How we talk to our kids about money

As much as we may realize it or not, a lot of our adult behavior mirrors what we saw our parents doing when we were kids. This is even more the case surrounding taboo topics when we may not have had other opportunities to see others modeling healthy behavior or to learn about it in school. Money – how we spend, save, and invest it, and how much of it we ultimately have – is one of those things.

After picking our jaws up off the floor (though we really shouldn’t have been surprised), we reassured her that baruch hashem (thank God) we do have enough money for all of our needs and many of our wants. We then launched into a quick crash course on credit cards and digital payments (which we personally prefer over cash) and assured her that while we don’t see the actual transfer of money, we do pay every time we go shopping.

The best way to teach your kids anything, but especially something you are passionate about and want them to really understand well, is to talk about it openly, often and with no judgement. Include them in conversation. Ask them what they think. Anything is a teachable moment. (May our conversations about the birds and the bees be as open and relaxed as our conversations about money.)

We explain that we work hard to save money, not because we don’t have enough, but because we try to live intentionally with our money. We want to use it more for things we care about – such as enjoying time together as a family, giving tzedaka (charity), and our pursuit of financial freedom and less for the newest gadgets, the latest styles or takeout from that new restaurant.

We sometimes bring our children shopping and have our daughter help compare prices and find the best deals. She has recently started brainstorming business initiatives to make her own money, and we couldn’t be prouder. She is very likely the only one in her class who knows what compound interest is.

How do you teach your kids about money? Do you give them an allowance?

One response to “How we talk to our kids about money”

  1. Rachel Avatar

    Talking with your offspring about money is STILL an issue, even when they are grown up…
    Don’t worry, it does get easier, but it’s still something that can be uncomfortable.
    [Just saying.]
    Keep up the good work… I’m sure that talking openly about money is a good thing to do with little kids.


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