Family Finances: Modeling Stewardship

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“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

No matter where you are in your parenting journey, it is wise to consider how your daily financial decisions impact your children. Children watch the way we handle money, even when you think they are not looking. While they may be taught reading and arithmetic in school, they will learn very little about the ins and outs of finances unless we as parents intentionally model good stewardship.

Teaching kids about money does not have to be complicated. The simple act of writing out a grocery list demonstrates the importance of planning. Here are five more ideas for modeling good stewardship, no accounting degree required:

1. Watch what you say.

Do your children hear you vent about money troubles to your spouse? Have you ever said “we don’t have enough money”, or something of that nature? Bold statements can be taken literally by a child and may even scare them. Choose your words carefully and avoid discussing stressful financial matters in front of them. Let them hear you say “we are saving up for that” or other positive phrases about money.

2. Pay with cash.

Paying for everything with plastic, even a debit card, can lead to some confusion about where money comes from. Let your kids see you pay with cash occasionally, and do explain the difference when you think they are old enough to understand.

3. Cook with your kids.

Children will appreciate a home cooked meal over a Happy Meal far more if they have invested some time and talent into preparing it. Let them help plan your menu, and even involve them in the shopping. Instilling the habit of eating at home rather than a drive thru window will make a lasting impression.

4. Save for something special as a family.

Perhaps you are saving for a family vacation or even just a new dryer. Involve the kids with a basic money jar or piggy bank and encourage them to pitch in. Young children love collecting pennies and older children can seek ways to earn a few dollars here or there. The big purchase will mean a lot more when everyone has contributed and saved.

5. Be generous.

Giving is an important aspect of stewardship. Children must see their parents sharing their God-given resources with others. This can be as simple as leaving a generous tip at a restaurant or donating old clothes to Goodwill. Each small act of generosity will be noticed and emulated by your kids.

What other ways do you model good stewardship for your children?

This post is part of the “Put Your House in Order” blogging series. Together we are exploring the topics of food, children, decorating, faith and finances as they relate to our homes. Get caught up with Marriage and Money.

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  1. says

    OH, I love the cook with the kids point! This is such a huge part of connecting with our children! I was at Sally Clarkson’s parenting conference this weekend in Dallas (I think I may have been close to you???) and she said that she uses time over food as one of the best times to connect with her children. I so want that for my children…a cozy place where we open up over the stove top cooking and around the dinner table. Great post Alyssa! I always feel so encouraged by you!
    Much Love,
    Courtney (WomenLivingWell)´s last blog post ..Facebook and Inappropriate Relationships

  2. says

    I love point #1. I always do my best to tell the kids, “We didn’t bring enough money for this right now” or “I didn’t bring money for us to buy that, only what’s on our list.” When the kiddos decide they REALLY want something, I tell them they need to save their money for it. Right now, my eldest is saving money for a bike basket, and I’m saving money for a KitchenAid stand mixer.
    Gaby´s last blog post ..Make Love- not Debt- This Valentines Day

    • Alyssa Francis says

      @Gaby, That’s a great way to explain it, Gaby. I cringe when I hear parents say “we can’t afford it”, or “we are broke” to their kids. I grew up hearing those words and it became our family’s identity in a sense.

      You will love the KitchenAid! I saved up for one last year with the help of Swag Bucks and it was a worthy investment. Enjoy it! :)

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