“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Smith
Money management is an important skill. After watching the government shutdown fiasco I became determined to teach my children the proper way to view money. It’s not just about budgeting or being frugal. If we do not teach the next children how to properly balance needs, wants and income we will continue the path we are on: bankruptcy.
There are four areas of money management I would like my girls to learn about this year: Biblical View of Money, Discerning Needs versus Wants, Giving to Others and Saving for the Future.
Biblical View of Money
My daughter recently asked if God cared about money. I was worried, at first. I know that she hears her Dad and I talk about a budget (or lack thereof), the business and taxes. She’s probably recognizing that a “drop in income” has begun to limit what we can and cannot do. Still, I never did really stop to consider what God think about money.
Everyone has probably heard the famous scripture penned by Timothy, For the love of money is the root of all evil: (I Timothy 6:10). Does that mean that money is evil? That we are not supposed to want to obtain money? This is not a “rule” but a warning. Read Verses 6-9.
6But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
The problem with having money is it CAN bring discontentment. Of course, so can not having money. What we need to learn is to be content with the amount money that will provide us with the basics for survival: food, clothing, shelter and health. In a consumer-oriented, materialistic society such as ours, this can be a grueling task. It’s even more difficult with tweens—a coveted marketing demographic group of consumers.
How can I teach my tweens about the Biblical view of money?
- List of Scriptures: 250 Bible Verses about Money | Dave Ramsey About Money
- Complete Dave Ramsey’s Generation Change.
- Study ants from Proverbs 6:6: Heart of Wisdom | Danielle’s Place
- Read the story of Joseph in Genesis. Discuss how he prepared for the famine.
- Play games such as Larry Burkett’s Money Matters The Christian Financial Concepts Game or The Allowance® Game
Discerning Needs Versus Wants
We are in the store. I hear my child say, “MOM, I need this. Can we get it.” Usually it’s just a little trinket she sees. Other times it’s a new pair of jeans or a t-shirt. Now that we are on a limited budget it is even MORE important for me to explain the difference between NEEDS and WANTS.
Why is this important? As our dollar loses value and it becomes more expensive to live, we need to teach our children how to discern between what is truly needed for life.
I believe that many of the personal finance problems that people face are due to a confusion between wants and needs. ~ Trent (The Simple Dollar.com)
Trent wrote this fantastic post about discerning between needs and wants. It started with this statement, one that I want my girls (and MYSELF!) to understand. I REALLY wish our government understood this!
How can I teach my tweens how to discern needs and wants?
- Explore PBS Kids ‘It’s My Life’ Managing Money articles
- Explore the Teach Me About Money website.
- Watch this video: Wants Vs. Needs on WatchKnowLearn.org.
- Discuss family needs and wants.
- Include tweens in the family budgeting process.
- Download The Budgeteer Notes App (computer or iPad) ~ Thank you Heidi!
Giving to Others
…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
We are blessed as a country. We have an abundance that we often take for granted and waste. I often cringe when I find myself not giving when I know I can. When my children repeat the very same behavior—I am ashamed.
Giving to others is not only right; it is a requirement of a believer. Whether we give money, time, talent or goods, giving is the the highest form of managing money. It is (if done correctly) a cure for the disease of money. What a difference we could make if we all had a giving heart!
How can I teach my tweens to give to others?
- Let them see giving in action: the beggar on the street corner, food bank, soup kitchen, the lonely elderly neighbor, my community.
- Sponsor a child with World Vision or Compassion International.
- Find a National Charity League event to share with your daughter.
Saving for the Future
A wise man once said..
Ants are fascinating. We observed them build their tunnels through a glass when the girls were smaller. Now that they are older we have begun to quote this scripture to them. A lot.
It’s almost impossible to hold back the tide of instant gratification that money can buy in today’s society. My kids are just as apt to spend their allowance in one day as I am! Yet, I need to be a wise parent and teach my children to save. For the future. For emergencies. For the unknown.
As I read that our food costs have gone up over 50% in one decade, I am keenly aware of the limitation of our current budget. If I do not train my children how to save, how are they going to be able to deal with the rising cost of living?
This is such an important issue. One that I hope to learn myself this coming year!
How can I teach my tweens to save for the future?
- Play Savings Spree app (currently on available for Apple items)
- Have them choose something to save for and choose a term: a) 1 Month b) 3 Months c) 6 Months and d) 1 Year. Then they save weekly for that item. (Works if they get an allowance)
- Help them set-up an investment account to start saving for retirement. Explain the concept of an IRA.
- Arrange a meeting with a financial advisor to discuss the idea of saving as a life-long endeavor.
Are you looking for information on how to help your teen with money management?
- Wendy from Homeschool Blessings reviews Wealthquest for Teens. Ben also reviewed this program. (Our Review) I highly recommend it!
- Heidi from Starts at Eight shares some awesome resources for teens.
Have you seen these posts from Hip Homeschool Moms?
- A Tool for Teaching Financial Literacy – HHM Wendy
- Financial Literacy & Money Sense for Kids – HHM Heidi
Resources for Teaching Money Management
- PBS List of Print Books about Managing Money: target group is tweens
- Mint.com Ultimate List: Here are some websites for kids to help them learn more.
- Money as You Grow: 20 things kids should know to live financially smart lives. Divided by age group.