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How to Teach Kids to Handle Money Well

Apr 29, 2024 | Teach Kids Articles

It’s fun to spend your hard-earned money on something you enjoy, especially as a child when the concept of money is so novel. Unfortunately, the more you grow up, the more that money needs to be spent on practical things like housing, gas, and other bills, while—without the proper lessons learned early in life—it can be easy for things like giving, saving, and buying fun things to fall to the wayside under financial worry.

The Bible has a lot to say about money, proper money management, and the importance of giving in its verses about generosity. Help set kids up for financial success in their life by teaching them these four simple ideas on money management. 

1. Have Kids Participate in Giving

First, include kids in giving. Even if kids are too young to work a regular job or do a monthly budget, you can start giving them a positive attitude toward giving by sharing verses about generosity and finding simple ways for them to participate. It should be personal to your situation and to your relationships with the kids. Maybe you can set a fundraising goal for a missionary or a friend in need, saving up together alongside all the kids in your family, Sunday school, or after-school Good News Club®. To help motivate generous hearts, you could decide on a fun reward for meeting the goal, like dumping a bucket of water on a teacher of their choice, going on a fun outing, or choosing a special snack.

As you give, you can tell kids something like this, “To thank God for providing for us, we give a part of what we earn back to God.” You can also read verses about generosity or stories from missionary newsletters to help kids see how God uses giving to bless others. Always consider where you can let kids help you make decisions about your giving. For example, allow them to help you choose which mission organization to send a gift to. These are simple ways to teach kids about giving and it gives you an opportunity to show how God wants us to be cheerful givers.

2. Share Stories and Verses About Generosity

Another idea is to teach kids about money through Bible stories and verses about generosity. You can make these stories fun by including interactive actions and props. For example, you can teach kids about trusting God to provide through the story in Matthew 17:24-27, where Jesus miraculously provides money through a coin found in a fish’s mouth. For this story, you’ll need toy fish and pennies. Put the pennies in the toy’s mouth, then let the kids “find” the coin in the fish.

Another story you can use is the wise and foolish servant in Matthew 25:14-28. This story teaches kids how God wants us to use wisdom with money. You can have the kids pretend to handle the money like the servants did; pretending to invest, spend, and bury the money. You can either simply pretend together or use toys and props to make it more interactive. The Bible is full of stories and verses about generosity like these, and all of them make excellent lessons for children to learn early.

3. Teach Kids the Value of Hard Work

The third idea is to both hire and encourage kids to go out looking for odd jobs. This could be done at home or for a neighbor. Plenty of kids could happily walk a dog, mow a yard, or help clean up a garage for some extra cash, while doing these odd jobs that are different from everyday chores can help show kids that work is valuable. It also teaches them how they can glorify God in their work by doing it for others. Ask kids open-ended questions like, “How can you give glory to God by mowing Mrs. Smith’s lawn?”, or show them verses about generosity with our time and labor and how that kind of service can have a big impact.

4. Create a Kids Savings and Expense Plan

Finally, help kids learn how to manage their money well by teaching them how to plan for savings and fun expenses, as well as giving. One good way to help kids visualize a financial plan is to encourage them whenever they receive or earn money to put one small percentage towards giving, another toward savings, and another for spending. The Bible has verses about generosity that often recommend this method, while a commonly suggested giving amount is 10% of your income. You can even divide a kid’s bank account into three compartments to help children visualize their income, with plenty of banking institutions offering fun, easy-to-use accounts like this under parental control.

When it comes to savings, help kids plan their goals and rejoice when they meet them. Encourage the naturally frugal child to feel okay about spending their money on fun things when the goal is reached, and to consider receiving the purchased item as a gift from God.

This process is a great way to teach kids wise, godly attitudes and habits with money, while these principles about money will spill over in other attitudes about life. After all, there’s a reason why the Bible talks so much about money. There are at least 2,300 verses about generosity, money, wealth and possessions. Jesus spoke about money roughly 15% of His preaching and in 11 of His 39 parables. It was His most talked about topic, with verses about generosity alone numbering in the dozens! Money is an important factor to consider in the world around us, and with these four money management tips, you can help children to feel in control and empowered with their giving and savings.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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