My son just turned 5 years old in July. He is a tall for his age, loves soccer and can’t wait for September to start school. While he is growing up (he doesn’t want to be called a kid anymore but a boy!), I am doing my best to transmit to him as much financial knowledge as I can so he doesn’t have to learn his money lessons the hard way.
Today I thought I’d share the ways I teach my oldest son about money, and maybe when we're done you can give me some additional tricks in the comments! ;-)
Money Is Hard To Earn
The very first thing I want my son to understand is that money doesn’t come without effort. As a young boy, he doesn’t see the “behind the scenes” time where I work to make money. He sees me leave in the morning, come home in the evening and he gets clothes, toys and does activities in the meantime… it is as simple as this: when someone in the house needs something, daddy is going to pay for it.
So first, I had to learn to say “no” in order to show him that money is not limitless. We often say no to our 2 children. Not because we can’t afford it but because it is important stress that sometimes you need to make choices and not buy everything you want.
I also tell my son how important it is to go to work each day and that it takes a lot of money to pay for everything we have. I also plan on bringing him to work on a Friday so he understands what it is like to work in the office all day (even though he will only spend an hour or two at the office, I'm sure it will look like days of work to him).
Money Is Fun To Spend
I don’t like money just for having money's sake – or accumulating money in my bank account. What I like about money is what I can do with it. Renting a vacation home for our family, going to soccer with my son or going to the zoo are things I do with my extra money.
When your family has a budget, spending money allocated to be spend is a lot of fun. I don’t want my son to be afraid of spending or thinking that he can’t afford to buy something. I would rather show him that once you have learned to manage your money properly, you can enjoy the things it can bring.
Money Is Not Important, It's What You Do With It
I want to show my son that while you have to work hard for your money, you can reward yourself. Since money is a powerful tool, it is important to not fear or hate it. It is also important to not love money either.
I have a fun relationship with my money as I see it as a way to treat myself and spend quality time with my family. I try to show my son that money, when used properly, can be a lot of fun.
If You Make Money, You Should Give Some Of It Away
I am well aware that my 2 children are spoiled. They have great godfathers and godmothers and grandparents who love to buy them toys. I don’t have a problem having seeing a playroom full of toys and seeing my children doing all kind of activities. However, it is very important to me that they understand that not everybody has the same fortune.
This is why, every Christmas, I ask them to pick 2 toys that we will wrap and give to charity. I also contribute to a children’s hospital. From time to time, they send me a letter with the testimony of a child who was sick and has gotten better. I read the letter to my children so they see that there are people that can’t go outside and play.
Thoughts On Kid's Allowances
I am quickly approaching a time where I'll need to figure out how much and how I will give my son as an allowance. I don’t want to give money to my son just for the sake of giving money. I want him to learn what money is and how to manage it. Anybody have experience with giving money to their kids, and how it should be done?
Tell us your thoughts on these money lessons. What other lessons do you teach your kids or do you think it is important to stress? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
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