More Great Financial Truths to Teach Our Kids
I was so encouraged by the response to Marybeth's post here on Tuesday that I asked her to stop by again and share more ways we can learn and teach our kids God's perspective of money . Marybeth Whalen, is a P31 speaker, mom of six, fellow blogger, and author of "Learning to Live Financially Free". Here is what she had to say:

It is good to learn from others. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.” If you have stories to share about your experience with money, share your stories. If you have family members who have been especially wise savers or investors, ask them to spend some time talking with your children. If there is someone in your child’s life that they respect, and that person is wise with money, use that influence to speak into your child’s life. Look around for resources that will communicate godly Biblical truths. These are especially helpful if you as the parent are learning with your children! Also, let your children see you seeking counsel from others on financial decisions. This might include a Crown Financial counselor, your pastor, or even just between husband and wife.

Money doesn’t come from the ATM. It bothered me when I noticed that if I told my kids I didn’t have money, they would impatiently reply that I should just go to the ATM and get some! Without some guidance, they have no concept that unless you put money into the machine, there will be no money coming out. Share the truths about income—how much taxes take out, how much goes to things like debt repayment, bills and groceries. Show them that while mommy and daddy certainly want to give them things and do things, they also have to be wise with their money so that there will always be money in that machine. (A note here: be careful how much you share about any hardships you experience, as you don’t want your child to feel anxious or desperate about your situation. Ask God to help you balance between communicating reality versus parental protection.)

Money is best appreciated when spending decisions are placed in their hands. We have given our kids control over their expenses for the past couple of years and have found that this works quite well for tweens and teens. We were constantly being nickled and dimed over this skating night, that shirt, this movie, that youth event, etc. So, we started giving them an allowance, paid each time my husband gets paid. We intentionally gave them enough to cover these types of events. Now when they ask to do something, we can reply, “I don’t know, do you have the money?” What has been the most surprising to me is how much more they will decide that an event is “not worth it” if it is their money being used! Additionally, instead of just taking our kids shopping for clothes, we give them the actual money, in cash, that we have budgeted and tell them they can spend it on whatever they want. But when it’s gone, it’s gone. You should see them checking price tags and working at making their money stretch! This has gone a long way towards teaching our children about the value of money.

Finally, the best way you can communicate financial truths to your kids is to:

  • Talk about money, don’t shroud it in secrecy
  • Make money management a hands-on experience.
  • Live out the principles in your own lives, modeling what you hope they will carry into their futures.

Another saying we all grew up hearing is, “Actions speak louder than words.” It is wise to make sure that your own financial practices line up with what your children hear you say. Your whole family will be blessed when this happens and you just might change your legacy for generations to come.

Thanks again Marybeth for stopping by to share such important financial truths we can teach our kids. I can't wait to read your book and give a copy away today. If you have questions for Marybeth or something you'd like to share, please post your comment below. Winners will be announced Sunday afternoon since I am leaving town today to speak in Sumter, SC this weekend. Would treasure your prayers for the event and our travel. And if you are nearby, would love to see you! Click on "Where I'll Be" to find out more.

NOTE: January is coming to an end, but my month of encouragement for moms isn't! (yet) I still have more ideas and information to share. On Monday, Micca Campbell will be a guest blogger talking about how we pass either faith or fear on to our children through the way we respond to difficult situations. I can't wait to hear what she has to say. And there will be another great give-away! See you then.

Today's Mom Give-Aways

We have 3 give aways today: A copy of Marybeth's book, "Learning to Live Financially Free", a copy of "Total Money Make-Over" by Dave Ramsey, and 2 tickets to the D6Conference!

To be part of these give-aways, click on "comments" below. PLEASE include your email so we can get in touch if you win. Also, I'd love to know the age of your kids and where you are from.

PS. Be sure to sign up soon for the D6Conference! Early registration ends February 2nd.


Blogger sweettea said...

I never thought about giving them an allowance for the purpose of paying for things they might want to do...hmmm...I think I need to be more clear cut about when I'll pay for something and when I won't. As it is now, if I don't want to pay for something "extra", I'll ask them if they have their own money for it.

Julie W.

EA 12,
EB 10
{MR 1999}
EA 8
IA 22 months

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never put much thought into an allowance but after reading this I see the value in teaching budgeting. I have started to have my son (who is almost 12) pay for missing library books and lost PE uniforms as a way of hopelessly trying to teach him personal responsibility. Wouldn't you know that after forking out the money to the library and to me for the uniform, that he checked the school lost and found and recovered all of his belongings. He was refunded all the money he shelled out but I hope he learned the lesson anyway!!! Sometimes I wonder if he would misplace his head if it weren't attached to his body...Thanks for the month of parenting tips, they have been great!

Blogger Donna L said...

