Encouragement for Today
Sharon Glasgow, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with your first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim with new wine.” (NIV)
Did you know that according to the 2004 Field Guide to Estate Planning, it costs an average of $249,180 to raise a child from birth to the age of 18 in a household with an income of at least $65,800? Wow! I have five children, that make’s my costs a whopping $1,245,900. (These figures do not include college or weddings.) That’s mind-boggling.
I think one of life’s greatest tests of our obedience in Christ is how we spend our money. Ouch! God is not the only one watching how we spend it. Our children are witnessing our spending habits, too. It is imperative that you teach your children good money skills by example.
Spending money wisely is challenging, but the benefits are priceless. Make them aware of the value of saving and budgeting everywhere you go. When they are young, don’t yield to the begging for candy and toys. As they grow, use every spending venture as a teaching tool.
At the restaurant, show them how much you save if everyone drinks water instead of soft drinks. At retail stores wait until clothes are on sale and then show how waiting saved a large percentage. Bring a calculator and show how percentages work. When shopping for groceries, show your children the budget and then let them calculate products as you put them in the basket. If they see consistently that you watch your money, they will begin to understand how to spend money wisely.
In our family, our kids know everything about our finances. We talk about paying taxes, retirement, savings, our monthly bills, our monthly income, tithing and every other money issue. This helps them understand how closely money has to be managed. We set budgets for special events like vacations, and oftentimes they go on the Internet looking for better deals.
I have a list on the refrigerator with chores and prices for completion of each. These chores are outside of what is normally expected. The expected jobs without pay are: clean your room, make your bed, take your clothes to the washroom, and pick-up your messes. Paid jobs are more time intensive and amounts are based on extensiveness of a job requested. The kids have to work hard to make money and a lot is expected without pay because that’s how families work together.
With spending an average of $249,180 on each child, a lot of money will be exchanged in front of them in 18 years, and with that brings a lot of teaching opportunities. Let them watch as you research the most cost-efficient health, car and life insurances. Teach through example that credit card use is dangerous.
Training our kids to restrain from spending unwisely ultimately brings them freedom.
God blesses us when we honor Him in the way we spend our money. Our children are blessed when we spend our money wisely and then the cycle continues on to the next generation. Blessings follow obedience!
My Prayer for Today:
Thank you Lord for the money and other material blessings You have given and are giving me. I know that everything I have is a gift from You and I am humbled that You would bless me. Give me the wisdom to not only survive, but to thrive in the financial trials that face me everyday. Continue to show me Your way and help me to listen to Your plans and not my own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- Seek God’s direction through prayer, His Word and godly counsel.
- Set up a family budget.
- Make lifestyle changes so that you can live within your budget.
- Avoid borrowing against credit cards.
- Give a portion of your earnings to the Lord and people in need.
- Teach your children how God works through your financial decisions.
Have you set limits on giving money and things to your children?
Do they value a dollar because you have taught them to? (Even if they are teenagers and you haven’t taught them financial lessons, it’s not too late.)
Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” (NKJ)
Psalms 50:14-15, “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon Me in the day of trouble. I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (NKJ)
The Debt Diet, by Ellie Kay
Frugal Families, by Jenni McCoy
A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes