There are effective, helpful things to say about money to your children, and there are some very damaging ones.
Today we’re going to focus on some great ones. Here are some easy comments to use during everyday life that will help your children develop responsibility and good decision-making skills with their money:
1. “What do you think are some good ways you could earn the money for that?”
By putting your child in the decision making position, it gives them the opportunity to create new ideas, problem solve and learn from the outcomes of their decisions. All of these skills are very valuable real-life skills they need to successfully develop as they mature.
2. “Which one do you want to save for first? Why?”
Life is full of choices and by giving your child the opportunity to prioritize, it teaches them the practice of thinking through their decisions. Saving for an item develops self-control, a key trait for financial success in adulthood. They can use the Zela Wela Kids Wish List to print out their “wants.” This gives them a place to see what they are considering, and adjust their priorities as their desires change over time.
3. “It’s allowance time, get your GISS bank!”
Of all the important lessons to teach your children, this is the most important: money can and should be used for different purposes. You can’t build long-term wealth and a healthy fulfilling life just through spending your money. An allowance, and ultimately earnings that are consistently divided into giving, investing, saving and spending categories, will give your child the experiential learning necessary for them to get in the habit of managing their money effectively.
4. “Do you have your spending money with you?”
Letting your children manage their own spending money for small treats and items will allow them to get experience handling money, making change and learning the value of things, a key lesson in today’s world of hyper consumption.
5. “How do you feel about your xyz now that it’s been a few days since you bought it?”
Ask open-ended questions about your child’s buying experiences. It is important not to make judgmental comments that will shut the conversation down. The key is for them to reflect on their decision so they are aware of how they feel about it for the next time they need to make a similar decision. Learning from experience, good or bad, is the goal so they can carry the lesson forward to help them in the future.