How do I Teach My Child Good Money Habits?
Saturday 21st August 2021
I like to think I am good with money so I really want to pass on my knowledge to our daughter. It is my aim to ensure that she is financially literate!
Recently I have heard Will Rainey, Founder of Blue Tree Savings speak on The Meaningful Money Podcast with Pete Matthew (excellent as always!), I have also read the recent publication of ‘Your Money Matters’, a financial education textbook from Young Money, it’s an excellent resource which I know many teachers and students will find most helpful. Plus, a dear friend has also given an online edition of ‘Foundations in Personal Finance’ from Ramsey Solutions for us to work through together. It’s so good to have so many excellent resources at our fingertips to really promote financial wellbeing to our children.
I was brought up in a home where money wasn’t talked about, and it was adult only discussion. Like many people, no one taught me about money, and I found out everything by myself. Thank goodness for books, podcasts, and the internet where there is so much quality information out there. It certainly has changed our family tree.
In our house money is talked about often. We talk about the budget and the consequences of not following the plan. We listen to podcasts when washing up or in the car. We love the Dave Ramsey’s phase, “Dumber than a rock,” and we use it often!
The Three Jars
Many people recommend the ‘Three Jars’ approach when teaching your children about money. Our 12-year-old daughter has three glass jars: spending, saving, and giving away. We give our daughter the choice of where to put her weekly pocket money.
Our daughter is aware of savings for both long- and short-term goals. Her current ‘Savings’ jar is for our family holiday to Disneyworld Florida. We were supposed to go in 2020 but a little thing called COVID postponed our plans, and we are now hoping to go in 2022. She still faithfully places money in this jar almost every week.
Regarding long term goals, she has two savings account that she cannot access until she is 18 years old. She is aware of both and knows that we are working hard to save for her university fees. I have just finished a great book ‘Debt Free Degree’ by Anthony O’Neal, a must read for all parents!
Our daughter puts a little bit of money in her ‘Spending Jar’ but I have noticed that when we go to the shops, she has ‘forgotten’ to transfer the money into her purse. Recently I have taken her purse (with her spending money in it), so that when she says, “Oh I forgot my purse,” I can gladly hand over the money to her. She used to believe that if she left her money at home then she could spend my money! Next time, I will forget her money and see how she likes it when she doesn’t have any money to spend!
Unfortunately, the three jars system hasn’t gone as we had hoped. All her money is either in the ‘Save’ or ‘Spend’ jar. The ‘Giving’ jar is completely empty! This is not what is supposed to happen! When you read other blogs on the internet, children are filling all three jars!
We really like to promote the giving away as this is always top of our budget and therefore comes first after pay day. Our daughter is aware of this. We talk about it often as a family. Should we be giving more? Can we give more? We often discuss ways that we are going to bless others when we are fortunate enough to do so. Giving is a topic that we talk about, and I don’t want to force her to give, I guess I need to be patient and wait for her to develop her ‘Giving’ gene in her own time.
In summary, I can see how The Three Jars develops a system to talk to our children about money. I can see that it can be a great tool to have more money conversations with your children and family and this is never a bad thing.
If you would like to share how you develop good money habits in your family, then please do leave a comment below!
Thanks, and God bless,