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4 Things to Teach Your Kids About Money

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

It’s my pleasure to host Rachel Cruze today at MegMeekerMD.com. Rachel is the daughter of bestselling author and financial expert Dave Ramsey. She brings a unique perspective to talking to kids and teens about money. We hope to bring you more financially-oriented posts from Rachel in the future. —Meg

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Guest Post by Rachel Cruze

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, we just make money way too complicated.

Growing up, my parents did a great job of teaching me that managing money is based on one thing: common sense. Despite what you might hear, we all have it!

And the best thing you can do for your kids is to help them start putting their common sense into practice. You’ll do that by teaching them these basic principles of money management:

Work

We talk about it all the time—the most powerful wealth-building tool is your income. That goes for both kids and adults. The 6-year-old you teach to save for a bicycle will eventually turn into a 17-year-old who is eager to save for college.

Pay commissions, not allowances. Your kids get commission for doing chores around the house, like taking out the trash, feeding the dog, and helping with the dishes. Instead of simply giving your kids money for breathing, give them money for being productive around the house! That’s how they’ll learn discipline and work ethic.

Spend

Priorities. Priorities. Priorities. Making money shouldn’t be a license to go spend it all right away. Too many kids and teenagers make $50 and spend it within a day on something they will have forgotten about a month from now.

As a parent, how can you make sure your child understands how fun it is to spend while also remembering how important our next subject is?

Save

Yep, saving. It can seem so boring. But, believe me, it’s one of the most important things you can teach your child. If your child heads off to college without understanding the principle of saving, then he will most likely graduate with a lot of debt.

Start early. Use a piggy bank or, even better, a clear jar so they can see their money growing. Once they are old enough, open a basic savings account.

Give

Giving is what it’s all about. The point of building wealth is to change your family tree and give a bunch of it away. The earlier your child gets that, the better they will be in the long run.

Help them pick a charity to support and teach them about tithing. Instead of just giving them a dollar in the church parking lot, let them use their own money to tithe. That’s when they’ll really feel the impact of giving!

These are the basics—simple principles you can teach your kids at an early age.

And, remember, keep reinforcing the importance of working, spending, saving and giving. Don’t simply sit them down for one discussion and leave it at that. Look for teachable moments.

Talk about money as often as they want to, and be available for questions. Before you know it, you’ll be raising a money expert!

Growing up as Dave Ramsey’s kid, Rachel Cruze learned the basic principles of money at an early age. In the past year alone, Rachel has delivered those same principles, in a personal and passionate message of money and hope, to more than 100,000 teens and young adults across the country. To find out more about Rachel, visit daveramsey.com/speakers or follow her on Twitter at @RachelCruze.

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