As my children enter into adulthood, I really want them to learn, respect, and understand the value of money. The reality is, I couldn’t teach them what I didn’t know. Children learn their first lessons at home. When children witness mom or dad “balling out of control,” what do you think they are going to do? They will mimic that behavior, in some cases.

Learn As You Go

There is no parenting blueprint but there are budgeting books! As a single parent, I’ve always told myself that my children will live as though there are two parents in the household. That was not realistic because there was only one parent in the household.  Therefore, I had allowed them to participate in several activities that were very costly. They’ve participated in music programs because every child is going to be a star right? They’ve gone on expensive trips because other people’s children went on trips and I wanted to make them happy. They’ve participated in every sporting activity every time the season changed. To cover these expenses, I had positioned myself to earn more money but I had never positioned myself to spend less. Every decision was an emotional decision. It’s called good parenting right? We want our children to experience everything that we were not privy to. The truth is, it’s not necessary. I’ve learned that as my children had gotten older, spending time with them was more important than making sure they had a busy schedule. I could have saved a lot of money had I had that mindset back then.

Budget Less and Clueless

I know people who’ve skipped on paying bills to cover holiday expenses to make their children happy for that one day. I’ve seen people being evicted because they had allowed the holidays to take over their bank accounts. There was no such thing as a holiday budget. It was called limitless and mindless spending. Did they need the latest gadgets?   Even though they didn’t ask for it? I really wanted them to have what other children had and what I didn’t have. My parents wanted the same things and I reciprocated that behavior. Some of you may not think that you are doing this, but we all do at some point during our children’s lives. As Patricia Washington states in her book titled Real Money Answers For Every Woman, “Can you really continue to buy your children everything under the sun and expect them to respect money?”

Food For Thought

The holiday season is quickly approaching. Think of some things you can do differently this year. For starters, I hope you have a budget and a list. Do not exceed that budget and do not buy anything that is not on that list. Think of some things that you can do as a family. For the past four years, my family and I had exchanged gifts by picking one name out of a hat. This eliminates having to buy gifts for everyone in the family.

We also eat dinner together. To save money on food, a fellow blogger, Emily Rupe Carson, suggested that parents should consider shopping in bulk. She also stated, “If a bulk store isn’t an option for you, I would highly recommend shopping at Walmart instead of your local grocery store. Walmart’s prices are consistently better and before we joined Costco, I was able to save up to $25.00 a week shopping at Walmart in comparison to our local grocery store and that was without using coupons.” She offers more parenting tips on her blog, https://movingthroughmomhood.com/.

Often times, we would play board games or watch movies together to keep ourselves entertained. We would also take this opportunity to catch up on details of each other’s lives. My children and I have also volunteered at a shelter once and we’ve volunteered at a nursing home on several occasions. Not only is this a learning experience, it’s a rewarding experience. You bring joy to other people.

I recently listened to a podcast episode called “Martinis and Your Money” with host Shannon McLay as she interviewed Sarah Bettencourt, the founder of the Blonde Spot. Ms. McLay is a single parent who focused more on balancing work and single motherhood, financially taking care of her child’s needs, and spending time with him. It wasn’t about buying him the latest iPhone.

Lessons Learned

We love our children. I think they benefit more from experiences and spending time with us rather than buying them things. It’s ok to say “no”. “No” is a complete sentence. The money that was spent on activities could have been set aside for college or some other future endeavor. The money could have been invested and earning interest as we speak. Moving forward, my primary goal is to teach them how to save, invest, and live a minimalist lifestyle. I am acting as their financial advisor, life coach, and mentor. I am helping them plan for their future. Reader, does your child have a savings account?  Do you have money set aside for their future? Are you teaching them the value of money?

 

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40 comments

  1. THIS! Is great stuff! Although I didn’t go crazy, I lived beyond my means by trying to provide for my kids as if they had 2 parents at home as well. It’s a vicious cycle and one that is unrealistic and unable to be maintained. I’m with you, sister!

  2. My son has had a saving/checking account since age 16 when he started working. I’ve encouraged him to have a specific amount in his savings account that he firmly refuses to go under…a specific amount that he would rather suffer than go under :). It’s helped him to have limits and standards when it comes to spending.

    Another nice blog, thank you for sharing.

  3. Great read! I definitely agree with you. Along with teaching kids how to save I also feel that teaching them entrepreneurship is just as important. When I got to a certain age and asked my parents for money they would say “go get a job”. I’m sure most people were told this by there parents. But being taught to create a job is more valuable. Entrepreneurship allows a person to see financial opportunities when no one else can. It also gives them the benefit of becoming economically independent of harsh institutions and systems not built for them. Peole I know that learned this early in life are doing extremely well financially and are enjoying the freedoms that come with it. This along with learning the importance of saving and investing your money will benefit your kids more than any college education will.

    1. Great information for the community! Thanks for reading! Work ethic is different with each generation and it’s important that we continue to instill these values and teach youth how to save and invest . Unfortunately, most schools don’t cover financial literacy so parents have to step up !

  4. Somehow I feel you wrote this with me in mind. Now that I have become a mother I am trying to be more sensible with money. She is 18 months old and I have started a savings account. I also tried not to buy her every toy under the sun because at the end of the day as you said children need our time love and affection . not necessarily everything that is on trend

  5. Agreed! I heard that most valedictorians don’t become millionaires. Makes sense because schools reward test scores and obedience over creativity and self thought. Something to think about.

  6. My mom provided us food beyond her means, we only eat organic, free-range, air flown sashimi or exotic things like bird nest, ginseng. We were not in debt but that’s a lot of financial stress on her and we had no funds when it comes to college. It’s hard to be a wholesome parent. That taught me that we need to live life as a whole and not focusing on a tunnel. I would rather that she plan for other things instead of focusing on good food.

    1. When you look back, you see that she was doing her best to keep you healthy 😊. I wish I would have saved for my two also. We parent based on the information we have at time . How does bird nest and ginseng taste 😳. Thank you for reading !! Great points!

  7. Thank you for this post!:) There are some great tips in here for everyone!:) I like your playing board game tip.:) Not only is it free, but it also allows you to unplug and connect!:)

  8. Great post! There’s only one little thing I do not understand about. I do not want my children to live a minimalistic style. I want to grow into successful people and that they and their children can provide everything they want. I have lived a minimalistic style, and it’s not at all fun.

    1. Thank you for reading! I say that because I don’t want them spending just because or thinking that they need things for the sake of having things , like I did. But I want them to experience life while managing money appropriately. That’s all 😊. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.At the end of the day, I know they are going to make their own decisions, just giving them guidance that I didn’t receive.

  9. There are a couple of intriguing points at some point on this page but I do not determine if they all center to heart. There’s some validity but I will take hold opinion until I check into it further. Great post , thanks and then we want a lot more! Added onto FeedBurner too

  10. This is very true and beneficial. We should teach our children not to be materialistic and that our live to them is translated through things rather tham emotions and affection.

  11. I am frequently to blogging and i also truly appreciate your content regularly. The article has really peaks my interest. I will bookmark your website and keep checking choosing details.

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