Banking for Kids: Create a Family Banking Day

Are you trying to teach banking for kids? How about general money management? One of the best ways to normalize banking in your household is to establish a family banking day.

One of the ways to teach banking for kids is to normalize the banking process to them.

I mean, up to this point, they’ve likely gotten used to putting coins and dollars into a money jar. Perhaps they keep some of their dollars in a wallet or a purse.

But the bank? It’s probably just a place where they see their money disappear to – a few times a year, at that.

Banking is going to become a big part of their lives as they get older. So, let’s talk about family finances, particularly how to establish a family banking day to help them establish their own healthy banking habits.

What is a Family Banking Day?

Everyone needs to go to the bank, at some point.

It might not be often – thank goodness for things like direct deposit!

But at some point, you’ll need something. In fact, even though I haven’t been to the bank this entire year, last week I needed to go and get some business checks so I could pay my estimated quarterly taxes to the IRS.

It was the perfect time to take my almost-3-year-old.

What if, instead of avoiding the bank like the plague, you establish a family banking day – a day when the whole family does a little field trip on the way home from work/school and everyone takes care of their banking needs at the same time?

This would help out with several areas of teaching your kids money management skills. For starters, your kids would watch you do banking, and get comfortable with that. Not only that, but because you are consistently taking time to get to the bank and take care of things, you are showing your child that money management is a priority to you.

Secondly, your child would have more opportunities/cues to put their money into their savings account. Which means more might actually make it there.

And thirdly, it’s a fun family tradition. Maybe not every time. But anytime you can have a reason to get everyone in the same car and go on a little trip together is an opportunity to bond. That’s a win, in my book!

Different Lessons to Teach them Around this Day

Doing this will naturally bring up some great teachable moments for you.

I’d like to point out several ways to use these days as money lessons for your child.

  • How to Correct a Banking Mistake (and question authority, respectfully): Banking mistakes happen. And yes, I was the 13-year-old who went into a bank and showed them their mistake! Long story short: I noticed I was $93 short in my checking account when I was a teen. And there was NO WAY I had spent that money. So, I headed to the bank immediately. The banker was nice enough to sit down with me, condescendingly explaining that people – especially kids – overspend on their accounts all the time. I asked her to look again, and behold, she found that someone else’s check for $93 had mysteriously been taken out of MY account!
  • Money in Savings Tends to get Spent Less than Money in Your Wallet: You might want to talk to your child about how putting money into a savings account, where it takes several days to move it to checking and get to it, means the money doesn’t get spent as easily. In fact, they might experience that as they get better about saving.
  • Change Matters Too: Periodically have your child roll up the family’s change jar using coin wrappers you get from the bank. Then deposit them into the family’s savings account, your own, or your kids’ – your choice! This shows your child that coins really do add up.
  • Compound Interest is Pretty Cool: As your kid gets more and more comfortable putting money into a bank and seeing savings account statements (either online or on paper), they’ll start to notice things. Like, maybe they notice they’re getting paid for their money. That’s an upgrade from a money jar! Something you’ll want to point out to them is that not only are they getting paid for their money, but their interest earnings are earning them money as well. And if you’re not comfortable explaining compound interest? Asking a bank personnel to explain it to your child is a great idea.
  • You Can Check Your Balance at the ATM: Show them that they can check their account balance at the ATM on the receipt, or online, or by asking a bank teller.
  • Periodically Change Passwords: Now’s a great time to teach your child the need to periodically change their online account passwords.

Alright – so how do you set up banking for kids through a Family Bank Day?

How to Start a Family Banking Day

Here’s what you’ll need to do to start this tradition:

  • Schedule a Day: Choose one day a week/bi-weekly/month where everyone gets to update their banking needs by physically going to the bank or an atm to make deposits, transfers, etc. It’s best if you put it on your calendar in your family command center so that everyone knows when they’ll need to be ready for it.
  • Explain to Your Child What They Can Do at the Bank: You’ll want to explain to your child all of the things they can do at the bank, by explaining all of the things that you do at the bank. You know, make deposits, general account maintenance, set up online banking, associate your accounts together, etc.
  • Get Everyone a Bank Account: It’s hard to do banking if your child doesn’t have a bank account! Your first family banking day is the perfect opportunity to open a savings account for them.
  • Take Turns Doing Your Banking: You guys can all stand in line, or line up at the ATM (try for less busy times if there will be multiple transactions). Each person gets to take their turn making deposits or withdrawals, as needed.
  • Take Stock of Your Account Balances: Remind your child that it’s a great opportunity to see how their savings account is growing.

