photo found hereThis post is in response to the following questions I was asked last week:
How have you/do you/will you teach your kids to be financially responsible? (Rebecca)
Do your kids have allowance? How do you teach financial responsibility? (Blogful)
First of all, we don't give our kids an allowance. We believe that, as a part of a family, it is each family member's responsibility to help with housework and chores. If the kids stay on top of their responsibilities and contribute when asked then Allen and I are happy to help them out financially when they have a need. If they want money for something that is simply a want we have them earn the money for that on their own - either by doing extra projects around the house or in working for our neighbors by babysitting or doing yard work.
Financial responsibility is something I think about a lot. We want our kids to understand that debt is never a good thing and that saving is important. I think the best method we've used in teaching our kids financial responsibility is living a financially responsible life. In other words, we hope we are teaching them by example.
For instance, when it comes time for back-to-school shopping the first place we go to look for clothes is second-hand stores. The kids have learned that we can find some great, practically new items at these stores for a small fraction of the price we would pay in regular stores. Our kids actually request shopping at thrift stores now - they see it as a sort of treasure hunt and love showing off their bargain finds.
The kids also see how I do my grocery shopping. I always look through the ads we receive and plan our meals around some of the great deals I will find in them. When they come to the grocery store with me I will ask them to help me find the lowest priced items on the shelves.
We also pay cash for everything. If we can't afford to pay for anything up front, we don't buy it.
I think the best way to sum up what we teach our kids about financial responsibility is to wholeheartedly recommend Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan. Allen and I were able to participate in Dave's Financial Peace University through Allen's work and it was amazing.
All in all, I think that the key to having financially responsible kids is teaching them by example.