Raising money conscious kids is not easy. I know this to be true because of the experiences I had with my cjoldren. Early on, it was difficult saying no to them when they wanted a new toy or new outfit but it got to the point when I had to do something! To be successful in life and to ensure that you have enough money for what is really important like rent, food and utilities, you have to instill in children the value and meaning of money.
One thing I did when they were about six and seven years old was to teach them by example. I realized that I had to lead by example and that meant being open about what was being spent and being honest with them when there wasn’t enough money for something they wanted. For awhile, they didn’t understand but later they understood that there would be times when they couldn’t have what they wanted; that sometimes there just wasn’t enough money.
Teaching them to be responsible was another lesson I presented to them. Being personally responsible, instead of blaming others, was something another step I took. Around eight or nine years of age, I took them to our bank and helped them open up a savings account. That savings account was for only them and they understood that they would be responsible for the amount they put in, as well as what they took out. Teaching them to give, was something else I shared with them. When I did some volunteer work at our local food pantry, I took them with me. They enjoyed that experience and agreed to come with me for as long as I did the work–with was about two years, on and off. They helped with the packaging of the food and talked with some of the people who came in for food. It was a great experience for everyone!
As they continued to grow, I encouraged them to start up their own business. They were surprised and happy that I initiated this and they told me later, that they thought about this even before I mentioned it to them. Jeff, my oldest, put up a lemonade stand outside our home, while David began mowing lawns and putting out fliers on how good he was at it, how long it would take to mow their lawns and of course the price. It was a great way to get their savings accounts going and it made them feel important and worthwhile.
Later on, I talked with them about advertisements, impulse-buying and consumerism and how that affects so many in a negative and harmful way. Everyday many are affected negatively by impulse-buying tactics, so I told them that advertisers have only one goal in mind and that is to make us buy what they are selling. I stressed to them that when they want to buy something on TV, to think twice about buying it and talk it over with me or their dad. At first, they struggled with this but later, after several bad experiences, they only bought items that they wanted at our local department store.
Even though Jeff and I struggled in the beginning teaching our children the value and importance of money, we are glad we did because our children, now adults, grew up knowing and appreciating the value and importance of money. All it takes to instill the value of money in children is time, leading by example and love. Find out more about this topic on the Internet.