The ABC’s of Money – Teaching your Children about Money
Today I want to address the issue of SAVING, and HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO SAVE.
Many people have become extremely lax when it comes to saving and many are getting deeper into debt. As debts climb so it becomes even more difficult to start saving.
This may sum up your financial affairs. If so, I need you to know that you can break the cycle. You can make savings a priority. You can build savings into your budget. Surely you can take R1 out of every R10 and set it aside? Why not consider setting up a simple investment savings plan and start creating a habit of saving instead of a habit of debt?
Today, I want to encourage you to teach your children the ABCs of money management, and how to save.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
It is important to help your children manage money well. If you can teach your children a few simple financial principles when they are young, you will help set them up for a brighter tomorrow!
The statistics show that many young adults are living at home for longer and are dependent on their parents. Currently, more than 50% of young adults live at home with their parents and most of them are not building up savings for their future.
As parents, you and I have an opportunity and responsibility to teach our children something about managing money and in particular saving. By taking advantage of these moments, you can help instill important positive financial values and attitudes. By teaching your kids to budget, save, and manage their money, you will stand them in good stead for life.
So let us look at the ABCs of money management for your children.
A – Teach your Children the Value of Money
One way to help your children understand the value of money is to give your children an…
Allowance of pocket-money:
- Sit down with your child and encourage them to identify ways for them to earn money through working for it (e.g., tidy their room, make their bed, do some gardening, or they can make you coffee in bed).
- You can also give your children a list of chores to complete. This lesson teaches that money does not grow on trees – that there is a value to money – and that it is earned through hard work.
Another way to teach your child about money is by taking them shopping…
- You may say, “Are you crazy? I hate taking my kids to the shops or mall!”
- Although it is probably easier to do the shopping on your own, it can benefit your kids. Give them a grocery list of the items they must “buy” then go to the store and have them compare different brands in order to get the best value.
- Teach them about the importance of “wants” (e.g., chocolate chip cookies and the latest “fun” cereal) vs. “needs” (like milk, eggs, bread, etc.).
- Let them buy their own treats out of their hard-earned pocket money.
- I must tell you, when I take my sons to the shops they often ask me to buy them a packet of chips or a bar of chocolate, and I often do. But if I give them pocket money and tell them to buy their own treat, often they are reluctant to buy it – they will rather save.
- You could even take this one step further and give them a budget within which to work. Give them the money and the list and tell them they can keep the change as a reward if they have bought all the items on their list.
You can teach your child about money even if you go out to a restaurant…
Going out to eat:
- If you go out, let your children compare menu items and prices (e.g., ordering water vs soft drinks). Show them the bill at the end of the meal, talk about tips, etc. The lesson is about double-checking and making sure you know where your money is going and that the bill is correct – that there is no such thing as a “free meal.”
You can even teach your child about money by making them aware of the costs of day-to-day goods…
Use day-to-day life:
- You can make your children aware of the costs of goods (Eg. petrol, electricity, school fees). This will give your children the ability to develop an understanding of the value of money.
B – Teach your Children about Financial Priorities – Put God First
Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
- If you give your children pocket money, teach them to put God first.
- Teach your children to TITHE. If you cannot give R1 out of every R10 when you are young, how can you expect them to give God R1000 out of every R10 000?
- Give your children the opportunity to be blessed and to be a blessing.
- Put 1st things 1st. Encourage your children to look to God.
- Share scriptures on giving to God and being generous with your children…
“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 3:8-12)
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)
“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully”. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need, and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Proverbs 11:24-25 says: “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:24-25)
C – Encourage your Children to Plan and Save
Encourage your children to dream, to have a vision, a plan, and to save:
Dare to dream:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true there is life and joy” (Proverbs 13:12)
Have a vision:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverb 29:18)
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”(Proverbs 21:5)
“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” (Proverbs 21:20)
Commit your plans to God:
“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)
- Give them a piggy bank, a wallet to keep their money in, or open up a bank account for them.
- Help them develop a habit of saving.
- If they are saving up for something special, then help them to work out how much and how long they will need to save to build up the money to buy it.
You can also add, that if they save “X” amount, you will chip in the balance.
This will encourage your children to plan and practice delayed gratification, and they will appreciate the item so much more as they have had to wait for it.
Reward them if they are disciplined. When they save and reach the goal, congratulate your them. Celebrate!
Show your children how if they put some money into a bank account or unit trusts, over time that they can get interest and growth on their money.
So in conclusion…
Encourage your children to save, dare to dream, and aim high.
Teach your children the value of money. Encourage your children to form good money habits you need to be disciplined. Help your children to develop a simple budget and savings plan.
Talk openly about money with your children. Encourage them to ask questions. Children learn directly from watching their parents.
And, as a parent, you must walk-the-talk when it comes to managing your finances. How can you expect your children to manage money wisely and appreciate the value of money, and save for a bright financial future, if you as a parent do not set a good example?
Encourage your children to…
Give R1 out of every R10 to God:
Teach your children to be generous. Encourage your children to put God first by giving Him the first fruits, by taking R1 out of every R10 and giving it to God.
Save and invest at least R2 out of every R10:
Teach your children to form a habit of saving. Put R2 in every R10 away to build up your savings and investments over time.
Only spend what is left over after giving and saving which should never be more than R8 out of every R10:
Teach your children to only spend what is left over after giving to God and after putting part away into their piggy bank and investments. This way they will always be generous and learn to build wealth from a young age.
And encourage your children to enjoy part of their money on their favorite things as a reward their for managing their money well.
So, train up your children in the way they should go, and then when they are older, you will set them up to be blessed and be a blessing to others.
God bless you.
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