Thank you for another awesome installment on teaching our kids financial truth. My husband and I have been totally debt free for about 7 months now. But, I realize that have more work to do in teaching our kids, especially in allowing them to pay for the necessary things out of money we give them to learn how to stretch their money. We have went over our budget with them and told them exactly how much we pay for utilities and that type of thing and where our money goes. Our oldest daughter is a freshman in college and has been offered all types of credit cards, but has turned them down, and opened a savings account this semester for a summer trip, so I believe that at least part of it has registered with her. Every payday she determines how much she can move into savings. We try to be open and honest with our kids about money and if something extra can't fit in that week's budget, then we have to postpone it until the next week or possibly even the next month. But after reading Tuesday's post and today's post, I know that there is definitely room for improvement. Thank you so much Renee and MaryBeth for sharing from your hearts.

Kids - Bethany - 18, Nathan - 15, Laura - 14

Blogger Wrinkled Shirts said...

I've enjoyed each of your posts about this issue. I'm sad that the month is ending.

Paula G.
Beaumont, TX


Anonymous Miriam said...

Looking forward to hearing you speak at the Hearts At Home Conference in Bloomington, IL in March and to perusing your new book! Your comments remind me of how much my children are watching my spending decisions and whether there are major discrepancies between what I say and what I spend. I would like to keep track of spending and initiate a family budget this year. My oldest daughter just turned 5 and it would be good to begin using the three-fold money jar system with her along with an allowance in the next year or two. Thanks for bringing this topic to mind!

Metamora, IL

Anonymous Stephenie said...

Our kids use Dave Ramsey's FPU Jr. kit. It's awesome! There are envelpoes for giving, saving and spending. The decisions the kids make in what to save for have been interesting to watch. Thanks again for spending time focused on parenting issues.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for these tips! I have three children ages 5, 3 and 21 months. We are just starting to think about how we would like to structure our home with regard to allowances, etc. (My 5 year old has been asking a lot of money questions, recently). It's important to us to teach our children to be financially responsible and to serve Christ with their finances. I've been blessed by these tips and hope to use them in the near future. I'd also like to look into Dave Ramsey's book for some more financial leadership. We could use a plan right now!
Thank you! from Virginia

Awesome! Count me in!! With teenagers, we need to work on this money issue.

In His Graces~Pamela

Blogger KimAmburn said...

More great advice! When our son wanted a DS, we sat down with him and created a plan for him to save his allowance and do extra chores to save up for it. He also saved any birthday/extra money he received. In three months, this 6 yr old had saved the $135 he needed. He treasures that device more than if we'd bought it. One thing we need to better at, though, is teaching them to tithe. I'm going to use the earlier advice about envelopes. Thanks for this financial advice!

Anonymous GodsGirl said...

Hi Renee,

I am new to this but here goes...

This is great advice...for me and my children. My husband and I used to be fancy free with our money and then had no idea where it went. However, the current economic times are showing us that we need to do things differently (so I could definitely use a book...LOL). I also want to teach our two sons ages 10 and 7 how to be responsible with money so they don't have to go through the mistakes we did.

Blessings to all,

Whitmore Lake, MI
Sons - 10yrs old & 7yrs old

Anonymous GodsGirl said...

oh, and my email address is


Blogger Renee Swope said...

I just added a note to my blog late this morning saying that although February is coming to an end, my month of encouragement for moms isn't. I still have more ideas and information to share! On Monday, Micca Campbell will be a guest blogger talking about how we pass either faith or fear on to our children through the way we respond to difficult situations. And I have more insights and stories from other P31 speakers and things we're still learning at the Swope house.

Have a great weekend!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great ideas...I especially like the idea of giving the kids the cash for clothes and they can spend as they want. My oldest daughter (8) is just starting to notice designer labels...ugh...We didn't deal with that until I was in middle school! So think giving her the cash to spend may be a good way for her to learn value of money

Have a safe trip Renee...



Blogger Nikki said...

This is something I SO wish I would have learned younger. I had no concept of finacial responsibility until I was well into my 20's and I think it is important to teach my young children the things suggested in the posts. My husband and I have briefly discussed the idea of allowances for the children but had no idea how to go about implementing them, when the time comes. We are desperately trying to become debt-free ourselves, which is so hard with my husband's graduate school loans and a house payment and four young children. Every time we start making a dent in the debt, we have another baby and rack up another round of hospital and doctor bills. Each baby has been a blessing but the cost of the actual births is outrageous! Don't get me wrong. We definately feel blessed finacially--we pinch pennies but always have food on the table and clothes on our backs. We have learned to live on little and welcome the ideas to teach our children about finances. Anyway, Thanks for the post, great as usual!

Blogger gunningfam05 said...

Thank you again for sharing such important truths with us moms.

