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Everything You Need

To Teach Your Kids About Money

We’ve all been there. We’re in the grocery store and the kid behind us in line is throwing a fit because they couldn’t get their favorite cereal or toy or whatever. You make side glances but try not to stare because you feel bad for the parent as it is. And so you make a mental note to never let your kids do that once they come along. But then you have your own. They begin to grow and notice that stores hold everything they want and that you are the gatekeepers who will either give them the desires of their hearts or leave them empty handed. And, thus, the cycle that you swore you would never take up continues as you, a new parent, try to balance out your desire to give your kids the best (to be their hero) and your need to maintain your savings goals. While I know it’s stressful balancing those competing goals below are the 4 keys that I’ve found to be most effective in getting the best of both worlds.

Share Your Financial Priorities

The first step is you have to set clear boundaries with your kids about what your financial priorities are. Just like when you got your first job and had to learn the value of prioritizing your finances, your kids also need to learn how to properly manage money. They need to learn that money doesn’t grow on trees. So show your kids where money comes from. Show them that it’s a product of hard work not something that falls from the sky just because you want it. Show them what your saving priorities are and how you balance those with buying things just because you want them.

Pay Them A Salary

After you teach your kids the money basics, they’ll need some money of their own to handle so they can truly understand the concepts. So give them a job and pay them a salary. Whether you pay them to do chores around the house or help them start their own small business (shoveling snow, mowing lawns, etc.) they need to experience working and earning their own money so they understand where money really comes from.

Help Them Prioritize

Once your kids have their own funds it’s time to help them prioritize. Teach them the importance of saving. Have them tell you what they want to buy. Help them save towards that immediate purchase goal but also help them set some long-term savings goals so they learn the importance of saving for the future. That could be saving for their own laptop for school, saving for a car, or even saving for college. Giving them the perspective that they have to set aside money not just for the things they want today but for the things they will need in the future will put them in a much better position than most when they grow up and start their career.

Prioritize You

Lastly, you have to prioritize you. You can’t let your love for your kids come at the  expense of yourself. Yes, part of being a parent includes sacrificing for the sake of your kids. Giving up sleep to take care of them when they’re sick. Passing on drinks with the co-workers because you have to buy school supplies next week. However, that doesn’t mean you should always pass yourself over or feel guilty when you spend money to indulge yourself every once in awhile. You can’t lose yourself for the sake of your kids putting your life on pause until they grow up and move out on their own. You need to learn how to prioritize your needs and wants with what your kids needs and wants and not completely sacrifice one for the sake of the other.

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