Thursday, October 17, 2013

Family Members and Their Financial Roles

I have a Home Economics book that is a compilation of all the old textbooks for Home Economics for vintage advice from the years 1900 to the 1940's, yet this book itself was printed in 2010. One of the things it talks about that I like is the fact that:

"Every family member should be contributing to either A.) Earn Money or B.) Save Money."

When I posed this question to others I heard many replies back that their kids were too young to understand the concept of money, the mom mostly handled all the frugal activities and the dads did not help in the area of savings ( although mostly mentioned he was working.)

The message was lost.

"Each member should contribute to either earning money or saving money."

If the Dad is working well then he is contributing by earning the money. However this does not mean then that the wife and mother should take on the whole role of the savings end when there are children in the house.

This is something I myself have been contemplating on knowing we have missed this mark of involving each and every member. Oh we discuss, they go shopping with us, they know some of the things I do and are very aware of our financial circumstances and choices. But we miss the mark on each member having active roles.

It does not matter if a child is too young to understand the concept of money or not. A  child who has learned to walk can be given active roles in order to help save or earn money. Having a concept of the money itself is irrelevant. However I can see that for the truly frugal house, or those struggling through financial hardships, how very beneficial everyone having an active role could be.

Most children feel very grown up and proud of themselves when given "jobs." You just have to figure out age appropriate ones for them, the older they are the more they would be capable of. To save money for example, you may give a 2 or 3 year old the "job" of checking each room several times a day to make sure lights are off. They could help rinse out cans for the recycling center.

There are many opportunities around the household to either earn or save money, such as picking up returnable cans, helping reduce garbage output, reduce electric bills, help make homemade cleaners, help with meals from scratch, grinding grain ( if you grind grain), clipping coupons, locating sales in flyers........ of course it depends on the ages what tasks you may want to give them.

This also applies to earning money, there are many ways children can earn money, it may not be much such as picking up returnable cans but it is something. Other tasks with creative thinking may bring in much more money.  While it may go to a household fund, you may even consider letting them keep some of the earnings they contribute for themselves and help teach them how to manage their own money.

A family that works together, flows smoother for sure and helps each member understand financial choices better. By getting everyone actively involved in this manner, would certainly ease some of the burden off the main financial guru of the home. I think for the most this has become a lost art of the home economics.

This is going to be one of my families goals for November......... how about you?

Does each member have a earn or save role in your home or does the earning and saving only fall on the adults shoulders?


  1. I love this post. There is a lot to think about. I'll have to read it several times.

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed this post Anon, and thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  2. I'm curious about the name of the book you wrote about. As a librarian I tend to wonder about such things:)

    I completely agree with the statement about everyone contributing somehow to the household. If you had known either of my grandmothers you would have known this was definitely their philosophies! They certainly taught by example, and expected all of us to follow along.

    I've worked hard to instill this concept in my own children too. It does seem that the older they've gotten and have seen what living on their own would be like the more they've understood the concept (I still have high schoolers). I have to say that as a teenager I probably didn't appreciate all of this - I have to admit I accepted handouts from Daddy's generosity without the proper gratitude.

    Since the first of my four sons was born 26 years ago, I've kept the idea in the back of my mind that I am raising someone's future husband. They've been taught how to take care of a yard, change the oil, do basic construction and repairs. In their own households, they may decide to hire out these needs, but as much as I was concerned about my own family I also thought to their future families too. I think it's important to teach earning/saving skills to children not only for the present but for the future as well.

    1. Anonym, the book is "Home Economics vintage advice and practical science for the 21rst century household compiled by Jennifer McKnight Trontz. Yes my mom and grandmother were good at giving tasks that went a long ways in teaching conserving and saving although in my home there was never gender type chores. We all learned laundry ,cooking and gardening as well as mowing and changing the oil and such in the mowers and other type chores. Did not matter if we were girls or boys, we all learned the same things and alternated turns. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! You have my dream job, well work in a place full of books and combined with a coffee shop................ LOL