Bonus: since your kids know that a family banking day is scheduled into each week, every other week, or each month, then they’ll start to learn to plan some of their money handling needs out ahead of time.

How to Keep Up the Family Banking Day

It’s likely you won’t have chores to do at the bank every other week, or even every month.

And that’s okay. In fact, some of your family banking days might just be you driving by and when you get close, asking if anyone has any banking needs to take care of today.

If the consensus is “no”, then just keep on truckin’.

I’ll give you a list of ideas for things you can do at the bank, in case you want to go each time, no matter what (yes, I know that many of these things can be done online as well):

  • Roll up change and deposit it.
  • Order new checks.
  • Open someone a new bank account.
  • Close down an old bank account and move the money over.
  • Take care of business banking needs.
  • Get change for things you need to pay cash for.
  • Use the ATM.
  • Open up a savings account for your family savings goal.

Other variations you can do: choose a family digital banking day, where everyone learns how to use their bank’s app to deposit checks and views their statements online, from home. These things certainly aren’t going away, so it’s good practice for them.

Also, don’t be afraid to make several of your family banking day trips ATM trips, with you guys depositing and withdrawing on different accounts as needed.

Remember, banking for kids is all about normalizing the banking process for them – something Family Banking Days will surely do.

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Get Family Chores Done with a Family Chore System

Do you have a family chores system set up? Let me help you do that, or tweak the one you’ve got.

In the world of chores, there are personal chores/responsibilities, and then there are family chores.

Personal chores are cleaning up things that personally benefit yourself or things you’re personally responsible for. Like cleaning up your room, organizing your closet, putting your shoes away when you come home, ironing your shirt for that job interview.

Family chores include tasks that contribute to the overall good of the household and, in some way, to each family member. Family chores are also known as house chores. This could be cleaning up the living room area, wiping down the kitchen counters, and loading up the dishwasher after a meal.

One of the keys to a successful family? Is dividing up the family chores + ensuring each person takes responsibility for their personal ones.

Because if you don’t have each member of the family contributing towards the household duties on top of taking care of their own, then chances are, you’ll build up resentment. (And not just between kids and parents, but also between partners!)

How to Create Your Family Chores System

You’re ready to either create your first family chores system, or to tweak the one you’ve got.

How exciting!

Let me outline for you what goes into a family chores system.

Step #1: Establish Your Household Chores Schedule

When are the family chores expected to be done by? Is the deadline different for everyone due to scheduling conflicts, or do you guys tackle all the chores in one fell swoop on Thursday nights or a Saturday afternoon?

You’ll want to choose your household chores schedule and stick with it as much as possible. Consistency is so important!

Step #2: Establish What Chores Each Person Gets

Choose the chores that each person will get (more on this in the sections below).

How will you rotate chores – when kids grow out of them, or weekly, or when you feel like it?

You might want to peek at my age appropriate chores list for kids, curated after surveying 179 mothers about what chores they’re giving to their kids.

Step #3: Establish an Oversight System

Have you ever seen those chore wheels – you know, the ones where you spin the wheel and whatever chore it lands on is the one you get?

I love that idea, but would like to see it used in a different way as well.

Instead of making chore choices random, make oversight choices random.

What I’m talking about is creating a Chore Oversight Wheel, with a picture of each family member at each spoke. Then when you spin it, the person it lands on is the person you will provide oversight for at the end of chores day or the task they’ve completed.

I think this is a fairer way to provide oversight – it’s not just the older sibling always looking over the younger sibling’s shoulders, and it’s not just the parent always looking over their kid’s shoulders.

And in the process of making sure big sister or Mom did the job right? Your child will undoubtedly learn better how to complete the task.

Hint: if you’re concerned about standards here, you should know two things. The first is, the chores process is a learning one. Mistakes and faulty cleaning techniques will run rampant. It’s okay. And the second is you can create some chore oversight cards with specific household chores checklist the oversight person can check off for some standards. Talk about some good prep for reviews from future bosses!

Step #4: Do Something Fun Together

I’m a proponent of having a Family Chores Day, which means that at the end of getting everything done, I think you all should do something fun together.

Don’t have time or the schedule allotment to make all the chores happen in one day? No problem. You can still choose a Family Chores Reward Day as a target/deadline for when all chores + oversight needs to be completed. If it’s done right, then the family gets to do something fun together.

