Lesson 2

Getting My Money


Lesson Overview:

Lesson 2 addresses 1) money gifts and allowances; 2) age-appropriate ways of earning money; and 3) wise borrowing.


Learning Objectives:

The children will:

  • Name ways to get money (receive, earn or borrow it).
  • Describe ways to earn money.
  • Determine when to borrow money


Content Standards Addressed:

Common Core State Standards

National Standards



  • Allowance - money regularly given for expenses
  • Bank - a business that receives, loans and protects money, and provides other money-related services
  • Borrow - to get money or an item by promising to repay the money or return the item



To reinforce Lesson 1, review these points:

  • Before money's invention, people "paid" for what they needed with cattle, produce and other things.
  • In most cases, paying with money is easier and quicker than bartering (trade).
  • Early forms of money included precious metals and tools. Today, coins are used.
  • U.S. coins can easily be identified by color, size and other characteristics.
  • It's important to know coin names and values.


Part 1: Receiving Money

Materials Needed:

Return the Let's Go Shopping! worksheets and ask volunteers to share with the group what they'd like to buy.


  • How can kids your age get money to pay for these items? Write some of their ideas on the board. Lead them to see there are three ways they can get money: 1) they can receive it as a gift or in an allowance; 2) they can earn it; 3) they can borrow it
  • When have you received money as a gift? What did you do with it? (Encourage volunteers to share. Write save and spend on the board if mentioned.)

Allowances provide valuable hands-on experience in money management. Kids are ready for an allowance as soon as they start begging for something at the store. It's estimated that only 60 percent of families give an allowance, however, so it's likely some of the children in your group do not receive one.


  • Do any of you receive an allowance? Ask volunteers to share how much/how often they get allowances.
  • If you don't get an allowance, is it OK to ask for one? (Yes.)
  • What if your family says no? (There are other ways to get money besides allowances. Children must be respectful of family wishes.)

*Some children may face hardship. Please discuss at your discretion.


Part 2: Earning Money

Materials Needed:

If children don't receive allowances, what are other options? Do some brainstorming! They might use a natural talent to generate money. Artistic children could sell pictures they've drawn/painted or craft jewelry. Musical children could entertain others by singing or dancing (alone or in a group) or playing the piano or another instrument for a holiday or special event. 

Children can also earn money by performing tasks family members, friends or neighbors don't want or have time to do, such as:

  • Cleaning an older sibling's room.
  • Cleaning out a garage, basement or shed.
  • Bathing or walking a dog.
  • Trimming, weeding or cleaning up a yard.
  • Mowing the lawn, raking leaves or shoveling snow.
  • Moving furniture so a family member can vacuum the carpet.
  • Filing photos or memorabilia into albums.
  • Taking in mail or watering plans for a vacationing neighbor.
  • Carrying groceries.
  • Entertaining a younger sibling while family members do work around the house (not to be confused with babysitting).
  • Breaking down boxes and organizing cans, bottles, etc., to recycle.

Remind the children these extra tasks are not a substitute for chores. They should willingly do their chores as responsible family members.

Another way they can earn money is to sell toys, books and other items they no longer play with or use. A garage/yard sale helps find homes for unwanted stuff and generates extra money. Discuss the steps involved:

  • Check with parents to make sure it's OK to hold a sale.
  • Consider asking family members or friends to join you. (More items = more customers, more money, more fun!)
  • Fill boxes with unwanted items.
  • Ask for family help in pricing the items.
  • Make signs to post and/or fliers to pass out to neighbors, classmates, friends, etc.
  • Consider selling homemade and/or snacks to increase earnings.


Reproducible: Earning Money

Make copies of the reproducible. If desired, invite the children to share their ideas with the large group.


Part 3: Borrowing Money
Materials Needed:
Sometimes people need more money than they have on hand. Can the group think of a situation when this might happen? (For example, a family whose only car suddenly breaks down and needs expensive repairs.) They may have to borrow this extra money from friends or family members. If this isn't possible, or if they need additional money, they might borrow from a bank. A bank is a type of business that receives and protects money, makes loans and provides other money-related services.


Borrowing from friends, family members or a bank involves a verbal or written promise to repay. Remind the children it's very important to keep one's promises so that others will trust us. The decision to borrow money is a difficult one that may require someone to consider their personal views.

Read the following scenarios to the children. Ask them to carefully consider which could result in borrowing money. They should rely on their own judgment and personal views to decide.
  • Jacob's dad accidentally ran over his bike with the car and it can't be repaired. Jacob needs to ride his bike to school every day.
  • Alyssa already has nice gym shoes, but she wants very expensive ones like another child in her class.
  • Emily's friend has a pretty, pink cell phone. Emily doesn't need a cell phone, but she's always wanted one.
  • The Baker family has a working TV, but they have decided a buy a bigger one.
  • Dalton's dad's car has a flat tire. The tire can't be repaired, and he's thinking of buying a new tire.
  • Lauren's family's house burned down last night. The family has no clothes or food.
Reproducible: Should I Borrow Money?
Make copies of the reproducible. Review the pictures with the children before assigning as independent work, or complete as a whole-group activity. Discuss their choices.