by Jennifer Wake
How We Started to Teach Finances to Our Kids
ID card day! When my kids turned 10 my husband took them to get their ID cards. What a rite of passage! My husband loved taking my kids to get that card. That is when they became “official.”
When my kids turned 16, it was Drivers PERMIT day! I took each of my kids to get their permits. Then came the hard work of teaching them to drive and the hours of practicing.
Getting a JOB!! When they got their first job we would celebrate with dinner and filling out paperwork. What fun.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
But one big rite of passage was unique to our family. Once driving practice was over, we took them to take their driver’s test. Each child passed the test but then came the reality check. To drive our cars they had to have $1,000 in the bank which they had to give to us. The $1000 is the amount of our insurance deductible. Statistics say 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age. To help them prepare for life, we teach them that if they damage our vehicle in any way, we will use this to pay for the damage. We won’t allow them to drive without us again until they have $1000 in the bank.
Driving was a goal of all of our teenagers. The requirement of $1000, motivated them to get jobs like pet sitting and babysitting before they got “real” jobs.
My married daughter and her husband have their deductible in a “no touch” savings account because of this training. They are working hard to control their finances. I am so glad we discovered how important it is to teach finances to children.
5 Ways to Teach Finances to Children
- Earning money for “Extra Chores.” After they reach the age of 10, I started paying for “extra chores.” I had my children do chores like making beds and dishes. However, I had a list of “extra chores.” This list had things like raking, mowing, vacuuming, etc. I would pay different amounts depending on age and length of time.
- Start saving. Once they had $50.00 saved in a physical “piggy bank” I opened savings accounts. Most banks have savings accounts with opening balances as low as $5.00.
- Teach about tithing. As we started savings we also talked about tithing. Giving God the first 10% of everything they earned. They had to bring it to church and put it in the offering plate. Later, while in college, my daughter decided to start giving to missionary friends. She added that to her tithing to the church.
- Train about taxes. Explain to your kids about taxes. When they get a job it is important to teach about withholding and how taxes work. Taxes are important for government to work but many people do not explain that to their kids. But equally as important is reminding them to save and tithe from each paycheck.
- Basics of Budgeting. Budgeting is controlling where you spend your money. It can be as simple or complex as you want. The key to it is controlling your money rather than your money or lack of money controlling you. There are ideas for budget programs listed below.
Raising kids is an incredible blessing. Some days it is easy. Some it is hard. But every day, they learn something. As parents, discovering how best to teach finances to your kids will help them be successful.
Dear Lord, please keep our kids safe every day. Help us know how best to teach finances to our kids. Teach them to use their earnings to bless others. Keep them safe as they drive. Protect them. Amen
Verses to Ponder:
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your bans will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10)
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Program or Financial Peace Jr for kids.
Mint.com is an online system which helps with budgeting.
YNAB.com (You need a budget) is good for personalizing your budget.
PersonalCapital.com is good for investors and savers.
Quicken is a computer-based budget system.
 Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Facts.” Cross Roads. Accessed April 9, 2014