A junior high student should have a real savings account at a bank and learn the power of compound interest. Einstein said compound interest is “the most powerful force in the universe.” Your kids need to know how to get interest working for them (as in savings interest) and not against them (as in credit card debt). The Money Matters books are excellent for teaching this.

By the time high school comes, your children must know how a checking account works and how to balance one. Let them practice on your account. I read about a mother who let her teenage daughter manage all the family’s finances for a summer. Mom just had to sign the checks. The daughter received excellent training.

Teenagers must also know the perils of credit cards. Dave Ramsey addresses consumer debt in a very engaging way. Make sure your teenager attends a biblical financial workshop before leaving home. As mentioned earlier, many churches host workshops or Bible studies on finances. Please, don’t send your children off unprepared. 

Use your life experience, good or bad, to teach your children about money management. They are watching all the time. They want you to succeed, so make the changes now so that you can be a hero in their eyes. Practice what you preach, and preach what you practice through your lifestyle and specific teachable moments. Your children, when they are adults, will thank you. You will be blessed also. Remember, the goal is to raise adults who honor God with their finances. 

Carol Topp is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and homeschooling mother. She is a presenter on money management topics with an emphasis on helping individuals and families to find financial freedom. She also enjoys teaching personal finance classes at her homeschool co-op. She and her husband, Dave, live in West Chester, Ohio with their two daughters. She blogs about money at www.Homeschoolblogger.com/HomechoolCPA.

This article was originally published in the Mar/Apr ’08 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com