I think one of the most valuable lessons you can teach your children is how to handle money and finances.
How many of you grew up in a household where the topic of money was taboo? I will bet a lot of you. It wasn't talked about much when I was growing up. I only knew what I saw. I saw the insurance man come to the house and collect money every month. I saw my grandmother pay cash to the bread man, the vegetable man, the scissor sharpener man, and anyone else who came selling their wares. When she would send me to the store it would only be for a few items and she would give me cash to pay. I saw that she played the numbers and bet on the horses but it wasn't discussed. My mom never had any money even though she worked hard at two jobs. I found out in later years that my grandmother took most of her wages to pay for food for the three of us and for raising us while my mom worked. I knew that my mom was in debt and used credit cards to buy us some things. But that was about it.
No one ever taught me how to handle money, spend it, or save it. I had no idea how to pay a bill or handle a checking account. I did have a savings account that I put money in every week at school. But I never saw that money because in later years my mom spent it.
I did know that I had to work to pay for college. There was no money from parents or grandparents to pay for that. I worked hard after classes every day to pay the college.
When I got married, I learned from my Hubby who had a year of experience working a job and using a checking account and savings account. He was never taught at home either. We kind of learned everything we know today by trial and error and reading a lot of books.
When my children were growing up, we made sure to talk to them about money. We wanted them to know how to handle their finances. We wanted them to know that money wasn't just handed to you. That you had to work for it. We wanted them to save regularly in a savings account. They delivered newspapers every morning while they were in junior high and high school. They had jobs in the summer and sometimes after school. They knew that we had priorities in our finances and that they should too.
When they turned 16 and wanted a car, they each paid for one from the money they saved while they worked. They saw that saving for a goal was the way to go. Then they saw the reward for those savings. We were very careful not to hand them everything. We knew that when they were out on their own that they had to earn their own way.
They both knew how to handle a checking account when they graduated from high school. They needed one for college to pay their expenses. We also made sure that they had a credit card that we co-signed on but we had it capped at a $500. limit. It was for while they were in college and it was only for emergencies. They were warned that if they abused it, we would close the account. They never did abuse it.
They are both 40 something adults with beautiful families now. They work hard, save for their retirements, college for their children, own homes, and know how to handle their finances. We have never regretted teaching them.
Now my grandchildren are getting to the age where they should start learning especially the oldest who is my granddaughter. She will be 10 in June. So as I was perusing books a while ago about money, I saw this one on Amazon: A Smart Girl's Guide to Money .
It looked like the perfect book to gift her. She is an avid reader and I was hoping when I sent it to her that she would be interested. She is just about the right age to read it and learn from it.
I know that her parents have been teaching her about chores and money. I know that they have also been teaching her for years how to save her money by having her take piggy bank money to the bank and depositing it. She also knows how to save for a goal.
So I thought this book could be an extension of what they are teaching her. So my son calls us last night to tell us how much she loves the book. When she received it, she immediately started reading it. She is reading a little every day. He tells me that last night at dinner, she asked them for an allowance. I told him that I didn't quite expect that she would do that. He laughed. She is learning.
He says they will set up an allowance for her but that she will be required to pay for certain items that she needs out of it. He says she will soon be at the chapter in the book that talks about saving 10% or more. So then they will discuss that.
This book was one of the best purchases that I could have given her and I am so glad that she is enjoying it. Knowledge is good for kids and this kind of knowledge will serve her a lifetime.
Lest you think that I only bought a book for her, I also purchased one more on my grandson's level that he can read to me when he stays here on some weekends. He is starting to read really well so he reads to me at bedtime instead of me reading to him. I bought him: Alexander Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday .
So please teach your children about money. Don't make it a taboo subject. Teach them so that they can learn how to handle their finances while they are young. It is one of the most important things that you can teach them. It will serve them a lifetime!