18 Ways to Train Children and Teens to be Financially Responsible

21 09 2015

images-31Ever wonder why some people have strong financial skills and others missed that class? For the most part, it’s in the parental training or lack thereof. Some young people never experienced financial training or a good example of responsible stewardship while growing up and others had to discover for themselves the hard way, through loss. There is a better way, however. Take the financial lessons you have learned and use them as a teaching tool to those little ones in your life, either as a parent, a grandparent or a caretaker. Their future teachers and employers will love you for it. Author and financial teacher Larry Burkett once said that we are not responsible for our children’s decisions, but we are responsible for their training. Here are some “training” insights to consider when it comes to handling money:images-30

  1. It all begins and hinges on helping them to understand that God owns it all. We are to be the best stewards of everything He shares with us.
  2. Be generous and teach generosity. There is no greater blessing than to give.
  3. Teach the difference between self-discipline, delayed gratification, and immediate self-gratification along with the direct consequences of each one.
  4. Be an example of all things in moderation vs. excess.

images-275. Give your children regular and meaningful responsibilities – jobs without pay, e.g., picking up their toys.

6. Do not give an unearned, free ride allowance, but rather give your children regular jobs with generous pay, e.g., mowing the lawn or folding the cloths.

7. Teach your children to tithe from every dollar earned or given to them. It is all God’s but discipline in regular giving grows a  habit.images-35

8. Teach your children to save a percentage of their income for the future (30-50%), all the while designating a percentage of what can be spent immediately.

9. Teach the difference between an asset and a liability – a consumable.

10. Train your children to follow through. They must learn to complete the job in the way requested or there is no reward.

11.Help them to understand the concept of investing and how that will help them beyond today into the future.

12.Develop a budget with your child as soon as they can comprehend the idea. It will serve them the remainder of their life.images-34

13. Start a savings account and when age appropriate, obtain a checking account and an ATM card. Teach them how to responsibly use and balance them.

14. Train them in the proper use of credit and how the borrower is servant to the lender.

15. Share with them the difference between paying interest and growing interest on their money/investment.

16. Share with your children your financial mistakes and how they can learn and benefit from them.

17. As is appropriate, walk them through all other financial concepts like loans, taxes, utilities, owning a home, maintenance, buying a car, auto repairs, insurance, etc.

18. And finally, take the time to teach your children what God takes the time to teach you about money and His resources. They’re never too young to learn.

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