There are many, many books about teaching kids about money. Thick books. Overwhelming books. It is something that is on my mind.
I was listening to someone talk of someone they knew who is buying a house. The buyer has spoken of the house and furniture purchases saying, "Now, I feel like a real adult." Unfortunately, this is a situation like many where the expenses will outweigh the income. Last night, I spoke with a community college professor who talked of a college student who dropped a class and then didn't even take the final for one of the classes. This meant that the student lost their aid and is now stuck repaying it sooner than expected. She also mentioned that a student she knew had completed more than a year of community college, but then started back at square one when transferring to a 4 year school because she wanted the experience of it.
How can I raise my children so that they don't spend more than they can? How can I raise them to understand how much things cost? How can I raise them to make wise decisions about college? I don't think there's an easy answer to these questions. And I know that every parent raises their children differently--our children also all have different personalities!
For me, my approach has been to talk with my kids openly about finances. I shared some stories the other day about Autumn's toddler years and our finances then that she didn't remember. I shared with her about how God provided clothing for her first two years of life through the thrift store I volunteered at. I shared with my middle daughter this week that it was wiser for us not to go to Target so that we wouldn't be tempted to spend money on things that we shouldn't. We have to stay within our budget. It's easier when one doesn't tempt one's self.
Today, as we get ready to go on a field trip, four sack lunches were packed instead planning to eat out. Money saved to be spent on something else needed.
I've come to conclude that living within one's budget is done with a million little decisions-- not just a few big ones (though those have a big impact!).
What have you done that you've seen have an impact on your children in regard to them make wise financial decisions?