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Budgeting Step Eight: Children and Money
I became much more diligent about money, and I saw the need for budgeting, when we had children. We set the example in all of living before our children, and money is no exception. However we handle or mishandle it, our kids are watching. And they are learning from our example.
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When my husband Bradford and I were a DINKS family (Dual Income, No Kids), if I wanted something, I just purchased it. Critical money management qualities like good stewardship and financial restraint didn’t really matter to me. I was like a microwave oven when it came to money. Put it in, burn through it in seconds, and call it done. But handling money is much more like cooking with a crock pot—it takes patience to really enjoy the results.
Setting an Example of Patience
Bradford and I left our DINKS lifestyle behind when I gave birth to our daughter and traded the workplace for the home place. With the huge transition we made in order to be able to do that, I was already learning that I would be setting an example of patience before my family.
Since I had been bringing home half of our income, financial changes had to be made. We started making those changes at the grocery store because that was the only flexible area of our budget. Rather than just buying whatever I happen to be in the mood for, I learned to keep a list of all the things I want to make, and I wait for the ingredients to go on sale. For example, if I’m in the mood for beef enchiladas (and I’m always craving Mexican food!), I will look to see if I have the most expensive items for my recipe in my pantry or freezer. If I don’t, then I wait for a sale. I don’t want to pay full price for anything, because I know I don’t have to. Eventually, everything goes on sale. By having a plan in place, and following that plan patiently, I won’t overspend.
::Learn more about Budgeting and Saving Money HERE.
Patience is necessary for all of life: learning to wait your turn, learning to hold your tongue, and learning to save money. This is a lesson I’m teaching my children.
My daughter, now 6, recently purchased a new toy with her own money. As we left the mall, she was beaming with the confidence of successfully earning wages, budgeting carefully, then spending wisely through a series of good choices. “Now I want to save up so I can buy my brother a new toy,” she said. “I know he will love one, too.” Patience paid off so much that she is willing to do it again, and on behalf of another! Knowing that she is learning how to save, spend, and give left me beaming, too. (Read the
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
ACTION STEP: Begin teaching your kids these six lessons they need to learn about money. These old sayings still have a lot of wisdom for us today.
- Money doesn’t grow on trees. Offer children household jobs that allow them to earn money. Adjust the pay for the amount of effort involved.
- A penny saved is a penny earned. Show kids the value of saving money by keeping a piggy bank or jar of coins where they can save for something they want. Kindly ask generous grandparents to help you teach your children the value of money by allowing them to save for some of the things they want.
- Make do with what you have. Help kids repair items before just throwing them away. Help them be creative by using their imaginations to learn how to make do with what they have.
- One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Show kids the value of shopping thrift stores and yard sales. Help them to learn that value is mostly a matter of perspective.
- You can’t take it with you. Give children an eternal perspective by reminding them that no one leaves earth with their possessions. Fighting over toys that won’t last or pining after the latest and greatest gadgets is not worthwhile.
- The best things in life are free. Time spent with family. A beautiful sunset. Giggling with your best friend. Remind children that the very best things in life don’t cost a thing–but they last the longest.
Ready to move on? Head over to Step Nine: Stockpiling and Finding Great Deals.
How are you teaching your children about money? Please leave your tips in the comments below!