Ever wish there was an easy way to help your kids prepare for their financial future without lecturing them? Here’s a simple system that can start when a child is very young, but can last a life time.
Tony Townsley and his wife developed the idea of the "Three Cups" for saving money. It worked so well, he wrote a nicely illustrated book for parents to share with their kids. It’s simply called "Three cups."
His son Jake wasn't even 5 when his parents introduced him to the three cups system. Basically it was his weekly allowance divided into three cups. In his case, he put equal amounts into three cups. One was for savings, the other two were for spending and charity.
"I grew up having cups, and it was nice because it was always money," said Jake, now 18. "And it was probably nice on their behalf too, because I wasn't always at the store saying, 'mommy will you buy me this?'"
For the most part, if Jake wanted it, he had to save up his money.
The book comes in English and Spanish and also has a "Parents Guide" in the back. It has simple ways to get started, and how to talk to your kids.
Keep in mind, there are no hard and fast "three cup rules." Some families may choose to put more money into one cup versus the other.
Either way, it's certainly has worked for Jake.
"I'm 18. I have a stock account that I manage all on my own, mutual funds, CD's, several bank accounts, a debit account, and a credit card," explained Jake.
All that is now funded with the three cup system, and Jake also has a job or two to help save for college. He admits, as a kid he didn't really want to put his money in the savings or the charity cup, but by doing so the idea of giving grew on him. Now he really enjoys giving to charities like the Humane Society and the Red Cross, to help those suffering from disaster.
"Sometimes I double what I put into charity, just because you get the chance to save a life, which is different than anything I can buy. It's better than dinner that I could get, you know, giving to someone else."
The book itself is not meant to be a money maker; it's only $10. It's really their way to help families all over, as it's sold worldwide.