Figuring out how to teach kids about money is only half the equation. You need to get clear on what you want to teach your child(ren) about money.
I want you to think back. Waaaayyyy back, to before you carried your money hang-ups around with you.
When money didn’t feel like a limiting factor. Wasn’t a limited resource. Wasn’t a stress.
When money was shiny, and new, and something you were highly fascinated with.
What did you want for yourself in terms of money at this point in your life?
That’s how deep I want you to dig to create a money mission statement for your own child. Instead of stressing over how to teach kids about money, start thinking about what you actually want them to know.
What do you want them to know about money? To feel about money? To know how to do with money?
I’ve got my own desires for my child. And of course − since money is kinda my thing − I’m a bit long-winded.
But hear me out, because:
a): It’ll give you an idea for the kinds of things to hope for your own child(ren)
b): It’s what I’m aiming to teach/show your own child in terms of be/do/have in their lives with all the work I’m doing here to turn them into a Money Prodigy.
So, What Exactly IS a Money Prodigy?
I’m dedicating a significant amount of my time to turning your child + many other children into Money Prodigies.
So, what exactly IS a Money Prodigy?
If you’ve read my About Page, then you know that Money Prodigy is not only a passion of mine, but a very personal topic for me. I have a child as well, and even though he’s barely 1.5 years old, I’ve got desires for him when it comes to his future money management.
Even though he cannot yet read, feed himself (successfully), or pick out his own clothes, his future life sometimes plays in my mind and I’d like to think I’m going to have a big part in touching that future by the things I’m teaching him now + in the years to come.
So I’m building Money Prodigy with both your child and my child in mind.
And before I considered how to teach kids about money, I deeply considered what the heck I want to teach them in the first place.
With that being said, here’s my letter to Conner that outlines what I want him to be, do, and have when it comes to money:
First of all, your father and I are just so proud of you. You’ve been a blessing in our lives, a gift we prayed for, and then waited for (10 months) and then really waited for (40 weeks and 4 days, to be exact).
Money is nothing to you at the moment, and is specifically much less important than, say, your rubber snake you love to carry around, or the cat toy we can’t seem to part from your little, chubby hands.
But money is going to play a major role in your life, both when we are there to help you with it, and when we can no longer be there for you.
Since your mother is a bit of a money-geek, I thought I’d write down what I want for you.
- To know that, yes, you must work hard in life to get money…but you can also watch your money grow with some awesome management.
- To make it through life’s many seasons with money not being the driving factor behind each of your decisions and choices.
- To be able to help others from a strong money situation yourself.
- To learn some solid money foundations you can fall back on for when the sh*t hits the fan.
- To be able to handle the money your father and I leave you.
- To feel ease around money, never afraid, and never intimidated. After all, it’s just another tool.
- To stay out of the debt cycle, or at least to not enter into it blindly.
- To be independent from your father and I after finishing college (we love you, Son, but it is in your best interest to spread your wings).
- To have a great handle on your money and be able to extract as much life enjoyment as possible no matter what your paycheck is.
- To save for your future, and to know the value of doing so.
- To be an independent thinker with some entrepreneurial spirit in you.
It’s a tall order, especially since you’re still in cloth diapers. But we’ve got years to work on this together. So don’t fret.
Just know that we love you, no matter the size of your bank account, no matter the mistakes you are going to make, and no matter, really, anything.
Mama Bear + Papa Bear
How to Craft Your Own Money Mission Statement
Were there things in that letter that I want for my child that really resonated with you? Go ahead and use ’em.
In fact, I welcome you to write out your own Money Mission Statement for your child(ren).
Brainstorm with the help of these questions:
- How do I want my child to feel about money?
- What are the ways in which I want my child to be able to use money?
- What money values do I want to pass onto my child, and which ones do I hope don’t get passed on?
- Where do you want them to financially be at different stages of their lives (teenager, high school graduate, college graduate, first job, etc.)?
- How dependent or not dependent do you want them to be on you financially and otherwise? How can you ensure you do your best to facilitate that level of independence that’s right for your family?
Now take 20 or so minutes one day this week − perhaps a lunch hour − to sit down and write your child a letter like the one I did above.
Talk to them from the heart, and be specific about what you want to pass onto them.
Don’t worry, you can choose to save this letter in the pile of sentimental goodies you’ll give to them when they’re an adult, or you can just keep it for yourself and periodically look back at it to determine if your money education is on track or not. It’s completely up to you. Just know that I’d love to be along for the journey by offering guidance, activities, and tools to reach your goals, once you know precisely what they are (please share in the comments below!).
Psssst: and if you want some of the things I listed above for your own child, then you’ll want to follow along as I’m building this brand to someday use to teach my own child.