One of my missions as I mother is not to raise a spoiled child. I want my children to appreciate and be thankful for what they have. While Zoë is thankful, I saw the beginnings of “I want more!” starting to creep in a few years ago. It all started out innocently enough. We’d be at the store with 1-2 year old Zoë and she would see something that she liked that cost a few dollars so we’d toss it in the shopping cart. No biggie. Over the years however, her taste (like her mama’s) got a bit more expensive. It wasn’t long before she started asking for $20+ dolls or dresses. That was when I decided she needed to learn 1) the value of a dollar, and 2) those dollars didn’t just grow on trees.

Enter Zoë Money. Like monopoly money but cooler.

Zoë had been earning gold coins for completing all the tasks on her responsibility chart each day. She could use the gold coins to buy things that she wanted. It was a good system, but we kind of fell off the wagon after Eden was born. To get us back on track, and to make it more interesting I introduced the Zoë Money. She earned one dollar each day for completing all her tasks, and as an extra bonus, if she got every smiley face on her responsibility chart for the entire week she could choose a prize out of our prize basket.
I liked the new system. Not only is it fun, it helped her start to understand the value of a dollar, which was a bit hard to translate into gold coins. I also made Mommy Dollars ($5) and Daddy Dollars ($10) that she could exchange her single dollars for.

Here is how I created the Zoë Money. First, download the dollar here. I am hoping the fact that the president’s face is removed along with the serial numbers will keep me from being arrested. 🙂

  1. Open the dollar in Photoshop.
  2. Open a photo of your child. Select Image > Adjustments > Desaturate to convert it to black and white. You may also need to adjust the saturation (Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation) so that it matches the saturation of the dollar.
  3. Drag your photo to the dollar canvas, making sure that the face layer is below the dollar layer.
  4. Size the photo so that your child’s face fits into the dollar oval. (Edit > Transform > Scale. Make sure you hold down Shift to keep the proportions equal.)
  5. Merge the two layers. (Select both layers then right click and choose Merge Layers.)
  6. Right click on the layer and select “Blending Options.” Click on “Color Overlay” Choose whatever color you want your Kid Dollar to be. Adjust the Opacity until you get the saturation you want. I was going for a Monopoly money look so mine is set at 24%.
  7. Save As .jpg and voila!
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