By Ozeme J. Bonnette
Parenthood is a truly amazing experience. In essence, as parents, we are responsible for a tiny, helpless human being. Over time, our children do grow up and become self sufficient, but, as parents, we are very influential in the type of people our children become.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV) While the Bible may not be speaking specifically about finances in this verse, money matters are a part of life. Teaching money management skills is an important area that should not be overlooked as we prepare our children for life on their own.
There are several financial lessons that we can share with our children. Here are three quick ideas that we can teach our children.
Proper allocation of financial increase
Every time that we get paid, there are numerous things that we have planned for those funds. While the tendency is to pay our bills and squeeze in some fun time, we want to make sure that we are teaching our children the biblical way to allocate our increase.
Tithing should come first. The tithe is 10% of all of our increase. It is our way of thanking God for providing the resources and helping to further His Kingdom.
On top of that, we should also make sure to pay ourselves. The general rule of thumb is 10-10-80. We tithe 10%. We put 10% into savings. We spend the remaining 80%.
Our children should understand this concept from their first dollar. Break it up into 10 dimes. Have them decorate 3 jars, one for each category. Have them put one dime in the tithe jar, one dime in the savings jar, and the remaining dimes in the spending jar. Let them know that they are free to distribute the 80% however they wish. But there should be no diversion of funds from the first two jars.
Money should be earned
How many of us are able to pull funds out of an ATM at our leisure? It’s not very likely, right? If we don’t put money in, then it will be difficult to pull money out.
In the same manner, we should teach our children that we are not walking ATMs with an infinite access to cash. Every dollar that we give them for their needs and wants comes from the hours that we put in at work. We work for the money we bring home. In turn, we should teach them to work for the money they hope to use to buy the things they enjoy.
We live in a microwave society. We want everything right now. However, we are not able to get everything that we want when we want it.
We should not give our children a false sense of reality, either. Sometimes, we have to save money for long periods of time in order to build up enough money to get things that we want.
Teach your children how to plan ahead and aim for big goals. Help them create a dream board and show them how to save up for those things. It will help their motivation and prepare them for a successful financial outlook in adulthood.