Montrose family teaching son value of money at young age


Most of our kids aren't going to get a year-round lesson on finance at school. So a Montrose couple wanted to be sure their kids learn the value of a dollar.

He is known in his Montrose neighborhood as Garbage Man Joe.

"We take it in and take it out," Joe Jarvis said.

Every single week, the 6-year-old pulls out garbage cans for his neighbors.

"Too many kids sit on the couch and don't do anything, and this is an opportunity for him to be involved a little bit so I think this is excellent," neighbor Fred Sedgwick said.

"I take all cash and quarters," Joe said.

It's a quarter for every can. Rain or shine, every week, Joe does the job for eight of his neighbors.

"It takes me five minutes to do the job," he said.

Sometimes the cans are heavy; that's when dad assists. And sometimes the cans are easier to move, and that's when little brother James helps out.

"He loves pulling out the trash cans," James said.

And Joe does have his favorite customers, but the lesson here is simple, says mom Jill Jarvis.

"It is work for a little boy. He doesn't always want to do, it's not always easy. But he does it every week because he knows that the neighbors are counting on him," Jill said.

The idea came from a parenting magazine article Jill had read about a little boy was earning "toy" money by pulling out garbage cans out to the curb.

"We figured it was something Joe was capable of doing and we asked him and he was excited about it. I think he thought the job was fun, but he had some LEGOs he wanted to buy so he was pretty excited to do it," Jill said.

Mom and dad told Joe, besides Christmas and birthdays, any additional toys he wanted to buy was up to him. So Joe was highly motivated.

And Jill says other big lesson is learning financial responsibility.

"He knows what it feels like to blow all your money on a LEGO and not be able to buy the thing you want next week," she said.

Now in his second year of business, it's up to Joe to decide what's next.

"He gets to decide if he wants to keep doing the job; he gets to decide what he does with the money he makes from the job. And it's really good that he can make his own decisions, even on a small scale," Jill said.

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