Thursday, July 14

teaching your kids about money

I have recently been reading this book and wanted to recommend it to all parents whose children are not yet grown and gone. Teaching our children how to be good stewards and managers of their money is probably one of the most important and practical life skills we will give them.  This family chose a rather "radical" way to do it. Beginning in 6th grade, they started giving their children a "salary". At the beginning of the month, their kids were given an agreed upon amount of money that they then needed to learn to manage through giving, saving, and budgeting for various expenses - clothes, gifts, entertainment, etc....  As they grew older, the list of their expenses would grow as would their salaries and by the time they graduated from high school, they were managing all of their expenses besides food, tuition, & shelter.
Andrew & I haven't discussed in too much detail how we will go about this exactly for our kids (thankfully we have a little time before 6th grade) :), but I do love this concept. How many kids graduate from high school (or even college!) and have never handled money, budgeted or made financial decisions before?
Seems a much better way than giving our kids $1 a week in which they have to choose between spending it on toys or candy. =)
Though small children have very little understanding of money, she does give some tips
to help start instilling healthy attitudes about money.
Let them observe mommy & daddy taking good care of their money.
Let them see you deposit money in the bank.
Use coins to help teach them how to count.
Give rewards of hugs or praise, not money.
Say, "we don't choose to spend our money that way" more often than you say "we can't afford it".
Teach them about finding the best value in the stores.

Argue about money in front of the kids.
Use money to bribe or manipulate.
Let your child see or hear you worry about money.
Allow kids to be only takers. Help them find ways to give to others.
Overindulge your child.

It was interesting how she said the teen years of her kids went so smoothly, in part because there were no fights over "I want these clothes or this thing or to go here"........ her kids had well-learned by high school how to save and budget for the things they needed or wanted.

Hope some of you will find this book helpful as well!

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