My kids arent at the point where they are old enough for an allowance...
So I am trying to think of how to apply these now.....
We want to start teaching the importance of using our $ wisely at an early age.. so as they grow they will understand.
AT 5, 4 and 2... I would love a chart or something that could make it real for them to see.


Anonymous Bridget Turner said...

This post was so helpful. I have a 10 yr old daughter and I think giving her the allowance to cover her expenses would be so helpful right now. We are working on responsibility and self-control in this area, but I think our approach has not been good. Thank you so much for the help! We also have a son who is 6 yrs. old. He tends to be the saver in the family!
Have fun in Sumter. I grew up not far from there.
my e-mail is

Blogger Nikki said...

Sorry, I already left a comment. But I was just wondering if there is any way for me to be able to print the entire month of blog posts at one time? I would love to have them to reread from time to time. Please let me know if there is a way to do that without having to do each one seperately. Thanks!

Blogger Stacey said...

We have just recently started letting Kayla be involved with the budget process; while we are new to this, and I can't say I have seen the benefits that she thinks money is "in the bank", my hopes are that as long as she continues to help work the budget and sees consequences when bills aren't paid that she will be more responsible...

Blogger Praying Mom said...

I have never been the best with money! My mom was taught that if you have checks, you have money- therefor that is what she taught me. I got a credit just out of high school and when I married 2 years later, I brought a HUGE debt into my marriage. We are still trying to unbury ourselves from our past financial mistakes, but with God's help EVERYTHING is POSSIBLE! I will surely teach my kids... I will true the 'allowance thing'. Maybe that will help!

Blogger Praying Mom said...

Email address- Sorry!

Blogger Wendi said...

Good ideas. My 13 year old wanted to go on a church trip with his friend that cost $150. I told him that we just didn't have the money and if he really wanted to go he would have to split it with us. He had Christmas and birthday money that he could use. So he did. His wallet is looking pretty empty. I'm not sure if it impacted him too much since he had the money though. I'm wondering what will happen when the next big thing comes and he doesn't have the money to go. Will the fact that he doesn't have the money either make a difference? I'll let you know when the situation arises.

Blogger tiggerdaisy said...

Oh, goodness! I just love this post! :)

I especially like the whole idea of putting money in your children's hands and allowing them some "control" over how they spend it. Good stuff indeed! :)


p.s. No D6 tickets for me...I would be unable to go! :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just discovered this blog this week thru P31. Love it! I am tired of telling my kids (and my husband too) that "we just can't afford" whatever it is that they want. I would like to make giving/saving/budgeting a positive experience. Thanks for the encouragement and motivation!

3 kids: 11,9,8

Blogger JottinMama said...

More good stuff. I've really enjoyed all this (and I needed it, too!) Thanks so much!

Praying for you as you travel and speak this weekend!

Many Blessings,
Kate :)
*2 year old son
*One on the way!

Blogger Craig said...

What age should a child start getting an allowance? My Children are 3 and 4 months.

Blogger Casey S. said...

I love the idea of giving the money over to the kids especially for clothes shopping. What a great way for them to realize how much it actally costs. I'm with Nikki. If there is a way to print them that would be fabulous.
I'll pray for safe travel.
Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend.

Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Great thoughts. It always cracks me up when I tell my kids if they want something they have to use their own money, all of a sudden they are much more frugal and less interested!

BTW, time is flying, but it's just January, not February, that's coming to an end! :-)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recently been thinking about doing something like this with my children and better explain to them the responsibility we should have with money. We still don't do allowance or anything like that but I have been thinking about it. Thanks for sharing.

girls ages, 6 and 8

Blogger RefreshMom said...

Those are great tips. I was just thinking yesterday how my parents really didn't prepare us to handle our own money well. They never talked about the specifics of money, we just always had a sense we didn't have any. So when my sister and I got jobs and finally did have money, we spent it without really thinking about it. I would love to have had a better sense of saving/planning/budgeting right from the start. (my email is attached to my name here--trying to avoid the spambots, you know.)

Blogger TandVMom said...

Thank you again for discussing the importance of money management with our kids. Thanks for the suggestions.

Have a safe trip!

kids are 8 and 9
Charlotte, NC

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Renee (or anyone else reading)....any advice for a single mom trying to teach her daughters (ages 8 and 9) about money? Everything seems more complicated with one of me and two of them, and money is no different. They, too, think if I have checks or there is an ATM nearby, there is money to spend!! We are certainly blessed in finances, and I teach them often about sharing our blessings with others, but getting them to understand that money doesn't grow on trees is more and more difficult!

Thanks for all the great tips everyone ;)


PS-No conference tickets for me either, wouldn't be able to attend :(

Blogger Anna Mc said...

Sorry in advance for being long-winded. I do not have the best track record in the past with finances! My husband and I recently begin to pay only with cash (when possible). We haven't used credit cards in over a year and it feels great to be chiseling away at our debt and to be honoring God in our responsible spending.

