- With savings, they can save indefinitely for a large item they want to purchase (like saving up for a car) or they can save back for some smaller item, as long as they don't empty out their bank account (it takes $25 to start one).
- With spending, I try to let them use it as they wish, encouraging them not to blow it on incidental items, although the choice is theirs.
- With giving, we research where they'd like to give and I explain the different options (ie., local organizations: homeless shelter, animal shelter, vs. national organizations: wolf recovery, hurricane relief, vs. international organizations: tsunami relief, Jane Goodall foundation, etc.). This really works for us, and it teaches my children about banking, how to save, how to spend wisely, and how to contribute to causes and to those less fortunate.
When you pay each child their allowance per week, they have to divide the money they earn (this counts for birthday money and babysitting money as well, at least for us) equally between three jars: savings (when it gets to $20 it goes into the bank), spending (they are free to spend as they wish), and giving (when they save up at least $20 they donate it to the local, national or international cause of their choice).