Ask This: What makes someone a “rich” person? How can a person become a “rich” person?
Say This: Some people are rich because someone in their family before them earned a lot of money or they received it as a gift. The key way for the rest of us to become “rich” is to save more than we spend. Most people have no plan for their money, and therefore have no control over their spending. Out of control spending often causes people to spend money they don’t have, and forces them to borrow money to pay for things they need or want. Borrowed money is called debt, and must be paid back. Debt often causes the borrower to feel worry and stress. Listen to what Proverbs 22:7 says about a person who borrows money.
Read This: Proverbs 22:7 “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.”
Say This: Did you notice that God compares someone who owes money to someone who is a slave? He wants us to understand that unwise spending ultimately robs us of freedom and opportunity. As Christians, we must understand that God expects us to be wise managers of the things He has entrusted to us. Luke 12:48 tells us that “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” One way we can do this is by living on a budget. A budget is simply a plan for our money that helps us spend wisely for the things we need to survive. It also allows us to spend some money on things we want and enjoy, and to give money to those in need. This is God’s design for the money He gives us, and can only happen when we spend wisely.
Pray This: Dear God, You have blessed our family with more than we need or deserve. Thank you for allowing us to work and earn money for the things we need. Remind us that you expect us to be wise managers of the money you give us, and that one way we can do that is through wise spending. We ask that you grant us the wisdom to budget our money, and spend it in a way that honors you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Ideas to Teach Your Kids About Spending
Talk with your younger kids about the difference between spending money and saving money. Determine if your child is a natural saver or a natural spender. Remind them that while saving is great, it’s also okay for them to spend the money they have earned. Take your child on a shopping trip so they can spend some of the money they have earned. Count the money in their jar, and let them know how much they have to spend. At the store, create a teachable moment by comparing prices and explaining that some items cost more than the amount they have to spend.
Work with your kids to make a list of several things your family likes to do that costs money. Examples might include going out to eat, going to an amusement park, or going to the movies. Ask your kids how much they think each of those activities cost, and help them understand the true costs involved. Write each of the ideas on a separate slip of paper, and put all the slips into a small box. Encourage your kids to draw one of the slips of paper out of the box and come up with a creative idea to replace the expensive activity with a family outing that would not cost as much money. For example, instead of going to the movies, your family could watch a movie you already own or you could rent one from a movie kiosk. Instead of going out to eat, your family could plan a picnic in the park. Remind your kids that it’s okay to spend money on more expensive ideas, but only if the money has been saved for it.
As your kids enter their teen years, begin talking with them about things like checking accounts, online banking, and debit cards. Allow your kids to see how you track transactions with your account. Open a checking account for your teen. Place the money they have earned from commissions, along with some of the money that you would normally spend on them (for things like clothes, cell phone, or car insurance) in the account. Give them the responsibility for making those purchases and for balancing their account.