“Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Who else heard that saying during their growing up years? Were you given any explanation of how we earn money? I knew my dad worked and he made money and that we had enough. However, I also know that even into my young adult years I was still far too greedy and irresponsible with my money. Which, in turn, made for some hard lessons and rough financial times for Michael and me in the early years of our marriage.
I don’t want that kind of life or attitude for my kids. I want my children to learn that God desires us to be thankful in all circumstances, to give cheerfully and to make responsible choices with our finances. Whether they get that toy that they’d really like to have or not, we have way too much to be thankful for.
Several years ago we found a child’s bank that we thought would be perfect in helping us teach an attitude of thankfulness and stewardship to our children.
We really love this bank. It has three separate spaces for coins – church, store and bank.
We have written on the back of them the percentages that they are to put into each category.
Each time one of the children receives money from someone (birthday, Christmas, etc.), we help them break the money down into the proper percentages, the first fruits (10%) always going to God, then we require them to put 50% in savings and the remaining 40% goes into the store to be spent at their discretion (with some input from mom and dad).
We also constantly discuss with them the importance of giving the first of all of our money (plus anything additional we feel led to give) back to God (the church, missions, charities, orphanages, etc.). Other specifics that we discuss are not spending our money on useless things, striving to be content with what we have, saving money for things truly important to us rather than just attaining that feeling of instant gratification, instilling in them the value of hard work by discussing how hard Michael works for the money that we receive and being thankful, no matter what our circumstances, because it’s all God’s grace, providence and favor anyway.
Edited to add: We still haven’t figured out how to handle larger sums of money that can’t easily be broken down into coins (ex. Jacob received $50 total for his birthday in January). I would love to hear how you handle money your children receive and what sort of system you use.
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This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.