By Ron Dorner
Will your child be back living with you or needing financial assistance one year after they move out?
Your leadership of your family financially will have much to do with the probability of your children’s living a successful financial life. In 1 Corinthians 11, God ordained the man to be the head of the home. What often is not realized is that this responsibility includes all aspects of living. Training your children to be financially prudent is a responsibility of parents that is often neglected.
God instructed the Jewish people in Deuteronomy 6:8 to diligently teach their children God’s commandments. He encouraged them to use every opportunity to instill His laws into their children. If you are to train your children about finances, you must be diligent and consistent.
Think about your financial journey. You might have attended the school of hard knocks. Little was taught about finances and most of what you learned was by trial and error. The one thing most of us had in our favor was parents who exhibited frugal spending habits.
What parental pattern do you exhibit when it comes to finances? If you are not financially responsible, you are setting a poor example to your children. They will learn some things
about money and finances in school, but those lessons are designed to teach principles that allow the child to function in the world. But it is also a world system that is designed to
trap them in financial servitude. You, the parent, must instill biblical principles of money in your children.
As soon as your children begin to understand the concept of money, it is time to start showing them the relationship between money, value, and work. Help them understand the cost of things in relation to how long it takes to work for that amount of money.
Begin giving a small allowance at about the age of six with the additional opportunity for the child to earn more funds by doing pre-defined tasks. Each task has a pre-determined cash wage. That will help the child see that money is associated with work.
Speak to the child about tithing, or setting aside a specific amount for God’s work, even at this young age. Don’t force them to tithe, but encourage them. Let God deal with their heart on the issue.
By age 12, children should begin doing simple budgets for the allowance and/or earnings they get. Help them set up a spending plan. Each year, as they have more
money to handle, encourage them to keep a more detailed budget.
By age 16, consider designating an amount of money you will provide to augment their budget for school clothes, etc.
During their junior year of high school, ask them to make a budget for their anticipated living expenses when they move away from home. That will help them see the actual costs
to live. Consider inviting them to view the family budget to see how you and your spouse designate how your hard-earned money is spent.
Teach finances to your children as the Lord said to the Israelites – teach them diligently.
The financial challenges of our children will be some of the greatest challenges Americans have ever faced. Prepare them well.
Ron Dorner is director of Biblical Money Management. BMM has been helping believers handle their finances and estate planning since 1984. Online counseling is available at BiblicalMoneyManagement.com.