As we strive to lay a financially-sound foundation for our own children, here are three principles we seek to teach them.
- Money is a tool. As I heard Dave Ramsey say recently, all money does is give you options. You can – and should – do three things with money: save it, give it and spend it. As soon as our daughters were old enough to begin earning money for doing chores, we gave them three envelopes so that they could divide their money into those three categories.
- You get money by working. Some of the chores our girls perform are done because they live in our house and are functioning family members. Those daily tasks include clearing the table after meals, loading and unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, etc. Their weekly chores, which are typically done on Saturday morning, include things like dusting and vacuuming certain areas of the house, cleaning their bathroom, etc., and they are paid a small amount of money for completing those. Periodically, I also have extra things they can do to earn additional money; these are usually more labor-intensive chores, such as wiping down baseboards or dusting blinds.
- All of our money belongs to God. As Christians, we often give a percentage of our income as a tithe, but my husband and I want our children to understand that all of our money is His. Therefore, we need to be wise stewards and take seriously the responsibility of managing what God entrusts to us. That includes meeting our own personal needs as well as giving to others. As I’ve heard pastors say, you can’t out give God. He is always faithful to provide, and often goes above and beyond meeting our needs to giving us our wants.
Do your children get an allowance for doing chores? How do you teach them the best ways to handle money?