“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
This biblical truth also applies to the way parents teach their kids about handling money. According to Bethany Palmer, we can start teaching our children how to stretch their money muscles from a very young age.
“Up until they’re about 8 or 9, we suggest that you give your children three $1 bills a week; it could be three dimes a week, it could be three pennies a week. Depending on your economic situation, but three of the same kind of currency. Start having them exercise the positive traits of their money muscles.”
The first step is to find three small boxes and label them accordingly: save, spend and give. The next step is to allow our children to disperse the money into 3 separate piles. Bethany expands,
“Here’s how they do it: set up a save box, a spend box and a give box. You start to train them that every week, even when they’re 5 years old, to put a dollar in save, a dollar a spend, and a dollar in give and they’re doing that every single week.
“Then you can start to train them with each pile asking, how do you think about it?”
This will help them learn how to manage their own money and teaches them the importance of giving, spending and saving. Scott Palmer says that having conversations with children about their allowances will help them gain an understanding of where their money is going and why.
“Allowances can be such a huge learning opportunity. Some parents say, ‘well I don’t want my kid to be entitled.’ But you help dictate that in the way that you talk to them about money.”
“If you look at it from the idea of, I’m helping train my kids up in the way that I would like them to act now; when they’re teenagers, and even when they’re out of the home, if you start soon you can program that into very early.”
Bethany adds that when children are about 9 years old, we can begin to teach them about earning their own money through the value of hard work.
“When they start to be age 9, that’s when you can start to say, ‘it’s earned to get.’ So you still give them the 3 dollars, or whatever amount of money that you give them, but in addition to that you start making lists of things that they can do, above and beyond regular household maintenance, and they can start to earn money that way in addition.”
By training our children how to handle their money from a young age, they will grow to have a better understanding of saving, spending and giving – God’s way.
“By the time they’re 15 or so, they’re just so used to putting some of their money in save, some of their money in give, and some of their money in spend and it just starts them off in such a great way of thinking about money.”
Scott & Bethany Palmer are devoted to helping couples everywhere see eye-to-eye on day-to-day money decisions. They are regulars on major, nationwide television and radio programs, and speak internationally about love and money. They enjoy an active Colorado lifestyle with their two sons, Cole and Cade.