How to teach your kids about money

Here are five simple steps to raising financially responsible children.

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  • Editor's note: This article was originally published on Lindsey Bell's blog. It has been republished here with permission.

  • Most parents I know want to raise financially responsible kids. I know I do.

  • Unfortunately, many of us never learned how to handle money ourselves, let alone how to teach our kids how to handle it.

  • Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • 1. Start early

  • If your children are under the age of 5, this is the perfect time to start teaching them. If, however, your children are older, it's never too late to start! Your job might be slightly more difficult, but it's still certainly possible to raise financially stable children, even if you're starting late.

  • 2. Consider paying your children for some of their chores

  • There's a huge debate among experts about whether or not you should pay your kid for chores. Some say you shouldn't because it will teach kids they only have to help if they are going to be paid.

  • Others, though, say you should pay them for their work because that's how the world works. As an adult, you don't get paid if you don't work. Our kids, then, should also only be paid when they work.

  • My husband and I have chosen to pay our kids for some of their chores, while at the same time requiring some chores simply because they are part of the family.

  • Ultimately, it's up to you how to approach this issue. Pray about it. Talk with your spouse if you're married. And then stick with whatever you decide.

  • 3. Allow them to make mistakes while they are under your watch

  • If your child wants to spend all of his hard-earned money on a toy that will likely break in five minutes, allow him to. It's important for our children to make small mistakes while they are under our watch so that (hopefully) they won't make large mistakes once they're not.

  • 4. Teach them to save, give, and spend wisely

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  • When your child receives money for chores or even birthdays or holidays, help him divide the money into three categories: saving, spending, and giving. You could use a three-part bank or three envelopes or jars or something similar to help him understand.

  • 5. Set a good example

  • If we don't know how to handle our money, we'll have a much more difficult time teaching our kids to handle theirs. Our kids are learning from what we do, much more than from what we say.

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Lindsey Bell is the author of the parenting devotional, Searching for Sanity. She's also a speaker for women's events, a blogger, and a stay-at-home mother to two crazy boys.

Website: http://www.lindsey-bell.com

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