8 Ways to Teach Your Grade School Kids to be Financially Responsible

8 Ways to Teach Your Grade School Kids to be Financially Responsible

As a kid, I was lucky enough to have parents that taught me the importance of saving money. They took me to the bank, helped me open my first bank account and taught me how to keep track of my money and know, at all times, how much was in the account. This stands out to me as a pivotal moment in my life that money wasn’t just expendable, but when used appropriately, could be used to help others and provide for my needs. I meticulously keep track of my expenses and use it wisely. Now, as a parent, I can also help teach my kids how to be financially responsible. How can you teach your kids financial responsibility? Here are a few ways to do that:

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  • 1. Practice tithing.

    1. Practice tithing.

    There is no better time than to teach your kids how to give part of their income to the Lord, no mater what the age or the amount given. Help them to do the math in their heads as to how much to give away. For every ten dollars, encourage them to give away one. This teaches that life is not about them and that their money, much like their lives, is not only just for them to control, but to yield to the Lord. 

    2. Start small.

    Kids have to realize how to handle whatever money they have, no matter how small. Encourage your kids to use cash instead of debit and use a bigger dollar amount to pay the bills. For example, if the item costs $8.00, give the cashier $20.00. As a family, commit to saving the change in a jar. Save it for six months, then see how much you have. Roll it, yourself, and take it to the bank. You can take it one step further and save the bills you get back, too. A little can add up to a lot!

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  • 3. Memorize together what the Word says about money.

    3. Memorize together what the Word says about money.

    Verses about money are some of the most well known verses, yet are often the most misquoted, too. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” So many think it is the root of all evil. Help them get a grip on the truth about money by placing memory verses about money around your home to let them know it was a priority to God just as much as it is to you. Jesus talked a lot about money during His ministry. This must mean it was a priority (and perhaps a stumbling block) to His people. Review the Word together and choose verses that inspire them to be a good steward of money.

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  • 4. Brainstorm ways to cut costs.

    4. Brainstorm ways to cut costs.

    Create a simpler version of your monthly expenses and let your kids in on the process of making a budget. Are there areas in which you are overspending? Brainstorm ways to cut costs. Bring your coffee in a travel mug with you or invest in a latte maker. Let the kids pack their lunches 3 times a week instead of eating hot lunch everyday, or better yet, make them pay for it out of their allowance. When they discover how much they spend on consumable items like food, the quicker they will conserve to make room for that new gaming console or video game. Put the money you save in an account or envelope and don’t touch it. Take a trip as a family to celebrate.

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  • 5. Take a financial course.

    5. Take a financial course.

    Both Howard Dayton and Dave Ramsey have courses on how to allocate money in percentages that don’t take a bite out of the budget. They may not have as many bills to pay, but they will some day. It’s never too early to learn good financial responsibility. To drive the point home, take a course yourself, create a budget and show them how you allocate your monthly funds. Nothing is better than being an example of good financial stewardship, yourself, so they can learn first-hand what it means to budget appropriately.

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  • 6. Monetize skills.

    6. Monetize skills.

    What are your kids doing with their spare time after school and on weekends? Do they have a special skill or ability from which they can make some extra money? Do they have a flair for making beautiful crafts, playing a musical instrument or have any expertise in an area? Can they cut lawns on weekends or set up a booth at the end of their driveway to sell lemonade? Better still, if they have a specific skill like playing violin or watching children, they can start their own small business and make money on a regular basis. Could you imagine birthing within your child the gift of becoming an entrepreneur as an adult because of good lessons taught at an early age? It’s beautiful to watch kids learn something new and apply those skills to their lives. Teach them to utilize their God-given talents in a way that not only glorifies God but also helps them make a bit of money on the side as well. 

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  • 7. Be a good steward.

    7. Be a good steward.

    Since Adam and Eve, God has wanted His children to be good stewards of what He has given them. God put Adam and Eve in charge of the garden “to rule and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28) Although it was the Lord’s, He allowed Adam and Eve to take control and manage it. In so doing, they would learn to take good care of all of the blessings God gave them. It is the same with money. God has blessed us in the United States, but we are commanded to be good stewards of money. Teach your kids to give away their money as much as they spend it on themselves. Give them small ways to sock away money to learn the importance of delayed gratification. Make a chart and ask them if there is something they would like to save their money to attain. Help them put away a bit each week to achieve their goals. When they save up enough money, make it a big deal to go to the store and make their purchase. Not only will they be happy to have their item, but will take pride in their accomplishments and learn that saving leads to great things with diligence and a little self-control.

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  • 8. Make sacrifices.

    8. Make sacrifices.

    To save up for an item, they may need to make sacrifices, even as kids. Can they not stop at Starbucks for their favorite latte or the ice cream shop for their weekly ice cream cone? Little sacrifices add up to big savings. Have them watch programs on Hulu or Netflix and not the channels on the premium cable package. Even as kids, they can’t always have everything they want. They need to learn to make the tough choices to attain the items they really want. Kids are always motivated by something. Find out what it is and push them to achieve their goals to attain it.

    As a kid, I always dreamed of having enough money to have a vacation home or second car. As a parent, you can help make your child’s dream a reality. With a little creativity and consistency, you can turn your entitled kids into ones that appreciate God’s blessings and use them in a way that honor Him and make them feel good about themselves, too.

    Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children's Book of the Year, the Enduring Light Silver Medal and the Maxwell Award, she is a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She is also an associate literary agent with Wordwise Media Services. For more information, please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.

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