Below is a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Tikeetha Thomas from “athomaspointofview.com”, on teaching financial literacy to her child.
COUNT YOUR COINS
It’s hard trying to teach children to count their coins. It’s important but nevertheless, it’s difficult. As a single mother to an 11 year old I find that I need to prepare my son to make sound financial decisions. Sometimes I struggle because I can afford it and some of the things are so small in cost that I just buy it. I wonder am I enabling him?Am I teaching him that money grows on trees?
Ugh! It’s a lot. But, I states about 3 years ago. I remember that he had asked me for something that was really pricey and I said that I didn’t have money. His response was simple, “Yes you do mommy. You have a ot of plastic in your purse. Use it”. It was definitely an Aha moment on spending and his observations.
We had to get busy. We’ve done simple things like opening a bank account, earning money through an allowance, giving back and selecting your “extras”. There’s still a lot to teach, but here are three lessons that I’ve taught him: earn your money, value your money, and giving is good.
Earn Your Money:
I wanted to try something different with my son. The year he turned 8 I took him to the bank to deposit the Christmas money he got from his Grandma. He was so excited. He opened his bank account and gave the teller his check and was so happy to get a receipt. My goal as his mom was to match his money in his account every year by investing in his account.
I started teaching him about the importance of earning and creating opportunities for him to earn income through chores. He earns $10.00 a week in allowance. That amount is reduced by the chores he doesn’t complete. I still provide all his essentials, pay for entertainment, food, etc. If he wants something outside of birthdays or holidays he has to use his funds.
Value Your Money;
My son just had a difficult lesson about the importance of valuing his money. He gave me his Christmas list which included two video games for his Nintendo Switch. One game was new and going for $60 at Game Stop and the other one was used and less than $20. I shopped around and found the newer game for $10.00 less on Amazon and purchased the used game .
Last month a new game came out that he wanted and he asked me to buy it. I said no because you just had Christmas and I got you what you requested. You can use your money to purchase the game if you want it. I asked him how much he had in allowance and he said he had $39 and researched the cost of the game. I explained to him how he had to look around for a lower price. We found it at Target. I came home after work the next day and took him to Target to the game. He was so excited because I didn’t make him bring his money, but he was sad when I came home and deducted the price of the money from his funds in his wallet and his piggy bank to apply back to my account. I told him that his purchase was a want so he had to repay his debt. I asked him did he want the game any less because of he had to pay for it and he said no.
Giving Is Good
I’ve always followed the “servant leadership principles”, so my son understands that we must always give back. To that end, he uses his allowance to pay his tithes in church and give offering in Sunday school. He keeps his wallet on him and will give a homeless person money from his wallet when he walks by. I like that he thinks of others. It teaches him to be grateful and give to those in need. So he’s learned that lesson.
My son decided this year he wanted to take me out on my birthday and pay for it. He used his allowance to pay for our mommy/son date. I find that to be the most amazing thing ever. We went down the street to our local Friday’s and he spent his allowance on me. I had teach him about tipping because he couldn’t understand why he was paying more than what was listed on the receipt. But, the gift he gave me of wanting to spend my birthday with me and and his money on me was priceless.
I still have a long way to go as he’s 11. We’ll try to tackle interest rates and compound interest as he ages. He’s still pretty content to just keep it in his wallet and will often be counting his money because it soothes him. I still put money into his college savings accounts(he has two) and I will show him those accounts and how much is deposited each month. I give opportunities or money depending on his wish for making honor roll four times a year. I give a spending limit and he can decide. He made a 3.81 for second quarter and decided he wanted to go to an amusement park with his friend. I’m obliging this request next month.
I think the most important thing that I hope he takes with him is to appreciate and respect money so he can save, go to college and eventually retire.
I would like to thank Tikeetha so much for sharing this. Many lessons we can share with our children. Go check out her blog “athomaspointofview.com”