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Kids and Money
Photo: Marcelo Moura
Whether it’s true or not that “money makes the world go round” kids need to learn early how to relate to it. Money itself is an inanimate object, neither good nor bad. It’s our ideas about money that determine whether it affects our lives for good or evil.

Most kids need help in learning to distinguish between wants and needs. Remind your children that he is richest who has fewest wants. Take every opportunity to point out the value of a simple lifestyle.

The best way for kids to learn the value of money is by earning it themselves. A tired back and sore fingers can be priceless in helping your child to curb impulse spending! If he persists in buying things impulsively point out to him how quickly he has lost interest in those things. Then require him to keep a “want list” where each item must remain on the list for a prescribed amount of time before it can be purchased.

Since our family lives in an area where fruit is grown, our kids have a summer business of picking and selling fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. They have learned to be responsible in taking orders, delivering them and making sure the fruit is high quality so customers will want to reorder. Our son earned enough money last summer to buy himself a new bike, which he values much more than if it had been given to him.

Practice Managing

After you’ve discussed a healthy philosophy towards money, let your kids practice managing it. A very basic system is to have three jars with the labels “sharing,” “saving,” and “spending.” The “spending” jar contains a percentage of the child’s earnings to be spent as desired within parent-approved boundaries. (Just because it’s his money doesn’t mean he may bring home items that conflict with the family’s values.)

The “savings” jar is for future use and cannot be touched until the child reaches a predetermined age. Many families call this the “higher education fund.”

The ten percent tithe already belongs to God. But beyond that the “sharing” money can go for projects like the support of local shelters and soup kitchens. Sponsoring an orphaned child in another country can also be an interesting and rewarding undertaking.

As our children grow they will come to realize that in this world there is always someone “richer” and someone “poorer.” Hopefully, each will learn to develop an attitude of gratitude for whatever God chooses to give, remembering that ultimately everything belongs to God.

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By Brenda Dickerson. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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