How do you help your kids manage money? This is an article where I don’t think I have the one right answer. My girls are still young and have trouble understanding the value of money. We have tried a few things to help them get the concept, but I think these ideas are all part of the whole and not magic cures in and of themselves.
My wife and I have been fairly open about how money works and the value of it. (Although because kids talk I still haven’t told them how much I make.) We explain that everything costs money and how much. I explain that God has blessed me with a job to be able to pay for our home and our food. We tell them how we give to the church regularly and the other ministries we sponsor. My wife takes them shopping and they understand the cost of items. When they ask why things cost money I explain how capitalism should work and how it should be a win-win for everyone. They have a few business ideas I need to encourage because of these conversations and a few episodes of Shark Tank.
Well they work for it. They earn tickets for doing their chores which can be traded in for money or screen time. Their money is divided into a three part bank for giving, spending and saving. Any money is spending is theirs to do with that they please. (Although it is really hard when they want to buy crap.) Saving money must be targeted to a larger purchase they are working towards. Their giving must be directed outside of our home to church or to something else like the girls we sponsor through compassion international.
This is hopefully setting a pattern in their life. They are able to save money and delay gratification. They love to give money to good causes and have even thought of a few creative causes on their own. This is great because it gets them thinking about someone besides themselves.
You remember the saying, you can lead a horse to water? We show our kids the wise choices and explain them to them as best we can but we still let them make bad choices. “You can buy ice cream from the truck or you can buy a whole box from the store at the same price.” It seems to be working more and more as our older daughter is talking to us about her thought process and the smarter choices. I am sure they won’t always make the right choices but who does? We have let them suffer the consequences of their bad habits so they will hopefully learn a lesson down the road.
Did you parents do anything to help you understand money? What worked what didn’t work? What will you do with your kids? I really want to know because I don’t have the answers on this one.
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