Life’s more serious events seem to get people more serious about finances. I know when my wife became pregnant with our daughter; all sorts of questions were raised.
- Will you stay home with the baby or continue working?
- How do we pay off remaining debt so that we can afford additional expenses?
- Should we begin investing in our child’s future education (even before he or she is born)?
- What does it cost to have a baby?
With all those questions bouncing around in our heads and popping up over dinner conversations, our desire to find the answers seemed to well, just help us to really focus on financial stewardship.
In hindsight, it’s too bad it takes such big events (good or bad) to cause a more positive shift in one’s focus. But yet, the motivation for financial responsibility somehow emerges whether it’s from within or after seeking some help from a friend or counselor.
Leave An Inheritance
Certainly, as parents the wrong attitude would be to spend all we have in order to enjoy it before we die. A component of stewardship, and getting serious about finances, is managing money wisely so that we can invest in the future of our children.
A good man leave’s an inheritance to his children’s children (Proverbs 13:22).
In fact, I believe it’s Dave Ramsey who often discusses in his teachings that getting your financial situation under control is an opportunity to change your family tree! Let’s dissect that for a moment.
Your Actions Today Can Change Your Family History
Have you ever thought about how your actions today can change your family history? Let me be more direct. The mismanagement of money could impact some of the financial struggles your child may or may not face in the future.
Most people were not brought up under sound money management instruction and guidance within the family. Unfortunately, education within our school systems and even in our immediate family was and is in many cases, still absent.
As an aside, I think every child should go through two courses at the appropriate age: 1) Biblical financial principles; 2) Practical steps and tools for managing money.
Today is an opportunity to change that for your children and their children. By leaving an inheritance, they have an opportunity to start their lives in a more financially stable position.
Get To The Wealth Building Stage ASAP
So as financial stewards and looking beyond providing for college, families should try to get to the wealth building stage so they can create further financial stability and inheritance for children when they become adults.
For me, that sums it up right there. Why tinker around with accumulating debt, paying off debt, accumulating debt, paying off debt, etc. It’s spinning your wheels.
Rather, we should make forward progress and get to the wealth building stage of our destinations so that our family tree can be changed forever. This includes becoming debt free and funding an emergency savings plan so that retirement investing can be started and finally, the savings towards a child’s education.
Ensure Children Avoid College Debt
I think about debt when it comes to saving for children’s education. My parents provided much of my college needs and I’m grateful for that. I know they had to take on some debt to do it, but as loving parents they did everything they could to help position me to leave college with as little student loans as possible.
I want to extend that even further by providing debt free education for my children. I want to pay for their college with cash so they can leave without us both owing anything!
Building Momentum For Your Children
So, in summary, instead of your children digging, scraping and clawing their way to getting out of debt and building an emergency fund, they could skip some of the Baby Steps or Money Map Destinations and go right into wealth building.
That’s right, have you ever considered the importance of this? For many of us, we’re working hard to take steps to move forward on our respective journeys. There is certainly something to be said for hard work.
But, if I we can teach children principles of financial stewardship, practical money management techniques, but also advance them (or start them) further on the Money Map journey, we will have followed the principles from Proverbs 12:22.
Do you plan to leave your children an inheritance? If so, what steps are you taking today to do so?
Last Edited: 24th February 2010