Most of us either have kids, grandkids or will have kids someday. And one of many great inheritances you can pass down is the characteristics on how to behave with money. It’s not about building wealth. It’s about creating margin through giving, saving and living. Mark Cuban puts it like this, “Cut up your credit cards. If you use a credit card, you don’t want to be rich. The first step to getting rich, requires discipline. If you really want to be rich, you need to find the discipline, can you?” http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-get-rich-2011-8#ixzz33lllD77D King Solomon put it like this, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5. If you are reading this thinking there’s much more to life then to be rich; you are absolutely correct. But rich can mean so much more then growing your dollars. But you are able to give and bless others (using money) a lot more when you are rich. One example of being rich can be being debt free with $20k in the bank. Don’t compare your situation to others. Enjoy being rich. Enjoy blessing others.
I don’t think Mark is saying you can’t be rich and use credit cards. We all know someone who is wealthy and uses credit cards. What I believe Mark is leading to is if you are rich/wealthy, create the discipline that it takes to not use credit cards. That is the CHARACTERISTIC that is being strengthened in your life and the life of the kids or grandkids that are observing you through your actions and conversation. More is caught then taught.
Lets encourage our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews to create an income. Lemonade stand, washing cars in the neighborhood, cutting yards, blowing leaves, walking dogs (yes, people will pay to have their dogs walked). You get the point. Now that they are creating an income we can create the teachable moments. If they are real young (elementary age) get 2 washed out peanut butter containers. Remember as a kid how awesome it was to see crumpled up dollar bills in your piggy bank?!?! Create this experience for them. As it grows, they will actually see the progress! Label one as “giving,” one as “saving.” When they receive their pay, have him/her put a portion in each container (you come up with what’s best for your household.) So when your child or grandchild wants to buy that next video game or doll, begin the exercise of saving up in the ole’ peanut butter container until they have enough. And remember along the way they are funding giving to. These creates a characteristic of one who will enjoy giving but has prepared the funds for giving.
Now don’t get to legalistic. Obviously there will be times you will buy your child somethings because it’s your child. Baseball cleats, clothes, etc. But find the opportunity for the child to save up for “that special purchase.”
The same principles apply for an older child or grandchild but you may want to use envelopes instead of a clear plastic jar. Encourage them to create an income or maintain an income while doing weekly taskings around the house. But the older kids or grandkids will have 3 envelopes. Give, save and live. As they are saving for a car they also need to practice on saving for living. Going to the movies, gasoline, eating out with friends.
As your loved ones watch you and hear you discussing your monthly plan, they will be more encouraged to do one each month too. Hopefully this summer 2014 you can create or continue these teachable moments to strengthen the characteristics to steward the money God has blessed us with. Yes we work and work hard for it. But without Him creating us, blessing us and loving us, we would be nothing.