We have a smart little two year old and we started very early (before she could even talk) communicating God's truths, wise money management, general safety, and just how to learn in general. I kind of laughed at myself as I explained to an infant that you must listening, as well as look both ways, as you cross the street (we live on a busy road and you can't always see oncoming traffic). I couple of months later (before she even could talk) I noticed her cupping her hand to her ear to listen as we approached the road. Now she confidently instructs everyone on how to safely cross the street.

I decided then and there that I would try to talk to her about all that i could while she was little and I had her undivided attention (and while she still thought I was "cool"). It has worked (although she began talking very early... sometimes I wish I had a good set of earplugs) and she can now very easily explain ideas in full sentences. Now when I continue to discuss important issues (keeping them age appropriate of course), they are not new and embarrassing, they are simply things that a mom and daughter discuss.

Although I fully believe in a kid being a kid... I also believe it is never too early to learn responsibility. We started giving Josephine $5 a month. She gives her tithe and offering to the church, puts some in her piggy bank, and saves the rest to use on books, little toys, the mechanical horse at Wal-Mart, etc. She is already learning that if she uses all her money on the book she wants, she will not have that money later. She has fun while learning how to properly spend her money. Although when she is thirteen, I do not expect her to be wise and all-knowing about money management, at least she will have a good foundation AND she will be used to my husband and I guiding her through the steps of responsible spending.

My mother was a preschool teacher, and really believed Proverbs 22:6 and it paid off with my bothers and I. Although we have stumbled off on the wrong paths sometimes, we always came back to God's path for our lives. I truly believe that it is our obligation and offering to God to teach our children to be responsible in such an irresponsible world. I challenge you all to start early too!

Thanks for reading (if you lasted this long)!

Anna Mc
Birmingham, AL
Mom of Josephine ("JoJo"), age 26 months

Blogger Alexis said...

At what age would you suggest giving an allownace, how much, and should it be tied to a chore/activity?


Blogger Shannon said...

It is so important to teach the biblical truths about money! We don't have much money to go around, and are trying to start a non profit on a shoe string budget...So my children already get the, delayed gratification...I will look into getting MaryBeths book!

Shannon...Minnesnowta! Brrrr it has been cold! Looking forward to 32 degrees tomorrow!

Blogger momagain67 said...

Thanks for the great tips and advice. Teens can certainly be a drain on the pocketbook if they are not given some limits and boundaries. We were just talking about planning a spring clothing shopping trip and I think I'll try the idea of giving my daughter the responsiblity of making the $$ stretch.

daughters 15 and 5

Blogger Kim said...

I so enjoy your posts. Prayers for a safe trip.

2 DD (22 & 18) - it's never too late to teach them about $.

Kim / Ohio

Blogger Julia said...

hello, again thank you for your blogs-they are a ministry! i have three boys-4,2 and 4 months:) i want so badly to train my children in the way they should go and a part of that being finances...i just havent known how to start? be blessed today!
julia blackford

Anonymous Michele said...

This is so good! I love the blog to help moms! Thanks for your help!
Girl - 7yr.
Boy - 2 yr.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ideas, we need to start doing better with our 2 boys, especially the older one who is almost 7. Last year we discovered that he was taking money out of his piggy bank and taking it to school to use in the after-care program, where some older kids were charging the younger ones money for paper - extortion in grade school! After that my husband took away his piggy bank but that is not a good long-term solution. Looking forward to more encouragement and ideas, Renee, your blog is SO helpful. Blessings,

Mom to Nathaniel (7 on Monday) and Joel (3)

Anonymous Alichia said...

Great ideas. Plan to take a look at implementing some of them. I have 4 children, ages 14, 12, 9, & 4.

McKinney, TX

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful ideas!

Anonymous Luann said...

Good stuff! You know I am a Dave Ramsey nut!
Love ya sister,

Blogger Happy Four said...

My boys are now understanding money more and more (almost 6 and almost 4). We don't get provide them with an allowance, however, it is clear that the time has come to make a more conscious effort to raise them to be financially wise...thank you for the post.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying for the giveaway again. I could use something positive - my husband just lost his job yesterday, the second time in a year.


Blogger MDearing said...

My heart is to raise my children in a way that would please God and prepare them for independence. Thank you for the info you include to allow me to do that!
Mom to Clay-7, Lydia-4, Miss Blake-16 months

LOVED Revolutionary Parenting!

Anonymous dr3ambound said...

I'll be attending Financial Peace University starting Feb23. I hope to instill better methods not only in me, but in my boys!

Thanks Renee! I loved your recent conference in Houston, TX! You inspire me. I learned so much from you and hope to meet you someday. I relate to your story so well.

Melissa G.
League City, TX
2 Sons, 12 and 9

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