How to Teach Your Children Stewardship

by Rhonda on July 5, 2011 in Faithfulness

Teaching stewardship is one of the many lessons you, as a parent, have the privilege of imparting to your children.  The phrase “more is caught rather than taught” may be overused, but it certainly applies in this case.  As a homemaker, you have many opportunities to practice stewardship as you make sure the needs of your household are met on the money that is coming in.  This can be challenging, but as your children see you  practice biblical attitudes and good stewardship of money and stuff, it will be easier for them to pick up those good habits and principles as well.

I love the Proverbs and the wisdom found in its passages.  If you want to learn how to handle money and your belongings, spend much time in learning the principles found there.  One of my favorite passages on caring for what God has entrusted to you(the definition of stewardship)is found in Proverbs 27: 23-27.  “Know well the condition of your flocks and pay attention to your herds.  For riches are not forever……….”

I don’t think there is any question as to whether God wants us to teach our children to manage money–the question is how?  Here is a simple method we use in our home:

We paid our children, but we never just gave them an allowance.  Money was tied to work so it was like receiving wages for chores done. “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.’  In the real world, you work and you get paid.  It’s that simple.  If your children are young, it may be only a dollar a week.  As they get older and do more work for you, increase their pay accordingly.

Now that your children are receiving money, teach them how to set up a budget.  A budget can be set up even for a child who only receives a small amount.  Help them write it down on paper and give them a math lesson in dividing up that dollar into three categories:  giving, saving, and spending.  So many lessons are taught by doing this such as saving up for what we want instead of instant gratification which leads to credit card debt in so many adults.  It also teaches your child that money is to be handled in an accountable way, not lazily or carelessly.

As a young adult’s income increases, whether through you or an outside job, that child should begin buying his own items.  Our oldest son began paying for his own schooling, clothing and vehicles before he hit twenty–in cash.  This wasn’t hard because he had learned how to save for what he wanted.  He also knew what he bought cost him something so he didn’t want to be careless with it.  This is learning the principle of stewardship.  You work hard, you earn money, you buy things that you worked hard for–what a great motivator for taking care of those possessions.

I know some of you are thinking you can’t do this for your children, especially if you have a large family.  But I want to encourage you to think outside the box on this issue.  We are not a wealthy family, by any means.  We are an average blue collar family.  But I manage to pay my children by figuring it into the budget.  Think about it for a moment.  You already budget money to spend on our children for items such as clothing, education, and entertainment.  Why not take some of that money and give it to them directly so they can learn how to handle it and spend wisely.  So let’s say you budget 100.00 a month for clothing for your family.  Why not take $25.00 a month and give it directly to your son or daughter with the instruction that he or she will now begin budgeting for buying clothing.  If you want to see your son make those jeans last, this will do the trick!  He learns he can go buy brand new and spend the whole amount,try a resale shop and spend much less, or hit a yard sale and save about 90%.  There’s just something about spending your own money that teaches a powerful lesson that can’t be learned when you’re freely spending someone else’s money!

This plan works–I have used it successfully with all four of my children and I can tell you each of them, down to the youngest, weighs carefully what they are going to spend their money on.  They have all learned to save and the best part is they won’t go into a marriage without knowing how to operate on a budget.  My husband and I wish we would have known what they know now when we were newly married.  Begin now to teach your children stewardship so starting their own homes one day will be a little easier:)

Rhonda

Rhonda and Herb have been married for 28 years and together they have four children, aged 27-13. Herb is a certified nouthetic counselor through NANC, which provides many opportunities to see marriages and families strengthened for the glory of God. Their family is currently involved in planting a family integrated church in Northwest Indiana. Rhonda seeks to encourage women in their roles as wives and mothers through mentoring and writing. She blogs at WalkingwithSarah.com.

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{ 16 comments }

ClassiclyAmber July 5, 2011

I think this is a GREAT idea! Even if you don’t have the $25 a month to spend, you can surely pay your kids SOMEthing and teach them how to handle the money they’ve earned! Love it.

Rebecca July 5, 2011

Timely advice as my husband and I are searching through this topic for our children currently! Thank you for pushing us toward scripture to gain our wisdom. How old should children be to typically start recieving pay/allowance? If chorers aren’t done in a certain way/time is the allowance withheld?
Blessings!
Rebecca

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy July 5, 2011

I am currently navigating the issue of introducing allowances and jobs for pay with my own children, so this is timely advice for me! My oldest is 8, and he’s suddenly become very interested in earning money. (Summer is a great time for him to develop this interest, because there’s plenty of yard work and we’re thrilled to have him do it!) But as for the practical aspects of how much to pay, which jobs he gets paid for, and what he’s to do with the money–we’re making it up as we go.

Thanks for the encouragement and practical tips.

