April is Financial Literacy Month and a time to reflect on how well we are training up our children in money matters. Finances are one of those areas that many of us believe you are born with the gift… or not. You just have it or you don’t, and that is all there is to it. Rather, money skills need to be taught; they are not innate. You don’t just automatically know how compound interest works for you in saving and, really, against you in credit card debt. It isn’t always obvious to everyone that their income is limited, and therefore their spending should be as well.
You might look at your children and see very different money personalities; one child is a saver (maybe even a Scrooge), and the other never has a dime. One child may use it all to buy gifts for others and another child would never give any away. These money personalities do not mean they know about finance, it just means they have developed some beliefs about money.
If you are an adult, did your parents sit you down and explain budgeting to you, or did you watch and learn from how they handled money? Many of us learned about money like we learned about sex, a little bit in a class in school and the rest from our culture. It is a topic, similar to sex, in that most people don’t want to talk about it. It is very private and very personal, and very rude to discuss.
The Bible is very clear about teaching our children, and this includes stewardship. Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not run from it.”
You may have seen the movie many years ago, God Has No Grandchildren by Luis Palau. The movie depicts the story of the 1904 revival in Wales where thousands came to a faith in Christ. It changed the nation. Many decades later when Luis Palau visited Wales, he found no evidence of revival at all. The message of the movie was that if believers don’t share their faith, the Church is one generation away from becoming extinct. This is true of sharing the principles of handling money God’s way; we are called to share information with our children.
Maybe you don’t know anything about money and would have no idea how to teach your children. Great! This would be a good time to learn. Many churches now have money seminars and classes to attend.
Will you have financially literate grandchildren? Or will they be sleeping on your couch?
Kristi L. Andersen is the principal of Kristi L. Financial Partners, LLC. Securities offered through and Registered Representative of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Some Advisory services offered through AdvisorNet Financial. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.