Teaching My Kids About Money

Featuring Ryan Dahl Posted on August 8, 2008

We're in the middle of summer holiday camping with, having some great fun with family, old friends, and most of all - my kids (Isaiah - 11, Lydia - 10, Matthias - 8, and Gabriel - 7).  Before we left on holidays, the kids got notice that they were all going to receive $100 as a government tax credit.  Needless to say, they are all eager to find out when the money was to arrive in the mail, all the while making plans to spend it several times over, even before it comes!

I woke up this morning thinking, I really need to help my kids get a better handle on the concept of money.  In the past, we've played the Cash Flow game (Rich Dad Poor Dad), which has some great concepts to teach.  This morning, I woke up with an idea to teach my kids five specific ways that money is spent.  Most spending can fit into one of these five categories.  They are:

  1. Giving / Tithing
  2. Investing / Saving
  3. Expenses / Needs
  4. Toys / Wants
  5. Taxes

Yes, I even put taxes in the list.  Why not teach them the reality of money while they are young, so it is not a shock when they get older.  Anyways, I presented my list and attached one to each of my fingers.  That soon led to me writing the initials of each item on their fingers so they could count them off.  Then, I started rattling off simple spending scenarios, and asked them to identify what kind of spending it was.  They all started to light up, like we were playing a game of Family Feud (without the fighting).

I think I'm going to keep this going!  When we're in the car traveling to our next camping spot, I'm going to drill them with all different examples of spending money, and then see if they can identify what category each example falls into.  Then (and here is the golden egg), when they get their $100 and start thinking of how they want to spend it, I'm going to make sure they first become aware of "how" they are spending it.  Even from our short discussion this morning, Matthias's eyes lit up when I explain to him how "investing worked."  Suddenly, he didn't want to spend his money so fast!

What does this all have to do with "worship."  Everything.  Living life with wisdom and responsibility is worship - as much as any great congregational song on Sunday.  This is the legacy I want to pass on to my kids.  I want the life of worship to invade all aspects of our lives, because I believe the payoff, both now and in eternity, will be great.

Tags: ,