Why Should We Teach Our Kids About Money?

An article by:  Dave Ramsey

Some people say, “Timmy’s so young. I want him to enjoy being happy and innocent.  Money is a worry for grown-ups, not kids.” 

I say, “We’re raising a whole generation with ‘sucker’ stamped on their foreheads because we’re not teaching them.”

Your job as a parent is not just to keep your child happy. You’re raising a future grown-up who needs to be able to deal with grown-up matters. If you teach little Timmy how to handle money responsibly, then grown-up Timmy will be better equipped for a richer life.  Look at the statistics below:

  • 19% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 declared bankruptcy in 2001. (USA Today, 2001)
  • The fastest growing group of bankruptcy filers are those people who are 25 years of age or younger. (Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, 2002)
  • Over 80% of undergraduates have at least one credit card and nearly 50% of college graduates carry 4 or more credit cards. According to the Department of Education, the average balance carried by these students is more than $3,000. (Senator Chris Dodd, CT)

These statistics show that many children aren’t being taught how to handle money.  Young people are making mistakes with zeros at the end of them. These mistakes often take years to overcome. Teach your children how to handle money while they are young, and they won’t make mistakes later on in life.

A Positive Resource to Teach Them NOW

The Financial Peace Junior Kit (ages 3-12) is a great way to teach kids the value of money and work.  The kit includes three envelopes labled Savings, Spending, and Giving.  The money that goes into these envelopes is earned through doing chores, which are charted on a commission board.  If the chores are done, the kid gets money; if the chores are not done, the child doesn’t get money.  This teaches the children the value of earning money.

The Savings envelope teaches children the importance of saving for future use.  I tell my kids when they are very young that they must save money if they ever want to buy a car.

The Spending envelope lets kids still be kids and enjoy the instant pleasures of buying toys and treats. There’s nothing wrong with buying something fun as long as you’ve saved up the money for it!

The Giving envelope is a way to teach children that giving is a part of life.  If you’re in the church parking lot, and you hand your kid $2 to take to the Children’s Church collection plate, the kid gets no spiritual blessing and does not understand.  The child was just a courier, bringing your money to the offering.  But when children bring money that they earned, then they understand that giving is part of life.

All of our resources were designed to help parents teach their children how to work and handle money responsibly.


1 Comment

  1. January 30, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Grown up about financial matters? Not hardly. We need to do a better job of educating kids about money and money matters.

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