Discovery is part of learning about money & value.

Allowance: Early Childhood & Elementary Years

Before jumping in, read an overview of the whole strategy and find your child’s nature.


Happy baby discovers smiling as currency.Discovery & Curiosity: birth to 3 years is characterized by discovery and massive developmental leaps, something that doesn’t come around again until early adolescence. Your children will need you to be in Assurance all of the time. To teach them kindness, you’re kind, for example. You’re modeling affection, stability, sharing, compassion, and many, many other positive behaviors. In infancy this is all you do, but as children become toddlers and begin to understand cause and effect there becomes an opportunity to experiment with rewards like stickers and other little items. Money is best put into a piggy bank, first by you then by your child, and larger gifts should be set aside until they’re older.


Playing with money & purchasing.Play & Competition: kids from 4 to 6 are fun, playful, and naturally competitive. Playing games introduces them to rules, winning, and losing graciously. When in Assurance you’ll demonstrate the rules of fair play and sharing. You provide your kids with food, clothes, shelter, entertainment, and unconditional love, and you’ll have your own set of age-appropriate expectations such as taking care of certain physical needs, (like tying shoes or using the bathroom), communicating pleasantly, and generally conducting themselves with appropriate self-sufficiency. Introducing a weekly allowance because they are members of the family is a good idea. They aren’t yet ready to work for the money and are still learning that money is something exchanged for things they may want. You can use proxy money like marbles which represents a comfortable amount which your child can then exchange with you for real money. They can use this money to buy things or gifts, but they’ll need to be taught how to count it. In this stage you all can have a lot of fun together!

Suggested amount: $3, one to spend, one to save, and one to give.

Suggested expectations: brushing teeth, cleaning up toys, keeping room neat, making bed, clearing dishes, picking out own clothes and getting dressed.


Helping around the house.Help & Cooperation: by the time kids are 7 they will want to help around the house. In the 7-9 years children naturally want to please their adults and relate their value within the family to being asked to do things and go places. They will need a fair, balanced cooperative system because they keep track of value. They count the number of times they get to spend time alone with you, and the special things Dad does with Son will be noticed by Daughter. In Assurance, you’ll need to create this system. This is a good time to teach them the difference between “no” and “not right now.” Help them learn to save for the things they want and give them ways to earn money for helping out. Increase allowance slightly along with raising expectations. In this stage they begin to help you, though there is a difference between the quality of kid work and adult work, but it will improve with time!

Suggested amount: $5. However, if agreed-upon expectations aren’t met, (by not doing them, cheating, something other than doing them with understandable kid-quality), they haven’t earned their whole allowance; in this way fines are introduced.

Suggested expectations: (in addition to the above), set the table, put away clean dishes, take out trash, recycling, and/or compost, fold laundry, help prepare food, help with yard work.


Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.


Happy Children

Who are these people? Finding your child’s financial nature.

As parents we know that our children are born into this world exactly as they are; their natures are already there, and it has nothing to do with us. Having a sense of who our kids are helps us be better parents, helps us relate to them as they need, and helps the family create an inclusive, stable structure.

Your perception of your child’s nature may change over time, which is pretty common, or you may nail it right away. Here we’ve attempted to capture the essence of each nature so that you can identify the essence of your child. It’s not always about distinct behaviors but the underlying attitudes and distinct perspective of each nature, something we’ve illustrated using rules and how each nature relates to them.



The first nature is the Reactor, and kids with this nature are reactive and instinctive, often acting before thinking. Reactor kids play hard, can be impulsive, and seek out stimulation to which they can react. They like to win, can sometimes be needy, and tend to create chaos. They find a way to get what they need, sometimes taking from others or using their relationship currency to get others to give something to them. They stand out in situations that call for being highly instinctive like playing music or sports, and they can also be highly motivated and resilient. Reactor kids appreciate rules because they can react to them.



Feeler kids are prone to emotional ups and downs. When they’re up they are often excited, confident, and full of energy. When they’re down they tend to be drained, spent, and sometimes immobilized. They can be dramatic, sentimental, and sensitive. If they have treats, they’ll eat them all and just go without until they get more. Their decisions and motivations depend on their feelings. Feelers like to have fun! Feelers relate to rules based on how they feel about them and may try to bend them or have some fun with them accordingly.




Kids who are Workers are always busy in one way or another. They are comfortable with constant work though sometimes that work can be mental and hard to see. Often sharp, analytical, and eager, Worker kids are motivated by the satisfaction they get as a result of their efforts, and a little recognition goes a long way. They can also be rigid and so intense they experience a high degree of stress. Workers appreciate rules because they provide a framework within which to do, strive, and work.




Saver kids like to savor, gather, relax, and save. They may have collections, save their favorite candy until it’s too yucky to eat, and often prefer to be independent. Typically cautious and composed, Saver kids prefer to recharge alone. They like to accumulate things and don’t like to throw anything away, sometimes developing an unhealthy attachment to stuff. They often want the biggest serving, (if they can’t have the whole thing), avoid change, and take on the role of the family, classroom or social savior. Savers like the rules because they create security and comfort.



Investor kids are often rather resourceful and able to use what they’ve got to create more of what they want. They usually seek out gratification and are enthusiastic, productive, and clever. They often appear to be hard-working, but unlike the Worker, they are motivated by joy and like to revel in their successes. Sometimes erratic, daring, or thrill-chasers, Investor kids are all about the experience, what they put into it and what they get out of it. Rules provide a structure within which Investors can create, invent, construct.




Levers prefer things to be easy and are often excellent team-players. They are the kids who make collaborative projects seem like a good idea because they are so good in a group! They are able to give and receive help. They can sense opportunities but may manipulate or exploit others in order to get the most out of those opportunities without doing much of the work. Because they want everything to be as easy as possible, they aren’t always motivated to try or learn things that don’t come naturally to them unless they understand that doing so will ultimately make their lives easier or better in some way. Rules are okay with a Lever as long as they don’t make life more confusing or difficult which only causes a Lever great frustration.


9456382687_97cdba1395_o Giver kids are able to share and have a great deal of compassion for others and the world around them. They like to share so much they sometimes can’t see that others don’t want what they try to share! They are natural leaders even if they can’t quite articulate where they’re going. They are often highly intuitive, generous, and thoughtful with an ability to envision what comes next, even in a complicated game of pretend. They may be quite gifted in a certain area, so much that other areas of their lives can be ignored or underdeveloped. Rules help Givers determine how to be of benefit to others.