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Teaching your kids about money is one of the most important jobs we have as parents. I think everyone’s goal in life is to have their kids be more successful than they were but this doesn’t just happen by accident. One day when your kids are all grown up they don’t just say, “Oh lets make a budget, live on less than we make, stay debt free and save money.” Nope not going to happen! So how do we teach our kids these important things?
First we lead by example.
Every month we sit down at a budget meeting and tell all our money were it is going to go before the month starts. To be honest we started having these meeting after the kids went to bed because they use to get a little heated but now that we have been doing them for awhile there aren’t any surprises! By showing our kids that we have this meeting and talking about our budget they are leaning without us having to actually teach them anything. Never underestimate the power of example!!!
Second they save for their own big purchases.
I am a firm believer that kids take care of stuff better when they pay for it!! Often kids have the mindset that if I break it they’ll just buy me a new one. I don’t know about you but that sure isn’t how the real world works and they younger they learn that the better. For this reason all of my big kids have saved up and bought their own IPods. Did it happen over night? No of course not it took months of saving up but the satisfaction they got out of doing this was almost better than the IPod itself. How do they save that much money you ask???
Third is the Give, Save, Spend envelope system.
Seriously this is something I wish I would have learned when I was a kid. It would have saved a lot of time and frustration when I was an adult. First let me say that for kids, learning about money has to be fun. You can just say we are going to do this, hand them some envelopes and be done. Your envelopes will end up in the trash and they’ll never use them.
Next they got to use my label maker to label each envelope. I think this was their favorite part because I don’t ever let them touch my label maker! We put each kids name and each of the words Give, Save, Spend.
They turned out great but now that we have them they need to learn how to use them.
I am definitely no expert and most of this I didn’t learn from my parents. I learned from reading and taking classes as a grown up after making lots of mistakes!! My main point of all this is to just DO SOMETHING don’t just let it be a surprise one day when your kids grow up. Put forth the time and effort now for them to be successful!!!