The Fundamentals of Finance
We all want our kids to grow up and lead happy, comfortable lives. And a big part of life is managing money. Here, three local ladies share a few ways they are helping teach their children about the value of money, hopefully making an impression for years to come.
“It’s never too early to teach children the importance of being good stewards with money. You can begin by using an old-fashioned piggy bank and allowing kids to earn money by doing chores. This is a great way to teach discipline. As they get older, it is important to teach children the necessity of saving money for emergencies and having investments for future goals. I have always talked honestly with my son about how we started saving for his college fund when he was born. I share the cost of tuition so he understands that this was a long-term goal for his parents. It’s important to teach children to give to their church, schools, and community. As with most life lessons, children learn best by example. It is up to us as parents to instill in them the importance of saving, investing, paying bills on time, and helping others.”
“Teaching your children about the value of money and personal finances should start as soon as they can talk. I remember being about 5 years old watching my dad balance the family checkbook and asking what he was doing. He started teaching me lessons then that I still carry today. I must admit that even in 2021, I still manually balance our checkbook, and it is something that I teach my 11- and 8-year-old sons. My grandmother’s gift to both of my boys at birth was a savings account, and as soon as they were able to understand, we started showing them how to make deposits. Last year, we introduced the stock market to the boys and opened Robinhood accounts for each of them. They get super excited to look at the status of their accounts daily on their iPad and make changes based on the trends.”
“It is natural for all of us to think of teaching our children the value of money by connecting household chores to some type of pay, but another way to communicate the real value of money is to help them to understand how they spend the money they earn. My oldest daughter now calculates the cost of lululemon leggings that she wants by equating that to how many hours of babysitting it takes to purchase. Talk about a wake-up call! Another lesson that my children have learned has been taught by my mom Lisa. Each year at our Thanksgiving dinner, she presents them with money and requests they spend it on someone outside of our family. At Christmas, each child shares the person that they chose to benefit, the gift they chose, and why. This practice has taught us all how to value money by the way we can give to others. It has been a very thoughtful and teachable moment for our entire family.”