We have had experience with hearing from people that it is terrible that we have made our children pay for their own car, drivers training, and monthly car insurance. It is really quite amazing to me that people now a days feel that they should expect someone else to pay for everything for them. It doesn’t teach our children anything to have everything handed to them and not to have to earn things.
Due to the way we think debt in our world is absolutely astronomical. Here are a few facts to prove just how bad thing have really become. It is said that 70% of college grads graduate with student loans, averaging at about $57,000. Most graduates don’t even have any clue when they will have their loans paid off. 11.8% of these loans will end up being defaulted on. If these students don’t end up defaulting on their loans and continue to pay them off and pay their monthly bills, chances are they are working multiple jobs and going to school. Even with that they still often don’t even have enough money to put into savings.
Once they become adults it is even worse. It is estimated that 1 in 3 adults with a credit history are so far behind on at least some of their debt payments that their accounts are in collections. Most debt doesn’t even go into collections until it has been past due for 6 months. In this country we are teaching children it is OK to live above and beyond their means.
Teaching Teens Financial Responsibility
I am a strong believer of kids learning financial responsibility and earning their own money to pay for things they need or want at an early age. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way with kids, especially once they hit the teenage years. They need to stay busy to stay out of trouble. You know the old saying “idle hands are the devils workshop” I truly believe this. So what does the bible say about idle hands?
Ephesians 5:15-16 ~ Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Proverbs 12:24-28 ~ The diligent hand will rule, but laziness will lead to forced labor. Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up. A righteous man is careful in dealing with his neighbor, but the ways of the wicked lead them astray. A lazy many doesn’t roast his game, but to a diligent man, his wealth is precious. There is life in the path of righteousness, but another path leads to death.
The thing is Satan loves to find things for people to do. He would love to guide you impressionable teenager into doing his work. Where there is room for laziness, there is room for sin.
How Teens Learn To Be Financially Responsible.
Both of our oldest 2 children started working when they were 14 years old. Our daughters current jobs are at a farm, and she is a gymnastics coach also working birthday parties at the gym. She is also finishing her CLEP exams to test out of the first 2 years of college. Our 16 year old is working at the gym where the kids do gymnastics. He also gets practice time at the gym in between his classes. He is at the gym anywhere between 20-30 hours a week.
Needless to say both of them do not really have time to get into trouble plus, they are learning how to be responsible. They are both very busy and sleep well every night 😉 . They both have saved up their own money and paid for:
- Drivers training class.
- Their own vehicles.
- They pay for their car insurance every month.
- Extracurricular activities and misc things they want to do.
This is how it will work with all of our kids!
Doing this has really taught the kids the real value of money. This is very important in todays world. The kids and I have noticed that when kids earn the money to pay for something instead of mom and dad paying for it, kids appreciate it, and work harder for it (most of the time.)
How We Teach Our Kids To Manage Their Money
As soon as our kids have a job, we have envelopes that they put money into every payday. We have them put 10% to tithing, 10% to savings (long term savings), 10% to spend, and the rest 70% is saved for something in particular they are working to buy or pay for. This isn’t always the most fun for them to do, but in the end it has taught them responsibility. Things they have learned:
- Have been able to have money when life’s disasters or unexpected expenses come up.
- Had money to make more expensive purchases they want to make.
- If they don’t have the cash for things they will not be getting it, meaning they live within their means.
- Budget for their upcoming monthly expenses and spread it out over the month before they are due.
Trying to teach children to be responsible is not an easy task. Especially in today’s world, where kids are taught to just charge everything to a credit card. Teaching them to pay cash for things and if they can’t pay for it they don’t need it is against normalcy. Teaching them to learn to pay for things on their own and to save their money is as well. I strongly believe it is one of the best starts to being an adult you can give to your children though.
Resources We Have Used For Teaching Teens Financial Responsibility
There are a couple different resources we have used for our kids to teach them financial responsibility.
- Dave Ramsey has a homeschool curriculum available that is a really great high school class for your kiddos. I have noticed that the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op often has a deal for it, so head over and sign up for your free account and watch for the deal to come along. If you wan to purchase it right now you can get it HERE on the Dave Ramsey site. They also have lesson 1 for your to be able to look over to see if this program is for you.
- All of our kids Senior years we have them do a very useful math curriculum that Math-U-See offers called Stewardship it is a biblical approach to personal finance. It teaches kids about earning money, percent, taxes, banking, interest, investing, budgeting, percents at the store, and credit cards.
This is an amazing resource for parents to read through, it is a MUST read in my opinion.
Dave Ramsey also offers this fun board game for families to play that reiterate financial decisions as well.
What do you do in your family to teach your teens financial responsibility? Leave a comment letting me know, I would love to hear from you!
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