As a kid I remember the first "big ticket" item I saved my money to purchase. It was in the Service Merchandise catalog. It was $36.99. It was a gold banded Timex watch, that looked a little like THIS (except in 1987 14ct gold). I was 13 years old. I had barely started babysitting and jobs were few and far between. It seemed like every time I earned ten bucks my parents were reminding me to tithe and save. Spending wasn't really talked about...like most kids I didn't really have any trouble doing that!
Now it's time for me to start really teaching my own kids about money and I can hear my mom and dad's voice in the back of my head....tithe, save...then spend. It's true....I sound a lot like my mom these days. So, I've been trying to talk to Savannah and Tucker about how to manage their meager money. Along with mastering percentages, Savannah is learning to think about purchases more before she makes them. She's signed up for discounts at her favorite stores and receives the occasional e-coupon on her iPod touch. She's making progress, but still needs much, much, much guidance....and I need a recorder with my parents voice ringing out "tithe, save, spend."
Tucker's a whole nother story....at 7 years of age he barely understand that we don't have a money tree growing in the back yard. I've started paying both the kids for EXTRA chores at home. He is understanding that when he works he gets paid and when he doesn't ...no money exchanges hands. He enjoys earning a quarter here and there and is ready to open a back account for all his cash (his words).
There are plenty of resources out there to help us teach our kids about money. If we don't teach them, someone will. The world's methods of dealing with money is to borrow, borrow, borrow. But as Christians, we know God's Word teaches against that. So, if I am going to do my job well, I've got to instruct them according to God's word. Here are a few resources that might be helpful as you do the same:
Dave Ramsey's Junior Clubhouse
Compass has two great books The ABC's of Handling Money and The Secret to Handling Money God's Way.
Crosswalk.com has a great article about talking about money with your kids.
Money Matters for Teens
Just because your family may not have a lot of money (its all relative anyway) doesn't give us as parents the excuse not to teach them about money. If we don't do it somebody will. I don't know about you, but, I've looked around and am pretty sure the world doesn't know how to do it God's way.