Spoiled Kids… Not In My House!
I've always been fascinated by the fact that while they teach us Math, English, Science and a bunch of other subjects in school, money or financial health is not part of the curriculum in America. If schools are not gonna teach this then it's up to parents to share this with their kids, even if its a selfish act and it's done to avoid raising spoiled kids. Forbes points out 7 great tips parents can use from Ron Lieber's book The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money
1. Use an allowance as a teaching tool.
According to a 2012 study by the American Institute of CPAs, among the 61% of parents who pay their children an allowance, 89% of them require the completion of at least an hour’s worth of chores to earn it. (The average was 6.2 hours of chores a week.)
2. Have them split their allowance into three jars: give, save and spend.
Lieber says these jars mimic a grown-up budget. Financially healthy adults will spend about 80% of what they earn, save 15%-20%, and give the remainder — and each jar serves as a stand-in for the values and virtues that are the opposite of spoiled.
3. Let your children make their own spending decisions.
If you want your kids to make smart financial choices, they need autonomy. “They’ll inevitably make mistakes or spend money on trinkets and regret it later when they don’t have money for things they truly want,” says Lieber. “So letting them make mistakes — spectacular ones even — is a great way to go, because then they learn, and they’re not making mistakes when they’re 24 and it could screw up their credit score.”
4. Explain how you distinguish between wants vs. needs.
Every family will have its own threshold for this, but even more important than how you define a want vs. a need is that you communicate why you set the line there.
5. Involve them in your giving decisions.
When you allocate your charity budget, get your children’s input. With his own daughter, Lieber and his wife put 100 beans on their dining room table to represent their donations for the year (because she was 8, they didn’t get into the dollar amounts) and then set aside beans for various charities based on where they had previously donated, solicitations they had received and their own interests and priorities.
6. Have your kids work.
For his book, Lieber spent a lot of time with farm families, to remind himself of what life is like when it’s assumed kids will work from the earliest possible age. “They can shoot guns and drive tractors at the age of 5. So they’re capable of making us dinner at the age of 10, as MasterChef Junior has proven,” he says.
7. Practice gratitude.
Though saying grace has gone out of fashion, Lieber says every family should say it. “People think it’s hokey or it feels a little odd, but if it doesn’t feel right to you, that means you are doing it wrong and you need a new ritual,” he says.