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  • Art George

Teaching Kids about Money: Rewards of Working

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

Proverbs 10:4: "Lazy hands make a man poor but diligent hands bring wealth."

We have all heard our parents say, "Hey, kids, just so you know, money does not grow on trees!" I think we would all agree that there are countless decisions we have to make along the way when it comes to our children, and how we teach our kids to handle money is a big one. Our kids do not get much financial training in our schools so it's up to us to teach them at home. As our kids get older, conversations about buying expensive items will inevitably come up. For example, discussions about cell phones are a frequent topic when the kids start noticing their friends have them. Many of our kids' friends got cell phones years before we actually felt that they needed one. Interestingly, we would notice signs of carelessness with the phones, such as a cracked screen or we would hear that one of their friends actually lost their phone.

This experience with our kids took me back to my childhood when I wanted a new bike in 7th grade. I remember so clearly going to the bike store in downtown Zion, Illinois and picking out a brand new orange 5-speed Schwinn bike with a sissy bar that I thought was so great. However, it also came with a small yellow index-sized notebook with the price of the bike written on the top of page one. My dad informed me that when I did odd jobs like mowing lawns, shoveling snow or raking leaves, I was to pay dad back for the bike that I loved. I still have that notebook today and it reads: (- $3) for mowing lawn; (- $5) shoveled snow. I eventually paid off my Schwinn 5-speed bike. I can tell you emphatically that I took very good care of it.

Flash forward to the cell phone situation with our kids. We required each of our kids to save their own money that they earned to buy their own cell phones. It was interesting how a refurbished or lightly used cell phone became more attractive than the brand new iPhone at the mall, since parting with their own money was at stake. Also, once they finally were able to purchase their phones, they guarded them with their lives. Of course, there were other things that we paid for along the way since they were saving for that one big item, but this was just one lesson to teach them the fundamental connection between work and financial resources.

1 Timothy 5:8 – people are supposed to provide for their own needs and the needs of others through honest labor.

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