How are you handling your money and why do you handle it the way that you do?
What did you learn from your parents when it comes to handling finances?
Whether we like it or not, as parents, we are verbally and subconsciously teaching our children how to handle money.
Our children learn at an early age by mirroring and observing the adults around them, it is very important that we are aware of this. So how do we teach the value of money to our children?
My 7-year old daughter was answering a workbook last week and the question was, what is money? She answered, money is used when we want to buy something and it should not be wasted because you need to work hard to earn money. When she was 4 years old, she thought money is something you can simply get from an ATM when you need it because every time I need money, I go to the ATM and I bring her with me.
I became a mom at 32 and I showered my eldest with so much ” love”. Every time I go to the grocery, I’d buy her a toy and she became so used to it that she probably thought that’s how it should be. The first thing she will do is to open my bag and check what surprise I have for her and she’d be so happy. But when I had problems financially and I started budgeting and not buying her toys, she got upset and would cry thinking I don’t love her anymore. When I asked her why she thinks that way, her response surprised me. She said that every time I buy her toys, I always say that I bought it as a sign of love and now that I don’t bring her toys, it only means that the love is gone. Honestly, I was not aware of those things. I felt guilty that I was not able to explain to her properly and made her feel bad.
Now that I knew better, I make it a point to explain to them the difference between “wants” and “needs”. And if they want something expensive, I’d make them wait for a special occasion and do some kid’s chores. When I need to work , I tell my children that I need to work so I can afford to buy what we need and what we want.
Now whenever they want me to buy them something expensive, I tell them how many sacks of rice it will be. If they want a toy, now they would ask me if it’s expensive and how many sacks of rice is the equivalent of it. 1 sack of rice is 1 thousand , that’s our formula. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy them toys but I make sure they understand how much it costs and that they need to value it. I don’t make them feel guilty for wanting more, but I make them decide if it is worth it to buy those expensive toys that they see on youtube toy review or not. And so far, they settle for what we can afford without being sad or crying over it.
I’m training my children to work for money, to save money and I am already talking to my eldest about buying and selling stocks. I know she doesn’t understand me yet but I also know that one day she will recall the things I am teaching her.
As early as now, I bought them life insurance with investment too and on their first salary, I will have them take over the policy and start paying for it for their retirement. One day I will pass on, but my children will carry the life and money lessons I have shared with them. I pray that they will live a life of abundance and happiness and be able to help other people too.