Guest Author - Sharon Michaels
I think back and wonder how my earlier years of struggling to make “friends” with my finances might have been different if I’d had a better childhood understanding of money. If money values are formed in childhood, shouldn’t we be teaching children how to appreciate, respect and enjoy money?
Money shouldn’t be a mystery, create tension or become the subject of arguments. Money is a means for acquiring the material things to keep us fed, clothed and emotionally and physically healthy. Money is neither good nor bad. Money is neither positive nor negative. Money is a fact of life. We will live with less stress if we are at peace with the concept of money and role it plays in everyday life.
Our money values begin in early childhood. As a child we’re absorbing the emotions that money evokes within the family. As impressionable children, we are either enjoying what we’re learning or we’re beginning to associate negativity with having or not having money.
~ Many “experts” feel that the earlier children learn to appreciate, respect and enjoy money the better. The sooner children begin saving and setting goals for their savings, the stronger the savings habit. The money values that develop from placing money in savings and working toward a long-term goal are priceless. Often, even we adults “fight” with ourselves over the desire for instant gratification versus keeping our eyes on the bigger picture.
~ Another invaluable lesson is to help children understand where money comes from. In this day and age, children are watching as money comes out of a magical machine – put in a card, punch a few buttons and money appears. In reality, it comes from working, investing and saving.
Earning, investing and saving are powerful lessons. An allowance is a great way to begin showing children how to work and earn money. Then after earning their money the lesson turns to spending. The rule of thumb is to save, share and spend. What a wonderful lesson to learn at an early age!
~ Include children in on planning vacations and other fun things the family can do with money. This aspect of enjoying money will become a powerful unconscious money value. The conscious and unconscious values we are gathering during childhood last our entire life. Having fun with money is an influential aspect of earning money. Enjoying money should be part of the family’s financial goal setting process – something to plan, save for and enjoy together. Goal setting is also a practical lesson in the positives of delayed gratification.
Talking with children openly and honestly about money is a valuable life-long lesson. Talk to children about both the emotional and physical aspects of earning, saving, sharing and enjoying money. Taking the mystery out of money is a powerful wealth-building tool. Today’s little savers are tomorrow’s wealth-builders.
Sharon Michaels is beginning a new two month VIP (Very Important Professional) MasterMind Group on September 26, 2009. If you’re ready to go to the next success level in your life and your career, you’ll want to join us. Click here for all the details: Sharon's VIP MasterMind Group
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