Being a parent is simultaneously the most amazing thing I’ve ever done and the most difficult challenge of my life. The responsibility of keeping everybody alive and happy, along with the opportunity to shape a young person’s life, is an incredibly humbling experience. Young children look to their parents for almost everything that they know about life. I try to be aware that the information that I provide to them, both through my words and actions, can have a life-long effect on the way that they view the world.
Although I may not always be at my best, I try to make sure that my kids are learning the values that I want to teach them. These values encompass many things – how to treat others, how to treat yourself, how to be confident, and the list goes on. Of course, I also want to be careful about what I teach my kids about money.
Too often, children lack a solid financial education. Part of the issue is that their parents may not have a firm grasp on money issues themselves. If they do, children are often cut out of all conversations regarding the families finances. The problem I see is that we end up raising children who have no idea how to treat money and do not understand our own money values. Obviously, I want to avoid that. Here are 7 things that I want to teach my children about money before they grow up and stop listening to me.
Things I Want My Kids to Learn About Money
- Debt is the Devil – If my kids learn nothing else from me about money, I hope that they learn this one thing and learn it well: Debt is the Devil. I want them to know that accruing debt is the ticket to a life that is ruled by somebody else. Being in debt will tie them down and make it difficult for them to live the life that they want. Trying to fight against the teachings of our debt hungry culture is going to be difficult, but if I can steer them away from debt, I will feel like I’ve succeeded.
- Budgeting is the Bombdiggity – OK, you got me. If I can teach my kids two things about money, this would be the second. Learning to create a budget is the foundation upon which solid financial decisions are made. It doesn’t have to be fancy or difficult. I just want them to learn how to budget so that they can avoid some of the financial pitfalls I stumbled into when I was young.
- Profit is Not a Dirty Word – Earning money and making a profit is not something to be ashamed of. It is not evil and it is not wrong. Taking advantage of people and acting like an a-hole is.
- Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But… – There are a lot more important things in life, but it sure makes life a lot easier. In reality, money is just paper. Learning to appreciate what you have is the ticket to happiness. However, not having to worry about keeping a roof over your head, keeping the lights on, and putting food on the table makes it a lot easier to relax and enjoy the life you have. Money doesn’t provide happiness, but it can be a great tool to help you do the things that you want to do, go the places you want to go, and experience the things you want to experience.
- Spend Money on the Things that You Really Want – Spending money isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Consistently spending frivolously is. If you save your money and don’t make a lot of impulse purchases, you’ll have plenty of money to spend on the things that you really want.
- There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch – Nothing comes for free. If you are getting something for free, you are taking it from somewhere or somebody else. If you want something, you need to earn it.
- Your Results Will Be Equal to Your Effort – Generally speaking, your results are going to be directly proportionally to the amount of effort that you put in. The world is full of talented people, and you may well be one of them. However, hard work tends to level the playing field very quickly.
Are you a parent? Are you teaching your kids about money? What do you want them to learn? Let us know below!