekly/bi-weekly/monthly allowance. Ask your child if they would like to set aside a certain amount of money each allowance to put towards it. See how they’re feeling.

Saving Money Book #6: Anna & Solomon, Elaine Snyder

Ages: 4-8 years

This is a heart-warming book about a Jewish couple who decides it’s in their best interest to leave Russia due to persecution.

What I like about their savings goal – to send the husband to America and establish a business, then send money back for her ticket – is wrapped around both earning money from their talents, as well as a goal with real life consequences.

This isn’t just about saving up for a new ice scooter!

What’s endearing is that Anna actually sends her younger brother, her older brother, and her mother before she uses the money her husband sends for her own ticket. While her husband is disappointed, each time he goes back to work and earns/saves up for another ticket.

Eventually, all are reunited.

Pssst: this is a true story!

The Money Lesson(s): Sometimes you save up for really fun and non-necessary items, like a video game, or a new robot. And other times? You save up for very important, life-altering things, like a ticket so that your family can be reunited with you. Also, once you’ve successfully saved up for one goal, you can just start right in on the next one. And the next one.

The Life Lesson(s): Life takes patience. Getting what you want can take a lot of patience. Keep at it – short-term sacrifices can oftentimes lead to long-term happiness and stability.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Share a time that you saved money as a family for something very important — more so than a want, something that was a need.

Saving Money Book #7: Just Saving My Money, Mercer Mayer

Ages: 4-8 years

Little Critter wants a new skateboard because his old one has bit the dust. So his father asks him to save up for it. The little guy comes up with different chores he can do around the house for money – with varying degrees of success – and finally his mason jar is so full that he needs to open a savings account!

I like how this book takes your child through the process of first saving money in a jar, and then transitioning to a savings account at a bank.

The Money Lesson(s): You can earn money to put towards a savings goal. Also, you can choose to either save your money in a jar, or at a bank.

The Life Lesson(s): It’s okay to change your mind! Just like Little Critter did at the end.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Talk to your kiddo about the positives and negatives of saving money in a mason jar/piggy bank versus saving money in a savings account.

Saving Money Book #8: Mamá’s Birthday Surprise, Elizabeth Spurr

Ages: 8-9 years

I love the details of Mexican culture in this book, as well as the concrete savings goal this family has and sees through.

Three children and their hard-working mother – working, going to college – live in Glendale, CA. After a large earthquake, her mother was taken in by her rich Uncle in Guadalajara, and often recounts his many luxuries and the goodness of life there. She married an American, who took them to California. Unfortunately, he died in a car crash.

The mother wanted to return on a visit to Mexico and bring her family to meet her Uncle. To save up for the trip, they have a piggy bank on top of the fridge that they affectionately named Jamón.

Follow along as several life events, such as job loss, coincide with the kids saving up all their earnings on the side so that they can surprise their mother with a birthday gift – enough money to pay for all four plane tickets to Guadalajara.

I love all the details on Mexican culture!

The Money Lesson(s): Kids can earn + save up enough money to actually make a difference to a real-life situation. That’s empowering! This book also briefly mentions life insurance from the death of her husband. Also, because of what they found out happened to the Uncle, it’s a good thing for them to understand that money can come and go.

The Life Lesson(s): Have faith in your parents. Sometimes they tell stories that aren’t true with your benefit in mind. And other times? They’re telling the truth, even if it might not seem like it at first.

Bonus Money Talk Starter: Since your  kiddo will learn that the once-rich Uncle loses everything, now’s the perfect time to discuss with them the need for emergency funds. Save money during the good times, so that you have it in the bad times.

Saving Money Book # 9: Not Your Parents’ Money Book, Jean Chatzky

Age: 10+ years

I really like how the various subjects of this book – making, saving, and spending your own money – are led by actual kids’ questions that Chatzky surveyed from around the U.S.

Let’s be honest: kids are real! They want to know ways to earn money that don’t have to do with babysitting, or they confess that their parents have a rule that if they receive $10 in one day they’re not allowed to spend it all that day (good rule).

Chatzky advises your child to save 10% of all of their income for life and shows them the breakdown of how this would land them over a million dollars (if they invest it as well) by retirement. Not so bad. I wish I had started when I was a teen!

She dives into the difference between simple and compound interest, why you want to use a bank instead of your mattress to stash your savings, and lots more.

A section I particularly like in the book? Is when she breaks down incomes from common job types. Not necessarily related to savings, but eye-opening for your child, anyhow (and, let’s face it, you need money to save money!).

Another favorite? The chapter on “Why does money make people so crazy?”

Bonus Money Talk Starter: This book is different from the others as it reads more like a kids’ money textbook (but a fun one). So you could ask your kiddo what questions they have after reading through everything.

What are your favorite kids’ stories that teach children to save money? Please leave them in the comments below!

57 Savings Actions Steps to Teach One of THE Most Practical Money Skills

Kids save money | children | ideas | jars | quotes | tips |  Of the practical money skills I want to teach my child, how to save money is at the top of the list! Awesome that there's 57 ways to do it. #kidssavemoney #children #ideas #jars #tips #quotes | https://www.moneyprodigy.com/57-savings-actions-steps-teach-one-practical-money-skills/

You’d be hard-pressed to find more important practical money skills to pass onto your kiddo than this one – how to save money.

I interviewed 16 Mama Bears about what they want to teach their kid(dos) about money.

