Welcome back! We’re on Day 3 of Teaching Them Diligently!
And today, we’re talking about Kids and Money. Oooh, hot topic, I know!
Check out the other posts in this series and keep coming back this week for more.
Day 3 – Teaching Kids About Money
Day 5 – Cultivating Servanthood in our Children
We talk a lot here about kids and chores. Specifically about how our kids do chores (which is an ever-slightly-changing system!) and the importance of taking initiative in teaching them how to work hard.
But what we HAVEN’T yet talked about is how our kids get “paid” for doing chores. This has been a long and painful process over a few years of trying different systems that did not work, and really seeking something that would help us all to be motivated to stick with (while encouraging hard work and good attitudes in our children).
There are many philosophies on kids’ involvement at home and whether or not they should be “paid” for “chores”, or required to help out with specific tasks and receive an “allowance”. We have asked many veteran families what they’ve done and received a lot of feedback – both on ways that worked for them, and ways that failed, and things they would do differently now looking back.
The main theme seemed to be that there wasn’t enough teaching about responsibility with money. If kids were never paid for chores or given an allowance growing up, they missed out on the opportunity to learn about earning money, saving, tithing and being generous.
Some regretted giving their kids allowance because the work around the house often was pushed to the side instead of done and mom or dad picked up the slack.
There doesn’t seem to really be a perfect mold that fits every family when it comes to this topic – and that’s ok! Because each families’ needs, desires, goals and opportunities will be different. I’m only sharing this because it is a way that works for us and happens to fit our needs and desires well. Hopefully it will give others some ideas or also be something that works for someone else!
After hemming and hawing for months on what we would do about “paying” our kids, a friend of The Man gave us this brilliant idea. A set amount of money each week – we decided on $5 – with a set amount of work laid out for them, encouraged, and required (to a point).
Now here’s the important part – teaching our children to be good stewards of their money. It doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate – simple is best!
The Bible is the best example – there are so many stories of good and bad stewards, good and bad attitudes toward money, and the results of tithing and honouring God with what he has blessed us with.
Start by teaching having a good attitude toward money. Memorize some verses! There are so many of them.
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 5:10 ESV)
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24 ESV)
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21 ESV)
This goes for us too, parents!
Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2-3 ESV)
Give them some examples of people who were wise with the blessings God gave them, and people who were greedy or self-serving.
Teach them the importance of understanding that everything we have is a gift from God and belongs to him – we are only entrusted with it for a short time and required to be wise with our treatment of it (ouch! this is a hard lesson for me to learn as well!).
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Psalm 24:1-2
And most importantly, teach them to give back to the Lord what is already his and why we should do this.
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Malachi 3:10 ESV)
Check out more passages from the Bible on money and stewardship!
Once you have laid the foundation for Biblical stewardship, the blessing, and giving, now determine how to divide up what your children receive. Whether you pay them weekly or monthly, it’s important that you decide for them and give them the ground rules.
We chose $5 for our kids weekly, but they get paid monthly – the older boys receive this currently, and Keekers will in the fall when she’s finished summer chore training (so around 6 years old). $5 divides up quickly and easily, so it’s a good number to start with.
Each month, half of the amount goes to savings AFTER tithe. Of the remaining, we split that in half and the larger half goes into their skiing account (we do family ski passes each year and they pay for half). The rest is theirs to save and spend as they so desire (and for the boys, that usually means pooling their money for Lego sets :D).
Keeping the money in envelopes gets tedious and bulky, as does having multiple piggy banks for different “accounts”. The solution? The Money Savvy Pig! These are on the kids’ Christmas lists, and they’re a great way to help them visually see the results of their stewardship.
By setting guidelines for them for saving and tithing, it allows us a good bit of freedom to let them make their own decisions with the money they have for spending. We don’t tell them what to buy, and half the time they forget they even have money adding up (until “payday” :D). When they ask for something, we can turn it back to them and say “Have you saved up enough money?”.
(Check out this cool new video from Money Bright Kids for more on teaching kids about money.)
We do encourage them to be wise in their decisions – IE they shouldn’t just buy something for the sake of buying it, unless they had already planned to do so (oh the many dollars I wasted on candy and gum as a kid! haha). We do allow them little treats here and there (or we will buy it for them), but for the most part their buying decisions are their own.
This method is working and has been working for a year or so now. It may change in the future, but it gives us the flexibility needed for right now. Plus, we feel that though we haven’t really settled on a paid chores or allowance system, this is teaching them about income and our responsibility as stewards.
A bonus lesson that comes with teaching good stewardship is the opportunity to be generous. Our kids have seen us give to different causes, families in need, and collected food for the food bank. We encourage them to give of their time and money to be generous to others.
Each year we do Operation Christmas Child boxes and RACK random strangers and friends throughout different seasons. One year the kids took it a step further. They took money they had been saving for different toy sets and used it to buy gifts for families through Gospel for Asia’s Christmas catalogue. Though we encouraged it and prayed about it with them, the decision was their own.
How do you teach your kids about money? Please share your tips and resources so we can all learn from each other :0)
Check out more 5 Day series in the Summer Hopscotch with iHomeschool Network bloggers