Ideas for Family Chores Reward Day:

I’ve outlined how to set up a Family Chores System above, but now I’d like to talk about some important things to consider when choosing the chores you’ll be dishing out for everyone.

Choosing Chores to Keep the Family Growing

I have an entire article on chore ideas for how to choose chores to help your child grow in 5 key ways, but I’ll definitely give an overview of it here, as well. Because I think it’s so important!

If you’re going to go through the trouble of giving your children chores – getting them to do them, providing oversight, and starting all over again next chore day – then you might as well get the most learning-mileage from the experience you can, right?

Here’s the extra value you can get out of chores if you choose the right ones:

  • Teaching your child how to master a skill: Wow does this one help with self-confidence! Just think back to how proud your child was when they mastered the potty (ours just did this past summer!), or when they helped you prep dinner for the first time. Chores are no different.
  • Teaching your child how to work through a challenge: You shouldn’t just dole out chores that are simple and at the capability level of your child; I challenge you to give them chores that challenge them (and to help when needed).
  • Teaching your child how to instruct others: Don’t be too quick on passing down a chore your child has mastered. Allow them to then instruct their younger sibling on how to do it right, in turn teaching them how to instruct someone else (do you ever notice that when you have to teach someone something, you learn even more about it?).
  • Teaching your child how to be responsible for themselves: Give your child some of the chores that they’ll be responsible for for the rest of their lives, such as doing their personal laundry.
  • Teaching your child how to be a team player + team contributor: Choose chores where your child is not the main beneficiary. For example, if they clean their room, then they get a nice clean room to live in. But cleaning the living room? Well, that benefits everyone.

And one more thing before you choose chores for kids that I’d like to add: don’t forget to choose money chores as well.

Family Chores Should Include Money Chores as Well

Think about it – when your child grows up, not only will they have to do laundry, clean dishes, and cook themselves dinner. They’ll also have a whole bunch of money chores to take care of, like basic account maintenance, money management, resource management, rolling up change from the change jar, searching for discounts for items they need to buy, etc.

And while our culture is big on giving kids chores to do in prep for the real world, for some reason, we don’t consider giving them money chores as prep to the money tasks they’ll have to complete when they turn into adults.

You can change this!

Here are some Family Money Chores to pick from:

  • Roll up the coin jar to prep for depositing at the bank (you can get the coin wrappers at your bank).
  • Gather all the change from around the house + car (look in those seat cushions and don’t forget the laundry room!), then put in the family change jar.
  • Coupon clipping for commonly used household products.
  • Prepping for an annual family yard sale.
  • Researching prices for the next family trip.
  • Scanning receipts into cashback apps, like the CoinOut App (I checked – kids are allowed to do this!).

You’ve got what you need now to create a family chores system. I’d love to hear more about how chores work in your own household!

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Have You Established Your Family’s Money Values?

You may have money values of your own. But have you established your family’s money values? Let me show you why you’d want to, and how to do it.

In Re-Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins says,

“We must remember that all decision-making comes down to values clarification.”

So, if being clear on our values is what’s behind our decision-making, and we have to make oooooohhhh…only about one gazillion money decisions in our lifetime, then can you see why it makes sense to clarify your money values?

But let’s take it further than that – we are, after all, wanting to shape our children’s money futures in positive ways.

Not only do you need to become clear about your own money values, but you also would be wise to create a set of Family Money Values that you can instill in your kiddos.

Doing so means that once they get to those money decision-making points in their own lives, it becomes a bit easier to choose the right thing.

Psst: The “right thing” for them will likely change as they age – you cannot control that. But you CAN control some of that inner dialogue that will happen as they choose. That’s why you want to make sure the inner dialogue has some really great information in it!

What are Your Money Values?

Values are what’s most important to you. And when you can clarify what those things are, then making decisions becomes much easier. That’s because you have actual values to measure each option against to see if it’s in line with what you want or find most important in life.

According to Tony Robbins, there are two types of values: ends and means.

End values include things like: caring, contribution, freedom, feeling like you’re making an impact, love, success, freedom, intimacy, security, adventure, power, growth, passion, comfort, health, etc.

Means values are “simply a way for you to trigger the emotional states you really desire.”

Your money values are means – they are one way (there are others) for you to get to the deeper, emotional values that you want in life, such as freedom, love, security, a feeling of impact, etc.

