Smart Mommy, SmartER Kids

Ever heard of Dave Ramsey?

Most of us have.

The down to Earth, no BS Biblically based financial leader has made waves with his FPU (Financial Peace University) classes for several years and he draws massive crowds at different events around the country; hosting top speakers (or as he calls them “Ramsey personalities”) and himself coaching those in attendance on nearly every arena of life.

Zach and I took FPU 3 years ago and got the “Dave Ramsey Bug”.

I am so thankful that we did…. But I must admit we had fallen a little off the wagon in the last last year or so.

I happened to stumble upon the Podcast of Dave’s radio show. That snapped me back to attention and repositioned my wandering focus. I started listening almost constantly; re-energizing my desire to live by his principles and I even went further expanding out to Chris Brown’s True Stewardship and then even FURTHER to the EntreLeadership Project podcast; all of which branch from Dave Ramsey.

If I need to laugh I stick to Dave’s show, he is hilarious! But sometimes I want a little more depth into life past finances and that is where Chris Brown’s show comes in. Either way I listen to both nearly daily.

This leads me to today’s topic!

I have been struggling with HOW to start teaching Gray about money and the value of money, working for money, the value of a dollar and the value of EARNING a dollar.dollar

I don’t want to raise a child that feels he is entitled to an allowance just for breathing and I don’t want to give him a complex of money worries either. I want him to understand the importance of money without worshiping it;  what a hard balance to keep!


At our local library I came across the book “Smart Money, Smart Kids” co-written by Dave and his daughter, Rachel Cruze and found my oyster! Utilizing the tools given to me in this book Gray and I are successfully navigating the lessons on money-the value of Giving, Spending and Saving PLUS the value of working for his own ability to do those things.


Dave’s approach to money is truly very simple (too simple for some) and based on common sense thinking (which is, again, sometimes labeled too KISS for some); but I like it. I like the simplicity, especially since I am not a finance major and I like the moral principles he sticks to. The morals of what he teaches are just, if not more, important than the lessons themselves.

In FPU classes you are encouraged to use what is called the Envelope System and in this book it gives you the same basic idea for your kids but it is simplified into three categories: Spend, Save and Give.

As instructed in the book I let Gray decorate his envelopes and explained what we would be doing with each one. We then agreed TOGETHER “chores” that he would do on “commission”. I pay him 50 cents for each task he completes in a day. I was surprised how excited and happy he was to get started.


We marked out his duties on a white board and I marked “PAYDAY” on Friday. Gray is always excited for “payday” now!

The first week was interesting to say the least and Gray only earned $3.00.

After splitting it between his three envelopes I explained that he could take his spend envelope and spend the money on whatever he wanted. He looked in his envelope and said “I don’t want to. I didn’t earn very much money to spend.”

I was impressed that he already understood that $1.00 wasn’t very much for spending (at least not in this world!).

But it gave me an opportunity to explain that it is important to save and give and that is why we split what we earn.

It also gave me the chance to engage him in conversation about what he could do to make more money. He replied “do more of my work”. I was very happy that he figured it out so quickly and the next week he earned $6.00.  That’s doubling his weekly income! He was proud of himself and so was I.

After splitting his money between his envelopes I could tell he was more proud of himself for earning more and more excited when he got to take his “give” envelope to church to give an offering all his own and then his “spend” envelope to school to use at the book fair on whatever he chose!


I am waiting until we get a little more money in the “save” envelope and then we will go open him a savings account at the bank. … I can’t wait to explain to him the concept of saving for a car with the “Mom and Dad match” program. …It might be a good Idea that I start saving now, that kid is smart!

If you want an easy and spiritually sound way to help teach your kids about money at ANY age I highly suggest you check this book out.

I truly feel it has given me the tools I need  to work with Gray on these lessons for the rest of his childhood and into adolescence.

You can also go online to and get ahold of so much FREE information for yourself too!

To Smarter Kids,


Liz Jackson


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