Teaching Your Children to Manage Money

We’ve been told that one of the skills a kid is expected to have as they go into kindergarten is an awareness of money. At that early age, they’re not going to read an article on installment loans online, for example, but as we get older, aspects like loans, credit score, and overall money management become an aspect of our lives that should be thought about. In fact, not even just ‘thought about’, but actively taught and learned. So we’ve been doing counting drills, making change, and other stuff like that with Joshua lately. But it’s got to go bigger than that. More than that. He’s got to learn to manage money so that he can hopefully buy a car or have a mortgage, as well as having savings set aside for when he will one day need a funeral plan. Learning to budget isn’t something that is made a priority in schools, which is how many people find themselves in a whole lot of debt.

In our debt-rich society, is there a greater skill that might separate the children of God from the culture than their commitment to stewardship? Maybe not. But kids aren’t ingrained with the sense of responsibility when it comes to finances. They know nothing about credit or debit, or how a credit score works. They definitely don’t know how to get a credit card with no credit. What makes it a little more difficult is when they see their parents handing over a card to pay for things. It doesn’t make any difference to our kids whether it’s a debit or credit card; they just see that you hand a card to a cashier and get something in return. Knowing the best ways to make the most out of our credit cards, as detailed here, could be something worth passing on to your children in the future.

To that end, I found this article from Randy Alcorn to be very helpful. Here is an outline of the article on ways that parents can help their kids learn to think biblically about money.

1. Give your children something greater than money-your time.

2. Use life’s teachable moments to train your children.

3. Take a field trip to a junkyard.

4. Teach your children to link money with labor.

5. Teach your children how to save.

6. Get your children started on the lifetime adventure of giving.

7. Provide your children with financial planning tools.

8. Teach your children how to say “No.”

9. Show your children how family finances work.

10. Never underestimate the power of your example.

Read the whole thing for an explanation of each point.

(HT: JT)

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  • Becky Dietz says:

    Wish I’d done more as a parent.

  • Steve says:

    I love #3 & #4.
    Especially the junkyard. “This is where all that stuff ends up in the end son. Ugly, isn’t it?”
    haha, although a boy could have a different reaction to such a sight. “AWESOME! Let’s go see what we can find!”

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