How to Teach Kids About Money
It’s no secret that in today’s world kids are growing up with a misrepresentation of how money should be saved, spent, and handled in order to ensure long-lasting financial success. More and more younger people are starting their adult lives with enormous amounts of debt and relying on credit. It’s not necessarily that parents aren’t teaching kids about money, but I believe it’s a lack of understanding of HOW to teach kids about money.
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How To Teach Kids About Money
What We Do
In my household, we started teaching our children about money at a very early age. We allow them to choose what they spend their money on (within reason) and we teach them the value of saving.
My children both receive a ‘commission’ for the work they do around the house. They are required to complete a set of chores each morning and they receive a ‘payment’ every other week. (We try to mimic a normal ‘job’ as close as possible.)
They also have 3 envelopes each hanging on their wall. One is labeled “Spend,” one is labeled “Save,” and one is labeled “Give.” They are required to stick a certain amount in each envelope.
The “Spend” money they are able to use to buy little trinkets – a soda at the store, some gum, etc…
Their “Save” envelope is for bigger purchases. We teach them to choose something they really want and then research the price at different stores – Amazon, WalMart, Target, etc… Once they’ve found a price they (and my husband and I) are comfortable with, then they know how much they need to save. This makes their purchase even more special since they worked hard towards their goal.
These are valuable life lessons for our children. They need to work hard and save for purchases – not rely on credit cards that they will pay off later. We believe that this is an important aspect of teaching kids about money. I want to set them up for financial success so they can be independent later on in life.
We believe in a Biblical foundation for giving money. Their “Give” money goes towards our local church.
Each aspect of the “Save”,”Give,” and “Spend” method is important. Our children learn the value of saving money, the excitement of spending their hard earned money, and we are teaching them that money isn’t everything. We should give what we can to those in need.
Where We Learned Our Technique
Most of these principles that we rely on come from Dave Ramsey’s teaching on money. I would highly recommend reading all of his financial books, but when it comes to teaching your kids about finances, I would suggest grabbing a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money, Smart Kids.
Another Great Resource – The Millionaire Next Door
8 Principles from The Millionaire Next Door
Another great resource for anyone trying to save money or who is looking to lay a foundation to financial success is a book called, The Millionaire Next Door.
See my other related articles on this book.
Within the book are 8 Principles for teaching your kids about money and tips on how to handle your child’s financial situations as adults. Here are those principles:
1. Tell your children that there a lot of things more valuable than money – including themselves!
Always and Often
2. Don’t try to compete with your adult children financially. Encourage them for their own successes!
3. Stay out of your adult children’s family financial matters – and never try and borrow money from your children. You are the adult and need to be financially independent.
4. Never give cash or other significant gifts to your adult children as part of a negotiation strategy. Money is not a tool to be bargained in reward for certain behaviors or outcomes.
5. Minimize discussion of the items that each child and grandchild will inherit or receive as gifts.
6. Assure your children won’t realize you’re affluent until after they have established a mature, disciplined, and adult lifestyle and profession.
7. No matter how wealthy you are, teach your children discipline and frugality!
8. Never tell your children that you are wealthy
While all of these principles might not apply to every household and every family, I believe they offer good advice and words of wisdom.
Teaching your children about money will help set them up for a successful financial future. Even if they never make a 6 figure income, teaching them to be content with what they have is also very important.
If you always stress about the life you don’t have or worry about money in front of your children, then they will grow up to be adults that worry about money – and may even prize money over everything else.
By using the principles found in both of these books you will be on your way to teaching your kids about financial success and setting them up for a great future!
How are you setting up your children for financial success? Do you have other resources or wisdom you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear them!