Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
The longer you wait to start teaching your children to be good stewards of their financial resources the harder it is to instill good habits. Most kids in America know their way around the local shopping mall and can run circles around their parents when it comes to the latest app on their favorite gadget but when it comes to practical money skills most of them are in the dark. If your child can add and subtract then most likely they have the intellectual skills to master personal finance but many do not have the emotional maturity to make good financial decisions. By the way many adults also have that same issue. So what can we as parents do in order to start our children off on the right way to go when it comes to money? These five Bible verses can help get them on the right track:
- Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
God is the true provider for all of our needs but nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will give us everything we want. That doesn’t mean we can’t give our children things they want but we must teach them the difference between wants and true needs. For example, we NEED to eat, but we do not NEED to go out to dinner every night. We NEED clothes so people won’t look as us funny, but we do not NEED to be wearing the latest fashion craze.
- 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
If we are unable to be good stewards financially, how then we can expect God to trust us spiritually? So we need to keep in mind that every financial decision is also a spiritual decision. We can all be better stewards by being grateful and content with what we have and understand that everything comes from God, belongs to God, and is distributed by God.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.”
That doesn’t mean I believe your child needs to work before you provide them food, shelter and clothing but by paying your child an allowance for doing work/chores around the house does teach your children the value of work. If you want to teach your child about saving, giving and spending money, they first have to learn a lesson on earning it!
- Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
The most joyous people are not always the ones who have the most but they are usually the ones who give the most. Teaching your children about giving their time and money develops discipline because an awareness of others’ misfortune will serve them well in any aspect of their lives.
- Proverbs 6:6-8 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Thought they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
Does saving mean that we are not relying on God? No, saving is being a good steward of your financial resources. Nobody likes to plan on things going wrong, but invariably they do. An easy rule to teach your child is the 10-10-80 rule where they give the first 10%, save 10% and can spend the rest!
by Steve Repak, CFP®, Author of 6 Week Money Challenge For Your Personal Finances
Steve Repak, is a Certified Financial Planner™, Army veteran, Financial Literacy Speaker and author of 6 Week Money Challenge: For Your Personal Finances. Steve has traveled the world and has helped countless people turn their finances around with his inspiring financial literacy presentations and one-on-one financial coaching.
After 12 years of military service, Steve left the Army with over $32,000 in credit card debt, ironically landing a job in personal finance through contacts he made while serving. By observing what his wealthy clients did differently and starting to apply Godly principles when making decisions with his own financial resources, Steve was able to get his financial house in order. He began giving first, building his savings, and eventually was able to get out of debt and now Steve wants to help others do the same.
Steve’s first book Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money was published in January 2012. After experiencing the success of his first book he felt God moving him in another direction to write a book aimed at helping others to apply Biblical Money principles to their own finances.
Steve’s latest book 6 Week Money Challenge: For Your Personal Finances (BroadStreet Publishing, January 2016) inspires and motivates readers to change their financial lives by challenging them to commit to his biblical book camp. Each week the challenges consist of questions relating to the reader’s thoughts, ideas and attitudes toward money. The challenges include practical financial challenges, from what God says about money, taking control of spending, how to get out of debt, the basics of savings and investing, the important financial documents that should be in place, and how to mitigate risk using life insurance, as well as spiritual challenges related to the reader’s relations with God. The 6 Week Money Challenge can be done alone, together with an accountability partner, or in a group setting. By com
mitting to this challenge, the reader can start to turn their finances around so they can get fit for a healthy financial future and at the same time growing their relationship with God.
Steve has been a frequent guest on Fox and Friends, Fox Business, 700 Club, and CNN Headline News. He has been interviewed on NPR, Bloomberg Radio, Market Watch Radio, Wall Street Journal Radio, and many other National and Regional Shows. Steve’s work has been featured in Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, BusinessWeek, New York Post, Chicago Tribune, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance & USA Today. He is currently a contributor to the Equifax® Finance Blog and The Life of a Single MomMinistries.
Steve was the 1995 Fort Bliss, Texas Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Management Communications from Amridge University. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and three children where they attend Team Church.
Steve Repak, CFP®