The Family Change Jar

I heard this idea from an old work colleague. He did it with his two kids. Here is his version:

Everyone in the house put their change in the same jar. Each child had a turn with the jar. When it was your turn you could decide when you wanted to empty it. You could do it right away or wait for it to build, conceivably forever. Once you cashed in your turn was up. Since there is no time limit on the waiting it created an interesting dynamic of having your fortune dependent on someone else’s actions, and developing patience along with politics to urge the dumping of the jar sooner than later.


When my children are old enough to play this game I will add my wife and I into the picture. During my turn I can model how the change jar works. When they come at me with begging, pleading, or questioning I can explain my position and what I am doing. I envision some expert testimonies, power point presentations, or backroom deals to convince me that now is the time to empty the jar.

If you have older kids now and can give this a try before I can in 5 years, please let me know how it goes or how you modified the format.

One thought on “The Family Change Jar

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