Raising Money Smart Kids: Part 1

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Beautiful, intelligent, charming, healthy, strong, successful. These are the desires we have for our children, even before they are born.

I actually went a step further. I got a piece of paper and I began listing everything that I wanted my child to be. It went something as follows:

  • Beautiful
  • Pretty hair
  • Nice smile (including pretty teeth)
  • God fearing
  • Smart
  • Kind
  • Loving
  • Healthy
  • Successful

I then prayed over that list and tucked it away in my bible.

God specifically says in the bible in John 14:13 “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do….”

I started to think God had a sense of humor because not one of my children had come out as I asked him.

But then I thought, there are some things we as parents put entirely too much focus on when it comes to our children. Why do I really care if my child has nice teeth when I can just buy them braces.

At the end of the day, I wouldn’t change my children for the world. I welcome their imperfections while making it my responsibility to pour into them confidence, knowledge, wisdom, and lessons I have learned throughout my life.

We as parents teach our children things that we’re proficient in such as riding a bike, tying shoes, sports, alphabets, and reading.

Then there are some things we teach unintentionally, just by mere observation. Our mannerisms, habits, and attitudes.

What about money?

Money is on many people’s list of desires for their children but it’s often in the wrong context. it’s more about earning money so they can buy the things they want and not about teaching the importance of being financially responsible. We stress the importance of our children earning money, but we tend not to be as proficient in teaching how to manage their money. What happens when they don’t manage their money properly? This leads to stress, depression, debt, and bankruptcy.

It’s more about earning money so they can buy the things they want and not about teaching the importance of being financially responsible. We stress the importance of our children earning money, but we tend not to be as proficient in teaching how to manage their money. What happens when they don’t manage their money properly? This leads to stress, depression, debt, and bankruptcy.

We stress the importance of our children earning money, but we tend not to be as proficient in teaching how to manage their money. What happens when they don’t manage their money properly? This leads to stress, depression, debt, and bankruptcy.

So what happens when they don’t manage their money properly? Stress, depression, debt, and bankruptcy.

Controlling our income and managing our money is a necessity and it’s important to your child in order to have financial freedom. Financial independence to maintain the lifestyle you desire, which will be accomplished with hard work, sacrifice, and time.

Well, the truth is, we are raising generations to become dependent financially. Relying on a government that is building a culture of dependency.

But isn’t this supposed to be the land of opportunity?

If so, why is the government crippling us under a system of dependency, where poverty becomes a setup and those who feel the need to partake become trapped. Years of dependency resulting in the loss of job skills and welfare becoming a rescue that the government validates with its efforts.  

Let’s not continue this cycle. Let’s raise generations that are financially independent, so when they are faced with hard times they will have a plan instead of relying on the government as a way out.

This is why it’s important for parents to be intentional about imparting their financial values and good financial habits to their kids.

Teaching your children how to handle money is your responsibility as a parent.

I’m going to share with you what has worked for me and my children. So let’s get started.

Evaluate Your Financial Position

If you aren’t showing and making smart financial choices, you will have a hard time trying to teach your child about making smart financial choices.

Remember when I said there are some things we teach unintentionally, well this is one.

Be honest with yourself and ask yourself “ Do my children see me manage my money responsibly?”

If your answer is no, then no matter how many times you sit your child down and try to be intentional about teaching them about being smart with their money, it won’t stick.

The truth is we have all made mistakes, and just because you have made mistakes with money doesn’t mean you can’t raise money smart kids. Trust me, I know. 

Many parents want their children to be better than they were when it comes to money. So as a parent why don’t you make the first step? Set some financial goals for yourself, start a budget, and start taking control of your finances.

Once you have put yourself in a position to make smart financial choices, only then are you ready to teach your children.

Pull them into the Conversation

If your kids are anything like my kids, it’s only right for them to be nosey.

I can be in the kitchen having a conversation and I figure they should be in the movie room watching a movie or playing a game.

Half the day goes by and one or two of my children will enter the room and the conversation will go a little something like this:

Child:  “I thought we were supposed to be going to the store.”

Me: “What! Where did you get that from?”

Child: “Well, I heard you talking earlier to Aunty.”

Me: “How about you go get you some business and stay out of mine.”

I’m pretty sure if you have kids you have encountered this conversation at some point.

I think they were trying to piece together the conversations in their head to the point that when they came to me, it was nowhere near the conversation I had. Kind of like a game of telephone.

Kids are naturally curious they want to know what mommy and daddy are doing or talking about at all times. Especially when it seems that it involves them.

So invite them to be part of the conversation when it comes to making financial decisions, especially when it’s time to do the budget. This will help them understand the importance of money and what is needed to be done to make sure we are responsible with it.

Offer an Earned Allowance

Let me make this clear, I don’t mean an allowance in the traditional sense, of giving your kids money that they haven’t earned.

There are no money giveaways in this house.

Even the baby earns her keep. (Yes, I’m dying 😂)

Yup! That’s my then one year old sweeping the dining room floor.

I know someone will be like “(gasp) she has that poor baby sweeping”, please don’t call CPS on me. This was literally ALL her doing, she watched me sweep the floor and she decided to give it a try.

