Raising Money-Smart Homeschoolers

The lifelong task of teaching your children financial responsibility can never begin too early. From the time they first learn to count, your children should learn the value of money and how to manage it wisely. Long before they are exposed to the lure of credit cards, the following principles are just a few financial smarts you can teach your homeschoolers:

Money Doesn't Grow on Trees
Children should learn that money is earned by working, and they can only spend what they've already earned. Instead of an allowance that can lead to an entitlement mentality, emphasize the concept that hard work equals a paycheck. Using a daily chore chart with stickers and graduating to money as they grow older, pay them regularly for completed tasks.

Delayed Gratification
Young children need to understand that once money is spent, it's gone, and before something else can be purchased, more money needs to be earned. After a long day of work has left them tired, dirty, and sore, place some money in their hands for the day's pay and say, "When you're tempted to spend your money foolishly, just remember how hard you worked to earn this." Passing this wisdom to your children should help them resist impulse purchases.

For every dollar earned, 10% is given to the Lord (Proverbs 3:9, Malachi 3:10), 10% is saved for unexpected expenses, and the remaining 80% is used as working capital. Using separate jars for weekly tithes, savings, and spending money helps young children visualize how to stick to a budget with their earnings.

Needs, Wants, and Desires
Although your children probably think differently, food, clothing, and shelter are the only things they truly need. Teach them the difference between a need, a want, and a desire to keep them from joining millions of Americans who rack up huge monthly debt and stiff interest payments from credit cards.

A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned
Teach your children how to make their money work for them by opening a savings account for them at a local bank. Although interest rates aren't as good as they used to be, your children can still watch their money increase when they record interest payments and other deposits to their account. You can also encourage them to follow their account's activity online.

Sales Mean Savings
As young children grow older, teach them to be smart shoppers and take advantage of seasonal sales, discounts, and rebates. Show them how to get more for their money by using coupons and browsing the sales racks first.

Practice What You Preach
Of course, the best way to teach young children how to handle money wisely is to be a good role model. As they observe you praying about your purchases, giving to others, saving for goals, and accepting spending limits, they'll also discover how to be a good steward of God's blessings.

Teaching children how to manage money doesn't have to be the biggest challenge you face as a parent. Like the academics you teach, start smart money habits now while your children are young and put them on the right road for future financial success.

Do you give your homeschoolers an allowance? Please share why or why not in the comment field below.

Comments(3 comments)

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NATILIE W 09/02/2011 06:50:25

My kids don\'t get an allowance, per say, for doing daily chores. I guess the exception could be their egg-selling business. They tend to the chickens and package the eggs. They get 75-80% and we have them pay for feed and upkeep with the remaining 20-25% they don\'t receive. Then they tithe, save, etc. We don\'t pay them for daily chores because we (as parents) are not fiscally rewarded for doing our daily chores. We do pay them for exceptional/atypical tasks that come up from time to time. Our kids are ages 4-10.

STACY B 09/02/2011 08:58:48

I agree with Natillie. We started giving our children an allowance, Until we realized that they shouldn\'t be paid for doing what they are expected to do anyway. Daily chores are something they should do without payment. It is the extra work that they do like mowing the lawn, cleaning out the car, or washing the windows that you can reward them with payment. It teaches them that you need to work hard for what you earn and then they don\'t just get paid for doing what they should do everyday. I think working hard for their money makes them appreciate it more and spend it more wisely. Stacy B

PATRICIA F 09/02/2011 09:28:06

We do give an allowance. We use to to teach the principals above. They have to earn the money, learn to tithe cheerfully, save, and save to purchase the items they think they have to have. ha After the wait to save the amount it truly helps them to decide whether they really want to spend the money on the items. And the time it takes to save the money plays a huge role. We pay them each $2 a week. They have a chore chart that they must complete before school each morning and they are to do any task asked of them without mumuring! :) Having the chart and allowance have helped motivate them. If they are not obedient during the week and display attitudes and so forth, I take the allowance away. It is a privilege. For years I felt paying them to do everyday work was wrong but it\'s the lessons I am teaching them that are more important to me. As I mentioned above the earning, tithing, saving and using their own earned money to buy things they feel they would like to have or \"need\" per say, has made a huge impact on their decisions. They realize how long it takes to save and what it\'s like to spend money they earned and how unimportant things are that they initially couldn\'t spend one more minute without when Mom was buying it. Ignore all the run on sentences! ha So I feel I am not just giving them money for daily chores. I am teaching them great lessons that will help them to make better giving, saving and spending decisions when they are grown. God Bless

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