Think about it – we all know the saying, “money can’t buy happiness.” And this is totally true. However, there are ways that we can spend + manage our money in order to lead us towards the end values we are looking for, such as time freedom, raising a family, etc.

So, what are money values? My definition:

Money values = the rules and guiding lights you use in order to maximize your money so that it can support the life you want to live.

Let’s look at some examples of personal finance values and money values examples.

Examples of Personal Financial + Money Values

Let me give you some examples of money values to get you started identifying your own (steal ‘em if they speak to you):

  • Charitable giving/tithing
  • Saving a certain amount of money off the top of your earnings
  • Valuing people over things (Suze Orman)
  • Not stealing
  • Work ethic
  • Prioritizing purchasing experiences over things
  • Not wasting resources
  • You do/don’t “get what you paid for”
  • Financial stewardship
  • Quality over quantity, even if it costs more because it’ll last longer
  • Delayed gratification to get a bigger reward/be able to afford more
  • Responsibility for oneself
  • Financial independence

Why You’d Want to Create Family Money Values

One thing about values is that they’re very personal. Each person has a different set of values.

And even within the same set of values, one person will prioritize certain values over another.

So, why would you want to create a set of family money values (if your kid might not end up valuing the same things you do, anyway)?

As parents, we have the unique ability to imprint upon our children. Think about the family traditions you used to do as a child that you still do, even if you may not entirely know why.

I’m not saying we should brainwash our kids; but what I am suggesting is that you choose a set of family money values that you verbally share with them + regularly model for them so that they have some sort of money foundation to go back to when they need to make their own money decisions in the future.

Here's what Lauren Gallagher, PhD, school psychologist in Long Island, New York says about this in an article from Real Simple (June 2018):

“Being consistent with the language we use with our kids will help them respond intuitively to situations over time.”

It's sort of like learning algebra – they may not use algebra as adults, but just learning about it, and working through how to solve equations without knowing everything there is to know, primes them to make better decisions in the future.

As Tony Robbins says, “We need to realize that the direction of our lives is controlled by the magnetic pull of our values. They are the force in front of us, consistently leading us to make decisions that create the direction and ultimate destination of our lives.”

Make Your Financial Values List

You’ll want to come up with a list of family money values, and then not only communicate them with your family, but also start to live them in ways that your child can see.

Answer some of these questions to help you define what those values are:

  • Do you value experiences over things?
  • Would you prefer to own a higher quality item, or spending the least amount on something and putting the rest in your savings account?
  • Do you value having loads of savings as security, or do you value having loads of protection in other ways (such as insurance)?
  • Do you value your time over making money, or making money over having more time? Do you believe in a third way?
  • Do you value saving towards the future (college, retirement)? Or, do you value living in the now, and know that the money will be there when you need through grants/scholarships/etc.?
  • Do you value spending the money in the present since you don’t know how long you’ll live so that you can live your best life now?
  • Is giving money something you value?
  • Do you value giving your time to others?
  • Are you open to taking financial risks, and how risky will you go?
  • Do you value discounts over paying full price?

Once you’ve got these down, I encourage you to create a Family Money Values poster and hang it up where everyone can see it.

As you go about your normal daily and weekly activities, don’t be afraid to use your newly clarified money values to explain why you’re making a decision while you’re actually doing the deciding so that your child can see them in action.

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White Elephant Family Chore Games!

It’s chore games for the win! Let me walk you through this really fun, White Elephant Chore Game that will instantly become a fun family tradition in your home.


Do your kids scrub off their bathroom countertops with joy, and secretly sing your praises while cleaning their rooms?

Or…do kids chores look more like rolling eyes, sarcastic remarks, and the word “survive” gets thrown around a lot?

Some parents use chore charts with reward systems attached to them – with money, stars, stickers, extra time with video games, etc. – to motivate their kids to clean up, while others expect their child to do chores without a reward because they don’t get paid to put their dishes in the dishwasher, either.

Either way, getting your child to actually DO the chores – without the amount of nagging completely overriding any benefit the household gets from the work – is difficult to do.

If you have these struggles, or if you’re just looking for a really fun new family tradition to add to your home that will also dub as a way to keep the chore gremlins at bay – you’re in the right place.

How to Make Cleaning into a Game

Before we dive into one of my fave family chore games, I want to talk a little about how to make cleaning into a game.

If you’re like me, you don’t see cleaning as a game. You don’t even see it as fun.

