Alaysha burst into the kitchen where her mom was paying bills.
“I need a new bike,” she said.
“Hmm,” her mom answered.
“My bike is slow, and Jenna just got a new one,” Alaysha continued.
“It’s a lot of money for a new bike,” her mom said, frowning at the bill in her hand.
“You make money,” Alaysha protested. “Isn’t money for spending?”
“Hmm,” her mother said again. “This seems like a good time to teach you the basics of money.”
Money isn’t a secret code or a magic weapon. It’s simply a tool of exchange. Money lets you turn your work into things you want. Before money, you could only barter. If you wanted something you couldn’t make, you’d have to find someone who wanted to trade. But that person might not want what you have to trade. Money lets you sell your work to the people who want it, and store up value from your work to spend later.
When a parent gives you money, they had to earn it first. You can spend it in exchange for the product of someone else’s work. Or you can invest it so that other people work and pay you back more money later. Or you can give it away to someone who can’t work. Each of these options appears in the Bible. What’s important before you decide is knowing what money represents—real life work.
Try this: Parents and kids, have a conversation about your family “rules” around money. Where does parents’ money come from? How much money are kids allowed to spend without parents' approval? How can kids make their own money? When can kids spend parents' money? Is gift giving limited to birthdays and holidays? What types of purchases do you consider “necessary” anytime?
Prayer: God, thank you for whatever money I have. Give me the willingness to honor you with all my choices. Show me how to make good decisions about money. Amen.