Recently, I was out with my 14 year old, on our weekly daddy day. During our times together we usually discuss many topics, but this time money matters topped the list. That night, I took the time to write down some things I believe God would have me model and teach my kids about money.
#1 It Doesn’t Grow On Trees. I don’t believe in handing my kids dollars every time they want something. In fact, I’ve found they don’t spend money near as fast when it belongs to them. Kids need to know that every dollar used is a dollar earned. If we give them the impression that money comes easy they will be in for a rude awakening when they become adults.
#2 Spend It Wisely. The majority of Americans don’t understand even the meaning of the word “Budget.” It’s the process of telling your money where to go versus letting it pour out like water. Unless you have an unlimited income, you can’t have unlimited expenses. Our kids have to learn the difference between a need and a want. They have to see us spend money wisely and with a bigger picture in mind.
#3 Save, Save, Save. I quickly admit that I’m just learning the significance of this one. You and I know that unexpected expenses and emergencies will always come our way. If we don’t save what we can, while we can debt will come our way. Our world must learn that you can’t live forever on plastic cards and unexpected rainy days will come. I don’t want my boys making the same mistakes I’ve made in the past.
#4 It Can’t Buy Happiness. The parent who only encourages their child to get a great education and the highest paying job is totally missing the mark. Money can’t buy anyone happiness. I want my boys to know that apart from a right relationship with God happiness can’t be found. Yes, we all need money to pay the bills, but money should never be our God. Money should be something we utilize, not idolize.
#5 Every Dollar Comes From God. Last, but certainly not least I want my kids to know that every dollar is a gift from God. We should consult Him before we spend a dollar. We should seek to honor Him with every dollar. We live in world that will pay anything to see a ball game, but gives nothing to their local church. I want my boys to know that God can take my job or my income away at any time. Why? Because He is God and it was never about me in the first place. I pray my boys learn how to manage their lives and money in a way that brings glory to the one who gives us not only every dollar, but eternal hope, peace, and love.
Please understand we’re all works in progress. Our view of money and use of money need to be constantly evaluated. We certainly need to realize as parents that those looking up to us, will often follow in our footsteps. God willing those footsteps will lead them to God’s best for their life.