Amy July 5, 2011

Thank You Rhonda for the wonderful/educational article! I hope to instill good values in my children, as you have done, and lucky for me, they are still young (5,4, and soon to be)! It’s amazing how many Parents (at least around my area) who believe that they need to cater to their teens! Some actually believe that they are responsible for buying their children, their first cars!! Even now… I know that we will not be able to do this in the future, nor would I want to (my Hubby is also a blue collar worker….very hard worker!! ). It’s nice to see others with the same values, and opinions!! God Bless You and Yours!! 🙂

Stacie July 5, 2011

I budget “Kids earning money”. I have a list of extra things they can do around the house to earn money. Almost every month one child or two gets motivated to work. We don’t give our children allowances, but they have lots of oppurtunities to earn money not just from us, but from their grandparents as well.

Leila July 5, 2011

Thank you! I was needing this post! So do your kids not receive an allowance if they don’t do their chores? What are they expected to pay for? And what do you consider or enstill that the “savings” is used for- as in how long do they have to save it before they can spend it? We are having these issues with our daughter who is 7, does alot around the house because she is part of the family (obviously) and she gets an allowance ($2/wk), which we have always just had be her spending money. She has an issue though with the idea that she needs to spend it every time we go somewhere. She gets the concept, but I guess she just doesn’t care about saving it up. Anyways, we need to impliment a better system and any tips would be awesome! Thanks and have a great day!

Ashley July 5, 2011

what age do you recommend starting?

Just Mama July 5, 2011

Stewardship…..a constant topic laid on my heart these last several months! Not only for my children, but first by and through the example of my husband and I! Not just financially, but to be a good steward of ALL God has blessed us with! Thanks for some great tips! Love this blog, but even more, love the fellowship with other sisters in Christ who share the same heart and desire for our children! Thank yoU!

Jacqueline July 5, 2011

What an excellent post on this topic! I am encouraged that there are many who are becoming aware of the importance of not ‘spoiling’ there young people. Hard work and diligence, rightly guided, will ‘pay off’ in time lest we grow weary of well-doing.
Thank you.

Sarah Beals July 5, 2011

We read once to give your child the option of ordering a drink or pocketing the $2 when ordering out in a restaurant. It puts it in a different perspective that way.

Danielle B July 5, 2011

I don’t agree w/giving them an allowance for chores. I don’t get paid for cooking or cleaning, or straightening up. My 40+ hrs a week pays me for a job that I don’t do at home. Our kids are expected to do their chores. If they go above and beyond that, then they will get an allowance. I don’t reward children for stuff they should already be doing or was asked to do.

Danielle B July 5, 2011

We have four categories, tithes, offerings, savings and spending money. Tithing is a must, as well as offering.

abba12 July 6, 2011

I love this post and think it’s so important for kids to be able to learn about money and what things cost. I know kids tend to treasure the items they bought themselves, whether it’s clothing, or a pet rock from the flea market! I don’t expect to be buying much of my kids clothing directly once they hit double digits. Then I get to teach them about bargain hunting first hand!

However I think kids also need to know they shouldn’t expect to be paid for everything, ESPECIALLY our girls who won’t be paid directly as homemakers! So for that, I think we will probably have the daily chores as expected parts of being in a family (daily clean up, washing dishes etc) and then a list of extra chores that are paid, like sorting clothing or, once they get older, cooking a meal. These could become regular jobs ($3 a week to cook dinner once a week) or one offs ($5 to whoever wants to clean daddys car). Of course, in this system you have to be sure to have jobs available for little ones too (25c to dust the bookshelves perhaps?)

Muriel Hedgcock July 6, 2011

Thank you for this post it was a great encouragement to me. I was just considering this issue with my husband. I always thought that chores are part of the children’s service to the home, so have not wanted them to develop an entitlement mentality but a servants heart. My daughter gives our son violin lessons and we have been considering paying her for them. 🙂

Daniella July 8, 2011

Thank you for this inspirational post, Mrs. Rhonda! Teaching our children about money and being good stewards of what we are blessed with is much needed in today’s world. I love how you incorporated God’s Word into the message, making it even more meaningful. I also give my 4 year-old daughter what I call a commission every week, and we budget the money into 4 categories: tithing/giving, savings, investing, and spending. We started this in January by implementing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Jr. program (one of her Christmas gifts), and it has worked wonders on my daughter’s knowledge and attitude about money-management and stewardship! Thank you again and I look forward to reading more of your insightful posts! 🙂

Rhonda July 22, 2011

Just to add a couple things–I recommend starting this when your child is old enough to know basic concepts of handling and budgeting money–we started around 10 years old. Also, someone commented on not paying for chores because of the precedent it sets–my children do lots of other things around the house they don’t get paid for such as keeping a clean room, making their beds, and helping with dinner and table prep. The things they are paid for are more time consuming.

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