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Since last July, we’ve been collecting our loose change for a road trip we plan to take this summer. The kids have been scrupulously picking up change wherever they see it — the bottom of my purse, the street, and their father’s pockets — and tossing it into our jar.

This started as an exercise to teach them not just how to save money, but how to work collectively for a shared goal. We estimate we must have somewhere between $200 – $300 right now. Hopefully, by the time the trip rolls around, we will have collected close to $500. This money will be their stipend for our two weeks on the road.

If my hunch is right, Ryder is dreaming of spending that money on cotton candy and carnival rides; Sophie hasn’t given it a thought; and Maya is currently reviewing her stock portfolio and finalizing her investment decisions