But I didn’t just want to know the steps they were taking, or what custodial financial accounts they had opened. I wanted to also understand their own money hang-ups and relationships.

Psst: by the way, would you be a doll and take this survey yourself? I’m always trying to learn more about what it’s like to be YOU trying to teach your child about money.

I was pretty shocked to find out that 14 out of 16 of the women who took the survey said they’d received little to ZERO money education from their own parents.

Their answers to what kind of money education they received as a kid say it all:

  • “Little to none. My mother had a terrible relationship with money and either had none or spent it like it was water if she had any.”
  • “None. I mean I would say virtually none. My parents never sat down and they didn’t even sit down and show me like when I got my first checking when I went to college. I didn’t even get any education around that.”
  • “None. My mom had and still has credit card debt. You would think I would have learned to avoid the struggle but I didn’t.”
  • “Life. Nothing formal.”

The thing is? I know you’re different. You want to teach your child one of the most important life skills you can – money management – because you don’t want them to start out in the deficit (figuratively, and literally) that you did.

I’m here to help you with just that.

Where to Start the Money Education with Your Own Child

Listen UP: If I could only choose ONE lesson that I could help you teach your kid(dos) about money – and there are umpteen numbers of lessons to choose from – then I would choose how to save money, hands down.

I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, I would put ALL my chips onto that one.

Saving money – the automatic outcome to another important money lesson of spending less than you earn – gets people out of a lot of problems.

It helps people do things like…:

  • Have an emergency fund/buffer savings to tap for those life oopsies.
  • Set aside money for retirement.
  • Have money to start investing.
  • Put a down payment on a home.

I could go on. But instead, I’ll jump into ways to get this lesson to stick. Because let’s face it: saving money does not come naturally to many people.

Let’s attack the challenge of teaching your kid(dos) to save their money from all different angles. I’m going to show you 6 big steps you can take to implant a healthy savings habit into your child now – before their checking account depends on it.

But that’s not all! I’ve actually created a free checklist of 57 different savings action steps to get your kid(dos) to save more money.

#1: Understand that money accumulates when left alone

Let’s talk about the actual process of letting money accumulate.

Your child needs to learn that money can accumulate when it’s left alone – both from compound interest earned in a savings account, and from saving a few dollars from allowance-to-allowance.

In order to see that, you’ve got to set up saving-money spaces. Otherwise, you might just continue to find it crumpled up on their bedroom floor (*gasp*! Yes, I’ve had more than one Mama Bear tell me this is an issue in their household).

Action Step: Set up a bank-trip day in your household. Let your kiddo know that on this day (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), you’ll be swinging by their savings account bank and they can make a deposit. And to get them really motivated? Swing by on this day, even if they have no money to deposit. It’s a nice reminder for them to save their money.

#2: Save up for their next want

Your kiddo – just like us adults – will be much more motivated to save their money if they have a very specific goal in mind.

Help them come up with their goal to save for, and then tie every money conversation/money question they have back to it. Wow will those conversations be more meaningful to them!

Action Step: Help your child narrow down a savings goal that will take, at most, a few weeks to reach. Otherwise, they’ll lose interest!

#3: Stick with a Savings Goal for more than a week

Sure, your kiddo might have a goal to save for now…but what’s going to keep them motivated to actually continue putting money aside for it in the weeks and months to come?

Action Step: Introduce a savings matching bonus that takes place at the end of the second week of their savings goal attempt. Do it again, but two weeks after that.  

#4: Stop spending their money as soon as they get it

Ahhh…the anti-savings behavior that most kiddos (and adults) wrestle with.

We’re not just growing money with these action steps – we’re growing lifelong habits. Let’s change this behavior by establishing a healthier one so that when your child gets their hands on their first paycheck they know what to do with it.

Action Step: Change the day of the week when you give your child an allowance. You don’t want to give them money the night before they have boundless opportunities to spend it (such as a Friday). Instead, give them their allowance on a Sunday night. That way, they’ll have to save some of it for next weekend…or else live with the outcome of a penniless weekend (trust me, they won’t do that more than a few times).

#5: Understand that money has actual value

Isn’t it so frustrating when your kid buys something that (and you know this ahead of time – ahhh it’s almost a curse how clairvoyant we Mamas are, right?) they’ll stop playing with next week?

So, how do you get your kiddo to stop wasting their money? Well, they’ve gotta understand that money has value. That not spending their money on something that has very little use for them, and instead spending it or saving it up for something that will make a bigger difference in their life is the way to go.

Action Step: Take a toy-graveyard inventory with your child. Ask them to gather a hand full of toys that they no longer play with because they lost interest. Now you go in and gather a hand full of toys that they “wasted” money on because they bought them (or you bought them at their pleading) and they stopped playing with after just a few uses. Take out a pen and paper and get them to help you estimate what each toy cost at the time of its purchase. Then tally up the total. Reveal this to your child, then ask them how they would feel if, instead, they had this money in their savings right now.

#6: Earn/Source money for their savings

Now that we’ve got savings space(s) set up + optimized, let’s start looking at ways to earn and source more money to actually fill ‘em up!

Action Step: Come up with a list of 7-10 different Savings Chores/Projects around the house that your child can do. What makes these special is that the money earned from them goes directly into their savings space for their goal. 

That’s 6…and I’ve got 51 more action steps right here: