Excerpt from:Lean Body Fat WalletDiscover the Powerful Connection to Help YouLose Weight, Dump Debt, and Save Money
By Danna Demetre and Ellie Kay(Thomas Nelson – Dec. 10, 2013)
SKILL #3: THE SHARING LESSON
One of the main reasons people have problems making ends meet is that they haven’t learned the joy of giving. If you are tight with your money, then you tend to hold your funds with clenched fists rather than open hands. Your finances become stagnant, and you miss out on the freedom that comes with opening your heart (and your wallet) to others in need. This kind of giving is known as the tithe, because 10 percent (tithe means one-tenth) is the goal. But we have to start somewhere, and we can begin to teach our kids through simple actions.
Give. Teach them to give to nonprofit organizations or your church or synagogue, and let them observe your example.
Gather. Pull out groceries from your pantry and take them to a local food pantry.
Give Again. Collect outgrown clothing and toys to donate to a nonprofit thrift shop or homeless shelter.
Gain. By sponsoring a needy child, your child will gain perspective about how good we have it in the Western world. Sponsor a child from Compassion.com, WorldVision.org, or a similar organization, and post the child’s photo on the refrigerator.
Give Some More. Bake and share goodies with their teachers, your neighbors, a postal worker, the local fire station, or a single parent family.
SKILL #4: THE FUN BUDGET LESSON
When you make something fun, most children want to participate. What a great way to learn the In and Out Habit! We started making budgeting fun with our kids by creating fun kid budgets and establishing boundaries when we went out as a family. Keep in mind that in all the following categories, you are spending money in these areas anyway—it’s your money. However, you can train your children as to how the money is allocated, and then it has the potential to become their money. Since these areas are budgeted, and since you are giving them a chance to come in under budget (and pocket the difference), it costs you nothing other than the time it takes to train them in this kind of money management.
Restaurant Fun. The next time you eat out, put your kids on a “budget” for their meal. Make it realistic with a little wiggle room. Have them budget for the entrée, drink, and dessert (you’ll get the tip) and whatever they don’t spend through their own choices (e.g., drinking water or foregoing a dessert) they get to keep, but they have to eat something and not just keep the money!
School Supplies. Figure the amount you would spend on these supplies per semester, and allow your child to spend from this budget and keep whatever is left over. It’s amazing how few mechanical pencils they lose and how much better they take care of their backpacks!
Amusement Parks and Zoos. When you take a family outing to one of these places, set up a budget for each child that includes admission fees, food, drinks, and souvenirs. They will be surprised at how quickly the money goes, especially through the admission fees!
Clothing Budget. As your children become teens, the budget list expands and can include all kinds of other options, such as clothing. You decide what you’ll budget on a semester’s worth of attire, and whatever they don’t spend, they get to keep. We tell our kids, “We’ll pay for the item, and you pay for the brand name.” For example, we pay $35 for a pair of tennis shoes, but if they want shoes that cost $80, they pay the $45 difference with their allowance money.
SKILL #5: A STRONG WORK ETHIC LESSON
I was talking to my husband over breakfast just this morning, and we were discussing an extended family member who never quite reached his potential. As we thought long and hard about what went wrong, I came to the conclusion, “He wasn’t taught a work ethic. He was pampered and coddled. His parents always bailed him out of trouble, and he never really learned to work for the things that matter in life.”
As parents, we can and should teach our kids a work ethic through jobs around the house and jobs outside the home as well. (pg. 183) As long as you are willing to supervise your children’s work, see to their safety when dealing with the public, and set boundaries that are appropriate for them, allowing kids to earn money outside the home can be a fun and worthwhile venture.
Here are some great ideas to help your kids raise their very own cash cow while enjoying the benefits of earning, saving, and sharing. For information on specific kinds of job descriptions, go to LeanBody-FatWallet.net for the downloadable jobs with descriptions, safety parameters, and suggested fees they should charge. The jobs you download at this site are written for a child reader with an adult supervisor in mind. The main thing is that as parents you need to be prepared to ensure that your child’s job is safe and to maximize the teaching benefit of the work.
Stay tuned next week for part 4: Chapter 10, Health
Disclosure: These book excerpts were sent to me to share with my audience by Nelson books. I was not compensated for sharing these other that receiving a copy of the book for review. Posts do contain my affiliate links.
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