Teaching children about money means different things to different people. Some people teach children to take credit cards. Others teach them to save.Teaching children to save is vital; however, teaching children to spend is most important. Parents, we must model effective financial stewardship to your children. Teaching children about money is parents’ responsibility. That said, the bigger question is this: Who is teaching parents about money? We pray parents will learn responsible financial stewardship so they can teach their children about money.
Children are a gift from God. That’s why parents have an awesome stewardship responsibility to train them up according to God’s standard (Proverbs 22:6). Our job as parents is to take care of the input: teaching, training, and most of all, modeling God’s truth. Our children are responsible for the outcome. The Bible reminds us that when they grow old they won’t depart from our training, meaning, their consistent training will be a solid foundation they might revert to in later years. It’s not a guarantee of how they will turn out.
Teaching children about money musn’t be sporadic based on “quality time.” It needs regular “quantity time.” Moses reminds us in Deuteronomy 4:6-7 to take every opportunity to teach our children:
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
This means we must reorder our priorities.
Teach Children to Spend
An allowance is a great tool to teach children to spend.Many parents teach children to save, but not spend. It’s crucial we teach children to spend because many seductive spending opportunities exist. Around age six or seven (or earlier, if fitting) when your children start to appreciate that you need money to buy stuff for them, give each of them an allowance, no matter how small. To earn the allowance, give them age-appropriate chores to develop responsible attitudes toward work.
From this allowance, teach them to give, to save, and to spend, working with simple spending plans (budgets). Teach them to set realistic goals and to work diligently to do these goals. Don’t lend them money. Michel A Bell developed Capital Fund. primarily to teach his children to save to buy stuff. Model this practice. As your children mature, change their chores and allowances. Hold your children accountable to do as planned.
Teach Children About Money & Hold Them Accountable
Parents, your attitude to your children’s accountability will decide how much they will learn. In today’s busyness environment, it is difficult to invest time to listen, hear, feel, empathize, and discipline our children. But, while teaching children about money generally, we must demonstrate and teach them about accountability. To carry out our responsibility as parents, we must set aside time to teach them good stewardship practices, which means holding them accountable. Mostly, we must model this. Here are some guidelines to help you teach children to spend by working with a spending plan (budget). This will lead to them to become better stewards of God’s money:
Let them see you living as God’s steward, accepting what you have, and saving to buy stuff.
Do what you say; be consistent, fair, and gracious.
Pray about the right age to give them dollars to spend to do their spending plans. This age could be as young as five.
Agree on goals, plans, and spending with the children; teach them to work with these, and hold them accountable.
If the child has an issue with the agreed goal, plan or spending plan, teach her to go to God first, for His guidance.
Teach them to follow the agreed goals. Be merciful, but teach them they must bear effects of poor judgment and disobedience.
Don’t give more funds than agreed, unless after prayer, you see a need to fill.
Teach them to save to buy items. Teach them that God supplies our needs in His time and His way. Let them see you practice this.
Listen, hear, understand your children; pray for them daily: it doesn’t matter that what they are doing is different from what you did at their ages.
Children will play one parent against another. Love them equally, treat them uniquely, though they might cry foul!
Parents, if you don’t follow these or similar guidelines, you will cause your children to stumble. They won’t learn a key lesson: How to work with what they have and depend on God to see them through difficulties. To help carry out this responsibility to our children, years ago, I devised and have been using the Family Council, as a primary family teaching and learning centre. These other segments on the site are for your children: Adie’s Corner and Children Activity Center.
Teaching Children About Money in The Family Council