Every now and then, a pitch stands out from the noise that is my in-box. Brent from MoonJar.ca caught my attention right off the top by referencing my new pitch policy. As an Ottawa-based, family-run affiliate, he was concerned that he might not have enough Can-con to catch my attention. (!!) He and I are apparently leading parallel lives: he has three daughters, all of them within a year of the ages of my boys, also lives here in Ottawa, also drives a Mazda5, also has a yellow and red swing on the tree in his front yard… it’s spooky, really, in a funny kind of Internet way. All of which is of no real consequence at all, except to say that I was immediately endeared to him, and I was almost afraid to look into his product because even though I immediately liked him so much I was worried that he might be hawking something I had no interest in or could find no connection to, and I wouldn’t be able to help him out by promoting it here on the blog.
I needn’t have worried.
So let me tell you about the Moon Jar moneybox. It’s the kind of quirky thing you see in specialty toy stores or at your cool friend’s house, the kind of thing that is both fun and functional, and makes you say, “Dang, why didn’t I think of that!” It’s elegant in it’s simplicity: a three-part bank in cheerful primary colours. One compartment is labelled “save”, one “spend” and one “share”. It helps teach kids about financial responsibility and opens the door to conversations about financial literacy.
Here’s the official company boilerplate:
Since 2001, Moonjar has created Award Winning books, toys, games and the well known Moonjar Moneybox. Their goal is to recycle and transform time-tested principles into innovative, simple and high-quality products for a new generation of learners. We provide FUN products for independent young minds and innovative tools that address basic life skills.
- teach kids about money through Saving, Spending and Sharing
- promote financial literacy and youth philanthropy
- encourage families to keep their conversations going, about money and life.
We offer unique partnerships with Financial Institutions, Planners,
Educators, Non-Profits and Retailers in a variety of ways. Moonjars are
used in schools as fundraisers, as well as in classrooms, financial
institutions and community groups and homes to teach financial literacy to
(You can see why I love this idea, no?)
Did you know, by the way, that Canada has just launched a National Task Force on Financial Literacy? I’ve seen many references to the fact that poor financial literacy is one of the major contributing factors to the global financial meltdown earlier this year. Now, I’m not saying that by using the Moonjar Moneybox, you’ll help Wall Street recover and stabilize the TSX, but IMHO we should take any opportunity to help our kids learn about taking on financial responsibility as early as possible.
I was curious, though, about how my boys would react to the idea of not only a “save” component to the plan, but a “share” one as well. (They’ve got the “spend” component down to a science, of course. Each week’s allowance is converted into how many Pokemon cards can be acquired and how much pooling of resources can acquire even greater numbers of Pokemon cards.)
When I opened the package of samples that Brent supplied, Tristan was looking over my shoulder in curiousity. (I think he was initially intrigued by the bright colours. He’s a magpie like his mother!) When I explained the various components of the “system” and the idea that if we started using the Moonjar moneybox for his allowance, he’d have to set aside a portion each week for saving and some for sharing with people who weren’t as lucky and fortunate as us, he was perfectly fine with the idea. Now, to be totally honest, we haven’t yet had a chance to implement the save/spend/share system because I wanted to get this information out to you right away. But so far, he’s intrigued and we’ve started talking about money — that’s more than half the battle, right?
And Brent was generous enough to give us a complimentary set of MoonJar moneyboxes to share with you, my bloggy peeps! Tristan has already laid claim on one of them, but I have one more Classic MoonJar and two Standard MoonJars (these ones are made of cardboard and you assemble them yourself) to give away.
To enter, leave a comment on this post with any one of the following:
- a tip or idea on improving financial literacy within the family
- your thoughts on the best spend/save/share ratio
- tell me how allowances work in your house – no allowance, based on age, linked to chores, etc
- one thing you wish you would have learned or done as a child to improve your own financial literacy as an adult
Entries will be accepted through 5 pm EDT on Thursday September 3, 2009. Three winners will be chosen at random based on the entries received. The first person chosen will receive the Classic MoonJar, and the next two will receive the Standard MoonJar. You must be willing to share your home mailing address with me so I can ship the prize to you.
By the way, I know some of you are elementary school teachers, and Brent says he is strongly focused on the teaching aspect of the MoonJars. They’ve got some good information on saving and spending on their resources page, and they’ve developed curriculum for elementary schools. Contact him for details!