America’s national debt currently stands at more than 20 trillion dollars. Sadly, according to the publication Money, an astounding 73 percent of consumers in the United States die in debt.
With the prevalent ‘buy now and pay later’ mentality of the United States government and many American families, teaching kids Godly financial responsibility sooner rather than later is crucial.
Proverbs 22:6 dictates, “teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” To instruct children about the value, management, and dangers of money, parents can employ a few simple steps.
Develop a Working Allowance
The debate over giving kids an allowance is a complex one. Some parents forgo providing kids with any type of regular disbursement of money. Others give children a certain amount of cash each week without requiring them to complete any household chores. However, Proverbs 12:11 states, “The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies lacks sense.”
To help kids understand the value of getting paid for something accomplished, develop a working allowance.
Depending on difficulty, assign certain dollar amounts to different tasks. Be wary of providing kids with an exorbitant wage. Paying youngsters too much for chores completed may result in a distorted value system when they reach adulthood.
Parents can designate some chores as voluntary while making others mandatory. They can pay for the voluntary tasks while refraining from giving cash for mandatory ones. Parents shouldn’t hand over the money until all agreed upon work has been finished. Paying full price for 50 percent of the work shouldn’t be an option.
Introduce the 10/10/80 Principle
Revered Evangelist John Wesley grew up in poverty. He even once witnessed his father being hauled off to a prison for debtors. Wesley’s life experiences and strong Christian faith gave him a unique perspective about money. The 10/10/80 principle he supported is still a model of Godly financial responsibility today.
This rule commands people to first give 10 percent of their earnings away, save 10 percent of their wages, and live on the remaining 80 percent of their income. Wesley believed abiding by this principle would give one a good life.
Besides their tithes, encourage kids to set aside a portion of their earnings to donate to missions, the impoverished, or other worthy causes. Acts 20:35 says, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Introduce children to valuable savings avenues such as savings bonds and certificates of deposits. Find a compound interest calculator online. Illustrate how a simple dollar can grow over time due to interest.
Before your children spend any of their funds, sit down with them and help create a list of things they want to do with their money. Help your kids prioritize the items on the list by talking with them about the importance of every wish. This step will illustrate the importance of planning purchases before making them.
Besides a list of priorities, help kids develop a budget before taking them shopping. Write down the items they plan to buy, the stores you plan to shop at, and the price range for each item. Parents should also practice clipping coupons and comparing prices online with kids.
Lead by Example
Children look to parents for guidance. If kids see their parents always purchasing things with credit cards, they will likely grow up believing accumulating debt is necessary and acceptable.
Proverbs 22:7 states, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
Parents should allow their kids to see them praying for God’s provision concerning material needs for the family. Philippians 4:19 states, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Parents should also show kids that their tithe is the first thing to come out of the paycheck. Creating budgets and sharing them with kids is smart. When looking at budgets, youngsters can see how parents save money for necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter and extras like vacations and birthday presents.
Teaching kids Godly financial responsibility is a tremendous task. It won’t happen overnight. But with patience and determination, the seeds of fiscal accountability parents sow when children are young will take root.
~ 1776 Christian