Monday, June 20, 2011

Teaching children about money - FHE

Many years ago, when our older children were much younger, we realized that they didn't really have a good concept of money.  Particularly, about our household finances.  We realized that they thought money might just come out of the wall we stick that card in.  And that maybe there was an unlimited supply.  Hmmmm, what to do?  My husband came up with a great Family Home Evening lesson to deal with this issue.  He grabbed a big pile of Monopoly money, a piece of paper, and a pencil.  Then, once the children were gathered around the table, he put a rough approximation of our monthly income in the middle of the table and told the kids that's how much money we had to spend every month.  Boy #2 shouted out "We're rich!"  (Anything over $20 impresses a seven year old).  Scott then explained that it wasn't that simple, took paper and pencil and started writing down our monthly expenses.  First came taxes and tithing, of course, then mortgage payments, utility bills, groceries, etcetera.  At the end of the lesson, two little boys had very serious faces.  Boy #1 said, "I'm never going to ask you for anything ever again."  This, of course, was not exactly the message we were trying to send, so we patiently explained that the main purpose of the lesson was to explain that families have budgets, and that money doesn't grow on trees, darnit!  Playing budget with your kids is a great lesson in money management, there are great board games out there, like PayDay, that are a fun way to teach these principles as well.  As they get older and can make their own money, it's important to teach them principles of money management by helping them set goals and develop budgets of their own. It's also a great chance to teach them to be charitable as well. 

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