Kids and Money

This week we are going to look at how to get the kids involved in the money business. Unfortunately, our local schools don’t teach much about money management or finances.  I never learned any of that in school either.  What little I did know, I learned from my parents, the rest I had to learn on my own.  

I want my kids to be prepared.  I want them to know what to avoid when handling money.  I want them to understand how it works, and it’s purpose and place.

I want them to have a biblical, and heart understanding of money as well as some practical knowledge.  I will share a few things that we try to do to help, and some things we are working on. Simply doing what we can to start them in a better place then maybe we did.

Blessings friends!!

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Giving Back to God

I have already shared a little bit about where my husband and I were financially when we were first married.  We knew very little, had a lot of debt, and were starting out on a teacher’s salary. So, when we found a church to join, my hubby started writing checks to the church.  Wait, what?? You see, I was not raised in church, and maybe you weren’t either, so this concept was completely ludicrous to me.  We had a stack of bills that felt like a mile high and he wanted me to make a charitable donation??  

He sweetly and preciously began explaining to me the doctrine of the “tithe”(meaning a tenth), sharing scripture with me, and sharing his heart with me.  He truly believed that if we gave back to God a portion of what God had given us, it would be a blessing to The Lord, but also a blessing for us.  

So, I decided to give a try.  

Let me just say that God has knocked our socks off with provision and blessing over and over and over again through the years.  My favorite is when mysterious checks – those we had no idea were coming – show up in the mail.  They are almost always very oddly close to the amount that we need for a bill that we would otherwise not be able to pay.  I am not kidding peeps, it has happened.  God is amazing.

Here are some scriptures that you should look up for yourself if you are curious.  

Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.  Leviticus 27:30

You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. Deuteronomy 14:22

And this one might be the most important one:

Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2Corinthians 9:7

We did not always give 10%.  In the beginning that felt like more than we could feasibly do.  We did what we could and worked toward that.  Honestly there have been times when we were giving 10% that we had to cut back for a while.  There have also been times when we have been able to give more.  Which, in all honesty, is the reason we want to get our finances in order.  We know that God gives in order that we can give.  We also know that there are many hundreds of thousand people in this world in need.  What an awesome thing to be able to lend a hand.  

So please, if you are considering giving out of obligation – pray.  Pray that God will give you the heart to give, and show you how and where you can give.  Give because you want to and give what you can. Ultimately, give what you think God is calling you to give.  

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Keeping Up With Who?

So #5 on my list of budget busters is a tough one – keeping up with the Jones’.  I’m sure we all know we try to do it, but we don’t want to admit it, and most times we don’t want to stop.  Maybe you don’t see why it’s a problem.  I know I didn’t use to.  But then, as usual, God got a hold of me. You see in His Word He says “Thou shalt not covet…anything that belongs to your neighbor” (paraphrase of Deuteronomy 5:21).

Covet?  What does that mean?  It means to want things that other people have.  I have plenty of wonderful sweet friends who have been blessed beyond measure with things that I don’t have, but would love to have.  Herein lies my problem.  I don’t need these things, but I want them.  The problem gets bigger when I link these things with my happiness.  Maybe if I have a bigger, newer house…this kind of car…that kind of kitchen counter top….I could go on…surely then I would be content.  But, I know in my heart of hearts, there would always be something more that I would want.  

My dream home – someday if God wills I will live on the beach 🙂

What God is telling us is that He is the only thing that can fill that void in our soul.  That hole that we get caught up trying to fill up with bigger and better and more stuff.  So, I began to pray that verse over and over again with myself, and to thank God for all the things that I do have. Because, I am blessed beyond measure. Way more than I ever thought possible, and definitely way more than I deserve.  

There will always be someone who has more, or bigger, or better, or newer.  We MUST learn to be content with God has given US.  

There is this phrase that I heard lately, often on twitter or instagram (hence the hashtag) – #firstworldproblem. There are so many people who are simply concerned with whether or not they will have clean water for their children, food for their next meal, or even live another day.  People who live in one room ‘houses’ with dirt floors and cardboard roofs.  

Who am I to whine about this or that thing that I feel I need.  Now, hear me friends – I love pretty things.  I love making my house a home, decorating and beautifying it in my own way.  I’m not saying that having things is bad.  It is the focus of our heart that makes it bad.  It’s about contentment and being happy where you.  Sometimes I need to take a step outside myself and remember how wonderful things already are.  🙂  When I can balance my wants and my needs, my budget is much happier, and so am I.

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The Benefit of Organization

Maybe you were surprised to see “lack of organization” on my list of budget busters, and maybe not.  Many times for us, excess spending has resulted from an unorganized life.  

Some examples:

*unorganized pantry = buying three more cans of tomato sauce because you couldn’t find the five cans in your pantry.

*unorganized garage = buying another cable cord for the new TV because you had no idea you had ten in the garage.

*unorganized meal planning = eating out because you have “nothing for dinner”.

*unorganized bathroom = buying more toothpaste even though there are 3 tubes hiding somewhere in the bathroom.

*unorganized budget = missing paying a bill, or the worst – bouncing a check or two because you forgot to record something.

We have all been there, I’m sure.  You decided to FINALLY clean out and ‘organize’ a space in your house and you’re AMAZED at the amount of things you find that had been ‘missing’ forever, or the amount of stuff you have to throw away because it’s expired.  

Who would know what craft supplies I had?? – good grief!!
So, now maybe you can see why a little bit or organization can go a long way in saving you money. Remember though, organization has to function for your whole family.  Labels help sooo much with this – I talked to you about that here.  {once I forgot to label the new container that I got for the powdered sugar and my daughter mistook it for flour??? can we say chocolate cookie soup :)}  I have a large organization board on pinterest and follow two really great organizing blogs here and here, if you need some inspiration.

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Blow Money

Number three on my list of budget busters is impulse spending.  For us, it is always a couple of dollars here, ten dollars there.  Not a big deal when you look at it piece by piece, but when you add it all up – budget busted.  Our solution (again per Dave’s suggestion) – our own “blow money”.  

We budget what is basically an allowance for the grown-ups.  You are working hard for your money, you should be able to have a little – right?  This really helps to take the heavy burden of “THE BUDGET” off our shoulders.  We each have a little play money that we can do with whatever we please and we don’t have to answer to each other about it.  

Now, I do say a little because it is.  As you are tracking your spending – take note of how much of this impulse spending you are doing – most likely too much.  I found this article about what we waste money on very interesting.  


If you are trying to save money, you are most likely going to have to get your coffee at home, and maybe only make one or two stops for a coke.  We each have $20 a week for our blow money – cash of course, so that when it’s gone it’s gone.  Ya, it’s not a lot, but it’s enough for lunch out with friends, and maybe a coke or two. 

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