See what I mean kids want to do what you do.

Kids are very entitled these days and they really believe things should be handed to them. That child will have a hard time in life because they will be met with failure every time.

So get creative and think of a way for your kids to earn an allowance.  This will get them used to working for what they want and instill in them a work ethic.

It will also get them into thinking responsibly. So allow them to spend their allowance however they wish. Most likely if they know that they have to work for their money they will be more cautious of what they spend it on.

Spend Wisely

Your children should have the freedom to make their own decisions when it comes to their finances. But make sure they know the difference between their wants and their needs.

You want your kids to make worth while investments in something they can appreciate or that will retain value. A rule of thumb we use in my home is that the purchase should bring more joy than what the money would give.

Just the other week my daughter came to me asking if she could buy a game for $.99. I said sure but you have to use your own money.

Immediately she said that’s ok. She made up in her mind that paying a dollar wasn’t worth spending. She most likely thought about the value of the game and she figured she would only play it for a day or two, get bored and then want a new game.

That’s what we accountants would say was the opportunity cost. It’s a tradeoff, giving up your dollar for a game or keeping that dollar for something more worthy. It’s what’s given up when making one choice instead of another. But it also involves knowing what you would gain.

When it comes to spending money, sometimes it pays to view the alternatives. So push them to consider the consequences and risks of each decision they make. Developing a budget for your child will help them put this in perspective.

Money doesn’t always have to equate to spending. Money should be viewed as a valuable tool to build upon.

Savings

Your child has been working hard to earn their allowance and most likely they just want to go spend it all.

When it comes to teaching your child about saving money, you need to get them to understand why it’s important for them to save. Most likely they are thinking mom and dad buy everything they need, so why should they save their money.

This is when you have to make the decision to shift responsibility from you, the parent, to your child. It’s natural for kids to want you to buy candy and take them to fun places. But now that they are earning an allowance, it’s time for them to learn to be responsible with it.

Simply have a conversation with your child and explain to them in a way they can understand, why you save your money instead of spending all of it.

Mention things you are saving for and then ask them what are some things they wish they could buy with their allowance. Most likely they will name some things their little three dollars can’t buy like a toy, going to the movies or maybe even a trip to Disney World. This is how you get them to understand the importance of saving.

We save so we are able to buy the things we want and need.

A piggy bank is a great place to start when it comes to teaching your children about saving. But as they get older you will want to open a savings account for your child.

A savings account will give them that grown up feeling so they can relate more to mommy and daddy. This will also get them involved in the banking process while instilling good habits in your children. The introduction of compound interest is another great concept, that your child will learn when having a savings account.

We want to make savings enjoyable. I don’t know about you but I love seeing my savings account grow, almost to the point I don’t want to spend it. That may not be enough for your child, although they will get a kick out of watching their money piles become bigger and bigger.

In order for your kids to enjoy saving, it’s important that you allow them to spend money on things they enjoy every now and then.

At the same time inform them that we can’t always get what we want when we want it. But if we spend money wisely and save we will be able to reap the reward. This is the concept of delayed gratification. We don’t want to just teach this we want to model this behavior also.

Here are some benefits to delayed gratification:

  • Teaches the benefit of hard work
  • Develops better habits
  • Learn and teach impulse control
  • More appreciative
  • Enjoy things more

In a culture where our children are growing up with everything at their fingertips, it is important to learn the value in waiting.The great thing about delayed gratification is that it’s a transformative skill and this concept that can be used in different areas of your children’s lives.

Investing

As your children become more knowledgeable about money, it is important that you share with them the basics of investing. If you don’t have the basic knowledge for investing, then this is an opportunity for you to learn together.

Investing is a scary concept for many adults. The thought of risking your money for a possible return just isn’t enough, so people tend to shy away. I can just imagine how a child may feel.

If you told your child that you’re going to take five dollars from their savings to invest it and there’s a possibility that they may lose some or all of their money, they would be upset, some may even cry. But when you add in the fact that It also has the possibility of creating more money, they will be more inclined to listen and learn.

There is a risk in investing but there is also reward. Part of learning about investing is knowing the advantages and disadvantages it brings.

Investing is serious, but as parent’s we don’t want to take all the fun out of it to where it defeats the purpose of teaching them the importance of it, so think of some fun interactive ways to keep them inclined to learn. 

Take it all in.

I know, it can be a lot and believe me just trying to make sure your kids are being raised with good morals and values is hard enough. But take your time, you can’t raise a money smart kid overnight.

Remember, your children aren’t perfect, but you have the responsibility of imparting life lessons, knowledge and wisdom into them so they can grow into great men and women.

So be patient, but most of all show love in all that you do.

 

 

Let’s Talk! In the comments below let me know what you think and if you are going to start preparing your child to be a success.

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8 Comments

  1. Suzanne Spiegoski August 2, 2017
    • Jasmine Golden August 2, 2017
  2. Amanda August 3, 2017
    • Jasmine Golden August 3, 2017
  3. Luzel August 3, 2017
    • Jasmine Golden August 3, 2017
  4. Shannon C. August 3, 2017
    • Jasmine Golden August 3, 2017

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