Money is like the weather: affects our life every day whether we notice it or not.
Sure, we can talk about the weather for hours. If there’s some contention in a family, they will discuss how crazy the weather has been and who knows what to expect.
Very rarely do we take time to talk about money.
Why is that?
Who was the first one to say, “I’m never going to teach my children or the people around me about money. They should just know.”
Just know what?
Don’t ever spend money? That won’t work. We all need to eat to survive.
Just blow your money? Nope. You’ve got to have some for a rainy day.
The problem is that there has never been a class we went through in high school to know about money.
That’s because those lessons have to come from home.
You can make any adjustment to the way you were taught, but you can definitely make changes to the way you teach kids how to handle money.
Here are three things to teach children how to have a healthy relationship with money.
1. Talk about it.
I’ve heard it said that, Teaching your kids about money is like teaching them about sex. Tough, but necessary conversation.
While it’s true we don’t want our children to worry about money, we do need to show them the consequences of being frivolous. If they have a healthy understanding of money they will be able to discuss the decisions put in front of them. Discuss how much it costs just to keep the home running, how much the family spends on groceries, and other items. Clearly, this is at a point when they are ready to learn and are able to keep family matters confidential.
2. Teach them to earn and spend wisely.
Do you know a 7 year-old with a budget? Me neither. Perhaps that’s not appropriate for their age. But there are some things that children can do to learn more about money. You could take your child to the bank and set them up with a savings account. They can follow along online to see how their money is growing.
Do you teach them how to spend? Children will be able to spend on the fun things they want, and have control if they have been taught to make wise decisions with saving money, giving away some to tithes or charities and having enough to spend. They will enjoy the item so much more if they were the one who earned the money for it. And, they will take better care of it. They understand its value.
3. Give them opportunity to fail.
This is tricky. We don’t want our children to fail. We want to keep them safe and eliminate as much of the pain of life that we can. The problem with that is if we don’t allow them to fall short in a safe environment, they can really struggle later on.
What is a way that you can let your child fail with money? Teach them that they must have enough money to cover the cost of the item, plus the tax. Can you imagine if your child saved up for months and months of a big toy and forgot about tax? What would you do? I hope that you would cover the difference and explain the importance of having extra for upcoming expenses.
What’s one more thing you would suggest, to teach children about money?