Is it ever too early to teach your child about money?
Most of us have had financial stress at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, much of the financial stress we suffer is our own fault. We spend more than we have and save less than we need. I’ve failed at times to respect money and exchanged it carelessly for items and experiences I no longer remember.
Though it’s never too late to make improvements to our financial strategies, it’s much easier to prevent challenges than it is to solve them. Let’s intentionally share our financial wisdom with our children, so they can live generously in freedom.
Consider sharing these 6 Principles to Teach Your Child About Money
1. Understand the real cost of what you’re buying. A $500 stereo immediately begins depreciating. That same $500, invested at 10%, could grow to almost $27,000 overtime. This is commonly referred to as opportunity cost. When we spend money on “things,” then it isn’t available for anything else, like investing, saving, or sharing.
2. Show your child how to use a simple savings calculator. These free calculators are available online and show what can be accomplished by consistently saving even small amounts each month. Proverbs 21:20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.
3. Teach them about debt. The average American household has over $7,000 in credit card debt. When kids go to college, they’re inundated with credit card offers from their first day on campus. Teach your child not to fall into the debt trap with concrete examples and being vulnerable even about your own cautionary tales.
4. Start building their credit. Some consider this controversial, so pray and work as God leads you. If you do want to work within the world’s economic system, then consider co-signing for a credit card, if they aren’t old enough to get one by themselves. Look for a card with a low rate and no annual fee. Teach them how to use the card wisely while you are still able to influence their financial decisions.
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Most young adults are unable to purchase a home for several years, often due to a lack of credit history. Get started early with understanding how credit work
5. Teach them about generosity. Allow your child to choose a charity or ministry and contribute to it. For a young child, it might be just a few dollars. Any amount begins to build this habit. Give them opportunities to earn money to give away or offer to match what they are able to contribute. Over time, generosity and its principles will be put on display for your child- God’s ways are best.
6. Help them find age-appropriate employment. Most teens can think of plenty of ways to spend money. By earning their own income, their perspective will evolve to understand they are exchanging their time for their desires. Is this pair of shoes worth 10 hours of work?
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:19-21
It is never too early to teach your child about money.
We have a lot of influence over the financial habits our children develop. We have the privilege to help them have a financially successful life, as they understand how money provides security, opportunity, and the ability to help others.