But, if you think this way, then how are you supposed to make it fun for your kids? They’re probably picking up on some of your mental cues about the cleaning process in general.

Don’t worry – that can be changed over time.

Aside from changing your mental outlook on chores and cleaning, you can also “gamify” the activity. Here’s a few general examples of things you can do that will also make cleaning fun for adults:

  • Escape Room Cleaning: Give each family member a specific room to clean. Add a timer – you can adjust the times based on room difficulty levels. Have your family race against the clock – sort of like when you go to an escape room and you only have 60 minutes to solve the puzzles and get the heck ‘outta dodge. If they don’t meet the buzzer? Come up with a “fun” negative consequence, like dunking a bucket of water on them (remember that Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago? Yep. I got dunked.).
  • Musical Chairs Cleaning: Set a timer, and each time it goes off, everyone swaps tasks with the person to their right and picks up where they left off.
  • Winner Chooses the Movie: You can pair family cleaning day with pizza + a movie afterwards. The first person who gets their tasks completed – and okay’d by everyone that it’s been completed – gets to pick the movie!

And now…I’m going to walk you through something I created that has become one of my favorite chore games out there!

What is the White Elephant Family Chore Game?

I’ve come up with a pretty fun idea you’ll want to introduce into your home: The White Elephant Chore Games.

You know the regular White Elephant Gift exchange? The one where a group of people each brings a silly, unwanted, gag gift to a get together and then swapping/exchanges/stealing happen with people trying to leave with the best option?

Well, I’ve applied the same principle to chores.

Your family is going to take one of the chores they’ve been given for the week, and they’ll bring it to a fun round of White Elephant Chore Game. During this game, everyone will swap the chore they don’t want for one that they do want, with a little fun competition as everyone tries to walk away with the “best” chore.

Prep Work for the Chore Game

Before you can play this game with your family, you’ll need to do a little prep work.

For starters, do you have a chore system of some sort? Meaning, a way that chores get divvied up among your household members?

Things to Think about for Your Chore System:

  • Chore Organization System: It can be hard to keep straight who is doing what, when (or at least what each person is responsible for). Some sort of chore chart is a great way to organize which child/family member does what task, on what day, to keep everyone accountable and to keep things rolling.
  • Age Appropriate Chores for Kids: You’ll need to fill your chore chart in with chores that are appropriate for your kid’s capability level. I want to take this a step further and add that you’ll want to choose chores that will help your child learn and grow in 5 different ways – a novel chore idea!
  • Oversight System: So, how do you know when your child’s work is finished (or any family member, for that matter)? You can model the chore with your kids, then quickly look things over when they’re finished. You could create checklists for each room/chore that your child can work through. You could even have chore buddies where they check on each other’s jobs and provide some feedback before giving the “okay” that it is, in fact, completed.
  • Rewards System: This topic is highly debated, but something you’ll need to search your gut about and figure out how you want to handle. Are chores expected of your child because they are part of the household? Should kids get paid to do chores? Should you do a hybrid of rewarded and non-rewarded chores?

Whatever you choose to do, be clear about your expectations and systems with your child.

Alright, now let’s get to the really fun part!

Rules of Play for the White Elephant Chore Game

You’re about to turn family chores on its head in your household, plus create a really fun family tradition all at the same time.

You can incorporate this into your normal chore routine. Just choose one week, and play a round at the beginning of the week (or at least after chores are given but before they’re due).

Or, you can give out a new set of chores (chore card printables are included in the free kit) and use this as a way to start the chores process in your household.

In order to play this game, you’ll want to establish the following rules:

  1. Your child gets to choose one chore from their weekly/bi-weekly/daily chore list to swap.
  2. Your child will need to keep the chore a secret by writing it down on a piece of paper and sealing it in an envelope.
  3. Everyone will come together, and place their envelopes on the coffee/kitchen table.
  4. Everyone draws a number from a basket, which shows their turn.
  5. As each player’s turn comes up, they get to either choose an unopened chore envelope from the table, or steal someone else’s opened chore envelope.
  6. Whenever someone takes a newly, unopened chore from the table, they must open it and read it aloud.
  7. Once the game ends, everyone has to complete the chore they got by the deadline (you get to decide!).

I’ve got a free printable for you that will lay out all the rules, setup, plus really cute chore cards (both blank + pre-filled) to use when handing out those chores.

I can’t wait for you to try this out! Let me know how it goes.

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