Kate Underwood's article first appeared on the website www.lifeandmyfinances.com hosted by Derek Sall.
Today I’m integrating some of her recommendations as I share how we can help our family members create a spiritually-minded, sustainable and life-enhancing financial strategy.
The best place for family members to learn about financial topics is to speak about them openly in our homes. We can start conversations about money:
As we shop together for personal and household items;
While paying bills, or planning a family vacation; or,
When someone wants to join a sports team, or go to college or university.
The goal is to help family members build a healthy attitude towards money, and to learn the basics of Christian money management. Kate believes that we can teach others how to save by first teaching them how to earn. It’s one thing to save a portion of their birthday money gifts, but it’s even better for them to learn how to save from their earnings. Of course that’s another key lesson: learning how to earn our own money.
Here’s where we help family members understand how God has gifted them. Maybe someone can build something others can use; or write something people will want to read; or make something that can be worn, or played with, or admired on a shelf. Maybe someone can care for others; mow a lawn; rake leaves; or run errands for those who are house-bound. Perhaps someone’s ready to find that first job. Understanding who they are in Christ will enable them to make the most suitable choices.
The goal to earn money leads to the goals of tithing, giving to support our church and its work, budgeting to live within our means, saving money, planning ahead for expenses, and investing wisely regularly. These are cornerstones of a successful financial strategy. Meeting these goals builds confidence and trust in God as He daily provides for our needs.
When choosing a place to save money, Kate recommends:
For young children, experts recommend they put their savings in a clear jar because it’s important for them to watch their savings grow. Usually by age seven or so, children are ready for a bank account. To teach children to save, model that behaviour in front of them. You might talk about how you save each month. Be sure to help them monitor their savings regularly.
The earlier family members learn how to save money, the easier it will become for them, and hopefully, the longer it will last. The little boy in the picture above isn't too young to help care for that calf; he's just the right age to begin to learn about money within the loving care of his family. What he learns now will stay with him for his whole life.
Here’s a final word from Kate:
In your daily decisions about spending and saving, family members should see that you don’t buy everything you want, that you save for big purchases. Make impact comments like, “I’d love to get a coffee, but I’d rather save that $4 for our spring break."
Let’s remember, the earlier we learn to follow God’s word, the better it is for us. He has lots to say about money and it’s all good advice, don’t you think?