Dads: one of the most important things you can teach and model for your children is how you handle your finances.
In previous posts, I've discussed my scratch-n-dent father and his influence on me. His decisions to not go deep into debt, pay cash for his cars and to be a giver, was paramount to how I view money today.
I realize that in many families today, the wife takes care of the finances. Still, both should be involved in the appropriation of how money is spent. It ought not be a one-parent decision.
Since we are speaking to dads in this post, I want to offer a few suggestions to encourage you to be a thrifty dad.
- Model what you want replicated. If you want to make sure your kids are grabbing onto what you are telling them about money – make sure you are showing it to them. There is nothing that will discredit your teaching faster than if your modeling doesn't match your talk.
- Teach 'em early. I don't think there is a magical age by which you need to start teaching your kids about money. Do it early and try to illustrate the principles in creative ways.
- Share mistakes. I try and learn from others mistakes. If someone has gone down a hard road, I try and hear them out and see what I can take to heart. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable with your kids about where you have fallen short with your finances and what you learned. Your kids will appreciate it.
- Pay allowances. I'm for allowances, if there are chores/work involved. It's important your kids learn the value of money and that it doesn't just “grow on trees”.
- Bring your kids along. If you are going to close on a house, bring your kid. If you're selling your used car, have him/her there for the bargaining process. There are many day-to-day financial decisions you make that present great moments to model and teach.
How are you being a thrifty dad and teaching your son/daughter about money?