Teaching Kids About Money

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With the economy down and budgets tighter than ever, our kids are being sent all sorts of messages about money! How many times have your kids heard you say
“We can’t afford that”
“That’s too expensive”
“Maybe someday when we have more money”
I’m wondering if our children won’t have a “money” complex when they get older. Everything nowadays seems to be centered around money- or the lack thereof! Kids more than ever are over-hearing the complaints from parents about the lack of money and many times families lives seem to be centered around their finances-or lack thereof.
No matter what your finances are- give your kids money! WHAT?! No, don’t just hand them money, but let them handle money- there’s a difference. Kids of all ages need to learn to appreciate money and learn how to use it responsibly. If you don’t believe in an allowance, consider letting your children ‘earn’ money by doing more than their usual chores. Let your children make their own transactions at the store when they do purchase items. When my son was 3 years old we started allowing him to earn a dime here and there, and taught him how to save up money. He learned very quickly to save his money for something he really wanted. And believe it or not- he actually passed up the opportunity to buy toys in order to save for the one toy that he really wanted! It surprised even me for a little guy!
Rethink your own attitude towards money. Instead of saying “we can’t afford that” when your kids ask for things, consider explaining to them why we don’t buy everything we want, or tell them what you have to buy instead of that item and why. Teach them about saving their money, and not only that, but making good investments. Explain to them that the reason you work hard is to be able to provide money to buy food for the family.
For us as adults money seems to bring a lot of worry and stress- especially lately. But step back and think for a moment- we are passing that view of money onto our children- even if we aren’t using words to say it. Help your children learn a healthy respect about how to treat money!

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One Comment

  1. We began giving our son a monthly allowance in the 5th grade. He had to tithe to the church and pay for his lunch at school. Then he could use what was left as he saw fit. He too learned early on to save for special events or things he wanted. Even today at 38 he is still an excellent money manager and I feel it is because we taught him about money early on.

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