“I wish my parents had taught me more about how to manage money.” I hear this over and over again from people participating in one of the many stewardship classes at Southeast. Far too many adults these days have learned little, if anything, from their parents about money.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You and I can change this for the next generation. Your kids can leave home someday prepared to manage money God’s way instead of learning it the hard way. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6, NIV). When you make it a priority now, they’ll make it a priority when they are an adult. Follow these five tips for raising financially healthy kids.
1. Make sure they know it all belongs to God.
We need to plant this idea early. Talk about God being the owner of everything we have. “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” (Deuteronomy 10:14, NIV). This certainly includes our money. When we grow up thinking it’s ours – or even that 90% is ours and only 10% belongs to the Lord – this belief drives our behavior. The truth that God is the owner is the foundation for managing money.
2. Keep it simple.
I love the model of Give-Save-Spend. I like the idea of using clear jars so they can see the money accruing over time. There is not a right or wrong way to have them divide the money. Have them give at least 10% to giving and divide the rest into saving and spending. Some kids will have a giving heart and want to put it all in the giving jar so they can give it away. If that’s your kid, then celebrate and encourage that. You may want to think about offering some incentives for saving over time by matching or offering interest.
3. Remember that more is caught than taught.
You must lead by example when it comes to raising kids. If your kids always see you paying with credit cards, then they are being taught that’s how you pay for things. Also, they are watching how Mom and Dad communicate about money. If money is always a source of tension or conflict, then your kids are taking note. Even though you don’t always agree, make it your goal to demonstrate oneness. What your kids see you do is a lot more powerful than what they hear you say.
4. Model the budgeting process.
See Also: Keys to Budgeting Success
If your kids see you always spending without any mention of a budget or the trade-offs that come with living on a spending plan, then you are modeling that for these future adults. Get them involved in the family budget, at least from an awareness standpoint, if not from a decision-making standpoint. For example, engage them in the family entertainment budget. Let them be a part of making the decision to have pizza and watch a movie at home three times in a month versus going out to a movie and pizza once since that’s all the budget allows. Give them opportunities to learn about the trade-offs that exist when you live on a spending plan.
5. Give an allowance based on work completed.
Don’t give your kids money just for being a part of the family. Instead give an allowance based on chores they do around the house like taking out the trash, or cleaning their room or mowing the grass. This will help them understand that money is earned and not just given to them.
Don’t wait until your kids are in college to teach them about money. Get started now. Put these 5 tips into practice and someday your adult children might say, “I’m so glad my parents taught me how to manage money God’s way.”
Learn proven principles and practical wisdom for raising God-honoring, financially healthy kids. Build your children up by giving them a solid understanding of how money works and how to make wise choices in the next Raising Financially Healthy Kids seminar.
Register for a Raising Financially Healthy Kids seminar today!
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