The Bible has plenty to say about the topic of money, in fact it contains almost 2000 verses on the subject. One pastor recently pointed out that “Fifteen percent of everything Jesus ever taught was on the topic of money and possessions— more than His teachings on heaven and hell combined.” How we handle our money–in saving, spending, and giving–is a reflection of our relationship with God and it’s critical that we teach our children the principles of Godly money management.
So when my kiddos were little I started working on financial responsibility, juvenile-style.
Just as students need pencils and pens to learn reading and math, my children needed cold hard cash to learn about money first hand.
Not long after setting up an allowance system for my children to provide them with those tools, I ran into a couple of problems.
First, they wanted to use all their spending money to buy Skittles, so I had to institute my first financial rule:
Allowance money cannot be spent on food.
After some ugly breakdowns in the check out lane at the grocery store, this limit did eventually guide them to consider desires of their hearts that were not motivated by sugar. They started purchasing little toys, dolls, and a bunch of stuff from the dollar section at Target. They learned quickly that cheap stuff doesn’t always last long and it’s better to by quality merchandise when possible.
But quality cost more than they could afford with their monthly income, and after several months of saving for a bigger ticket item, I noticed that they would either lose interest in saving or more often, give up in frustration, daunted by the task of a goal that seemed too big. When this started to become a pattern in my home, I realized that I would need a new technique to help my children learn the benefits of saving, waiting, and delaying gratification without exasperating them.
Enter the Family 401k Matching Plan.
When my daughters found an item that they wanted, like the Nintendo DS a few years ago, or a Wii game or a fancy curling iron–if it was over $50 (and that amount has changed over the years) then I would MATCH their savings so they could afford the item in a reasonable amount of time. This program has helped them to save for and purchase their own computers for high school, without undue agitation or aggravation.
The Family 401k Plan is one way of letting my children know that I will support them in big endeavors, that they are not alone, but…there is a limit.
I will only work as hard as they do. If they save, then I will match them dollar for dollar, but if they spend all their money and choose not to save, then I will not purchase the item for them. I want to empower them, not to enable them, so that they will continue to experience the blessings of Godly spending and saving.
Do not exasperate your children;
instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
By Dale Skram
Mom of four
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
real.life.speaker, real.faith.writer, and real.life.coach
Denver HeartCORe Parenting Conference
May 9, 2015
Go to Calvary’s website to register.
Look for the Conference slider at the top of the site and then click to register.