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
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.