Teaching kids about money is very important and also hard for most of us.
As I was working on my own beliefs I realized the limiting mindset I have about money. How I talk about money – or rather avoid talking about it, how angry and frustrated I feel if I find out someone stole money or cheated to get it – even if it had nothing to do with me. I also feel guilty about spending money on myself – just like my mother felt.
When my son wants to spend his own money on something I consider useless or not important, my red alert goes off. I feel the urge to lay on him all the things I’ve learned about money, or I should say, picked up on about it.
Every time we express our opinion it is filtered through our beliefs and values.
Is this really helpful?
Does he really have to listen to my limitations about money; like, “It takes hard work to earn it.” or “Once you spend it it’s gone.”
Does saving your money really guarantee anything in life?
Who am I to say “no” to risking money on something? Wouldn’t it be better for him to lose $100 and learn from it than $100,000 when he is older?
Are there really limitations on things and experiences we can buy or on how much we deserve?
Spiritual teachers and gurus are all telling us to stay true to who we are and if we follow our dreams the money will follow. We can see so many people working passionately at something without having gone to college, or working in a different field than what they have a college degree in.
It seems for a lot of people, money is easy to make.
You are teaching your kids about money through your own example, by the way you talk and react about money and rich people.
Here are some positive beliefs you can model/teach
You’re NOT WHAT YOU OWN
Do not compare yourself to others. My son often wanted to buy video games and other toys that his friends had. He mentioned how many more toys others had compared to him. I reminded him how much fun it is to go to their homes and have different toys to play with.
Money is a TOOL
It can be used for good or bad. It isn’t evil and it doesn’t make you bad, reckless or stupid.
Money does NOT BUY HAPPINESS
The best things in life are free, like playing with friends and family, walking in the forest, a hug, a kiss, flowers, sunset, camp fire, and a helping hand.
HAVE A PLAN for your money
Separate it into three jars: spending, saving, donate/sharing. Let them decide the percentage for each jar. Once or twice a year help them choose where they want to donate the collected money. Point out how good it feels to give and to help someone.
Make a wish list to save for what they want. List the things they want to buy and put numbers next to them to prioritize. Help them find out the price for each item and make a plan to save up the money. Example: What can he ask for for Christmas or for his birthday and what can he buy with his own money, short term and long term? Through experience I know the wish list will often change.
DECIDE WHAT YOU REALLY WANT and be PATIENT
Point out the changes on the wish list in the short-term. By being patient they can get what they really want. They can see how impulse buying is not the best way.
Distinguish between needs and wants. We have a 10-day waiting period before my son buys what he wants, so that he can avoid impulsively buying something he doesn’t need. What happens is that he often forgets about it all together.
Money is NOT LIMITED
Your child can have/earn as much as he wants, he does not need to take it away from someone else. There is enough of everything on this planet to go around so there is no need to pile it up or be afraid of losing it.
APPRECIATE what you already have.
It is okay to want new things but be happy with what we have. I find the best time to talk about this is at bedtime. Before sleeping we take turns talking about what we’re grateful about. It might be something that happened that day. It can be anything, a nice gesture, a conversation, a flower, a quote, a meal. Everyone in the family says 5 things.
I hope this list helps and I would love to hear your lessons too, so we can all learn and improve on this subject.
Related Blogs: Show your Kids the Power of their Mind
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