1. Let the kiddos see you pay the bills.  At least occasionally, sit down with little Jeremy or Judy and say, “Let me show you how Dad and I get the house we live in and pay for the lights.”  Then explain in simple terms how you have to work a certain number of hours to earn enough money to pay the $140 electric bill.  Compare the work time to how much play time it would equate to for the little one.

2. Deny yourself in front of the children.  When you see something in a catalog or a store window that you would like to have, but can’t afford, tell your children how you feel.  Help them understand that even though it makes you sad now, by putting it off, you’ll be happier later.  (Can we say, deferred gratification?)

3. Price compare at the grocery store.  Avoid rushing through the store with a grab-and-go mentality.  Pick up similar items at the store and show your tricycle motor how one costs more than the other — and how much you can save by being thoughtful with each purchase. 

4. Take a child to work with you if the boss will allow it.  Let them sit there (with a book or a quiet game) until they become bored.  Then on the way home, help her understand why you do what you do, and how it makes the car and other stuff possible.

5. Explain the decisions you make.  When you decide that the budget isn’t going to allow for a trip to Disneyworld, tell the kids why you’re going to Grandmom’s place instead.  Help them understand that the money you’re saving will be used to help others, or pay some debt down, or send the crumb crunchers to college one day. 

One of the most important gifts we parents can give our kids is a legacy of good stewardship. No matter how dismissive your little bambino's are, don’t give up on the mission. They may not seem to hear you today, but maybe one day after you’ve assumed room temperature, they will remember the lesson.


Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.

A complete financial compendium, 19 chapters
• What you can do today to get out of debt and kill the Debt Monster
• A,B,C's of handling your money God's way
• How to save, invest, and retire wisely
• How mutual funds work
• How to stop fighting over money
• What to teach your kids about money
• Learn how home & car buying, college financing and insurance work.
• How to develop a budget that works -- forever!
• Features simple charts, graphs, and easy-to-use forms.

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