Children can be taught to love things and use people or to love people and use things. Money is a most powerful created thing which can be used for good or ill.
Parents are the number one influence on their children’s financial behaviours. It’s up to us to raise a generation of mindful consumers, investors, savers, and givers.
Consider these ideas for teaching financial responsibility to children at home.

  1.  Give them an allowance
    Children can be taught to love things and use people or to love people and use things. Money is a most powerful created thing which can be used for good or ill.
    Parents are the number one influence on their children’s financial behaviours. It’s up to us to raise a generation of mindful consumers, investors, savers, and givers.
    Consider these ideas for teaching financial responsibility to children at home.
    Help them divide the allowance into three parts:
    spend, for whatever they want now;
    give, for the collection basket at Mass each Sunday;
    save, for a larger purchase they want.
  2. Don’t pay for household chores
    Having responsibilities is part of living in community – even if that community is one young child and one parent. Each child needs to be assigned chores for which they are responsible.
    The level of responsibility needs to increase as they get older.
    By the end of high school children should be able to manage their own needs when they need to– including cooking, laundry and clothes shopping.
  3. Let them earn extra money
    This is a great idea if the parents really treat it as a job for hire over and above their regular household chores. There needs to be some agreement about what gets done, when and how, and what the jobpays. If they do not complete the job on time or if it is not done well, their pay should reflect that.
  4. Don’t bail them out
    Experience is the best teacher so let the kids make their own decisions including bad ones. If they mess up, let them experience the consequences.
    They need opportunities to learn from their mistakes.
    It’s better for them to make a bad decision with $20 of lunch money than a $500K house!
    Experience will help them make wise decisions, weigh different options, and comparison shop.
  5. Tips for clothes shopping
    Consider one of these suggestions, depending on the maturity of your child and how well they can handle money:
    Give them a budget and coach them in comparison shopping and managing expectations.
    For teenagers wanting expensive branded clothing agree on what amount you will pay as the base amount for an item and let them pitch in the difference themselves.
    These two methods are a lot different than the open-ended approach used by so many parents who just whip out the credit cards to buy the kids whatever they want.
    But your job is to raise children who will be responsible adults.

The world teaches children its way of handling money, which is contrary to God’s way. We have the responsibility to teach children God’s way of handling money. We can influence them toward the holy and moral or we can influence them toward the secular and worldly.
This is an edited extract reprinted with permission from the Compass Catholic ministry.
“Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. Take to heart these words, which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children.” – Deuteronomy 6:5-7 

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About Evelyn Bean
Evelyn Bean is the co-founder of Compass Catholic Ministries along with her husband Jon. They are both Commissioned Lay Ministers in the Diocese of Orlando, Florida. They have a passion for the message of Biblical financial principles, which they have been teaching for more than 25 years.