Leaving an inheritance for your kids isn’t enough — they must know how to manage the money, or they’ll likely end up wasting everything you worked so hard to save up for them. Teaching kids about money is an intentional process. Unless you make money skills a priority, you aren’t likely to succeed. You need to create a plan for financially educating your children.
Here are 15 things every kid should know about money — hopefully these skills and beliefs will stick with them for life.
1. Money isn’t magical. It doesn’t magically appear or disappear.
2. Earning money is a privilege, not a right. Nothing is free in life, and a respectful attitude about earning money is necessary. Not everyone has the ability to work, nor does everyone have a job. Be thankful when you’re given the opportunity to earn your own money.
3. Wasting money adversely affects you AND others. You can influence others in your family and your community by encouraging good or bad spending habits. Just like someone is always setting an example for you, you are always setting an example for others.
4. Saving up for a wanted item is not the same as saving long term. While delayed gratification is a necessary money skill, it’s separate from creating a savings plan.
5. Giving to others isn’t about charity; it’s about investing in the lives of those you’re inspired to help.
6. Giving financially to others does not make you superior to them. Someday, you may need to ask for financial help yourself.
7. Sometimes, circumstances dictate our financial situations (ie. recession, natural disasters, lottery winnings, death, job loss) and no amount of good or bad planning is responsible for the end result. Good money management builds character and increases your chances of doing well financially. Though it won’t guarantee a stable financial future, it will help you deal with life with grace and integrity.
8. Learn to be content with what you have, but never stop dreaming big.
9. Mistakes happen. You’ll lose money, but it’s part of the learning process.
10. Don’t be afraid to try new investment strategies.
11. Never stop learning about money management.
12. Spend time with people who manage their money well and listen to their beliefs about money.
13. Read books about managing money. Even if you don’t understand everything, you’ll pick up a few terms or ideas to help you grow your understanding of financial management.
14. Even the lowest denomination matters.
15. Self-reflection is an excellent teacher. Frequently take time to examine how you feel about money and the lessons you’re learning.