3 Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Money

Many families struggle with when to let their children in on their conversations about money. Or how to approach their parents in the desire to help or rest in the knowledge they have prepared financially.

My advice? The earlier, the better.

Depending on the ages of your children, openly discuss your budget, your financial plans, and goals. Just as you talk about the Lord as you go along the way, teach your kids about handling money throughout the week.

  1. Involve your kids in shopping. Model for them how to buy what you need, not want (except for special occasions). Demonstrate self-discipline.
  2. Give your older kids a clothing allowance. This helps them learn to shop seasonal sales and save for what they need. Once they have a job, they should have a checking account and know how to properly use a debit and credit card. And, the importance of paying it off each month! Read books, attend seminars together, and impart the truth that God owns it all. We are His stewards.
  3. Teach them about wise purchases. Talk to them about buying used vehicles and real estate. Having the knowledge of appreciating or depreciating value early in life will help them to make wise decisions later on – your expertise will impact their future decisions.

At least one relative outside your marriage should know the locations of key documents, codes or keys to safes and safety deposit boxes. At some point, reveal trusts, estate plans, and long-term health care wishes. If you use an investment planner, allow the children to attend a meeting and get to know the advisor.

This is important for you to do with elderly relatives as well, because you need to be prepared for the time when they are no longer able to make wise decisions.