Parent's Topics: Kids And The Value Of Money

Opinions about how to teach your children the importance of a dollar, saving, allowance, and sharing. A guide to increasing your child's sense of ownership and responsibility.

When assessing the situation about how to teach children good spending habits, parents are often faced with numerous concerns. They could look to expert advice, ask other parents what their tactics are, or follow their own instincts. While parents are generally characterized as having good judgement, it still is not bad to search for outside resources relating to this matter.

For many parents, this is a very touchy subject. The main reasoning behind that assumption is that statistically we are living in a world of poor spenders. The value of a dollar seems to have gone out the window for many families, due mostly in part to poor teaching habits. We can take control of this new generation of spenders by breaking the patterns set forth to the current generation and teach children what they really should know.

Where do parents begin? It is a scary venture, but well worth the effort. Begin by setting an example. If your spending habits are less than great, make every effort to change this reality. Remember, your children are watching what you are doing, and learning from both your successes and your mistakes. Setting up a budget, being disciplined and following your own rules is a good start. If your child sees you being foolish with your finances, they will assume it is acceptable and think nothing of adopting such habits.

If your children do not have their own money, they cannot learn how to handle it. Their money can come from many resources: an allowance given by their parents periodically, gifts given by relatives or earnings from odd jobs. Teaching them how to handle it can begin as early as their first comprehension of what a dollar is and how it is spent. You can give your child a leg up during this learning process by allowing them to decide how they want to spend and save their money, rather than giving into whatever they want or always paying for their extra's.

An important lesson to teach children about money is it requires daily decision-making, not just spontaneous whims now and then. They need to decide that if what they want to save their money for is more important than what they want in front of them right now. Many children have trouble with this, so a good exercise to try is giving them a day to think about their purchase. If they still want it as bad the next day, chances are they will opt to spend their money. More often than not, however, the impulse will leave them and they will choose to save for something else.

If you are dealing with older children and teenagers, rather than young spenders, you will need to take a different approach. The discussion of credit cards and larger purchases will come into play. Keeping your children away from credit cards for as long as possible is the wisest decision you can make. They can build their credit through use of a checking account, a debit card and subscribing to innocent payment plans through magazines or other ventures with far more success. The myth about not being able to build your credit through no other means other than a credit card is just that, a myth. If your children are spending their own money, rather than racking up interest on some credit card, they will thank you for it in the long run. Save this decision for when they are far older and know for sure what they are doing with their finances.

Again, an important key for parents, relatives and caregivers to remember is to lead by example. If a child sees foolish spending, irresponsibility and a lack of financial stability they will not have a stable foundation from which to learn. Before attempting to instill these types of values in their children's lives, parents must first address their own habits and decide if they can live by the lessons they are teaching.

Trending Now

© High Speed Ventures 2011