You think about, work for and spend money every day. If you think your children aren’t paying attention to how you feel about money, think again.
Children are quiet sponges as they absorb the attitudes and actions of their parents. Consciously or unconsciously, children hear more about money than any other topic. There’s no better way to teach them how to properly manage money than by watching as you get your own finances in order.
Create a Budget
Your first step in ordering your financial house is to outline a budget. This is hard work and will take some time to perfect. Record every transaction you make for several months. You must know where your money goes before you can make any changes. You just might be surprised at some of your expenses. Your daily latte treat can add up to over $600 a year. Maybe you’d rather spend that money on a new dishwasher.
Put your children on a budget. Ask what they would like to buy and show them how much money they’ll need for it. Give them some possible alternatives for spending their money. Instead of candy they might want to wait for a toy next week. Talk about wanting something today versus waiting for something better later on.
Once you’ve established a budget, look for ways to save money. Where can you trim or what can you cut out in order to put money into savings? Clip coupons. Learn to watch for sales. Barter with other families and stop buying prepackaged foods. Drop the gym membership and start walking. Talk to your children about their own saving efforts. Maybe they’ll want to join you in saving for a family vacation.
Manage Your Credit
Finally, learn to deal with credit. Can you get a credit card with bad credit? Yes, but you’ll probably pay extra in fees or interest rates. Teach yourself the value of real cash instead of relying on credit. You’re trying to teach your kids how to earn and manage money. How will you explain your actions when they see you spending money you don’t have?
Getting a handle on your own money management is the best way to teach your children. Your hard work will have extra dividends as you improve your financial status and show your children the importance of money. Congratulations! That’s good parenting and good money management.
Consideration was given for this article.