Money is the root of all evil. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Money can’t buy you happiness.
If you grew up as a child of the baby boomer generation, I am sure you have heard all of these sayings before. So….. how is your relationship with money these days?
I grew up on television and movies where the ‘rich’ characters were all evil; think of Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons or Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol.
There are more relationship breakdowns and fights about money than anything else, even more than infidelity. It just goes to show how our own beliefs and lack of education about money can affect us in our role as parents.
I had to do a lot of work on my money beliefs over the last few years. Going from a ‘job’ where I was earning $25 an hour to suddenly having to charge $125 (which is now $1000 an hour) was a mind-blowing experience. The doubts crept in and I imagined I could hear people (mainly my friends and family) saying, “Who does she think she is? Thinking people will pay her that kind of money.”
We live in a country where we don’t support and champion those who are successful. We love the classic ‘Aussie Battler’ who has just got enough to live the ‘Australian Dream’. Heavens help us if that ‘battler’ does even better and becomes wealthy. All of a sudden we look for reasons why they have become one of those ‘rich people’.
In schools, we are taught so little about money. Sure, there is economics and business studies in high school however, by then we already have been exposed to our parent’s beliefs about money which depending on their own level of education and personal development could be very little.
If you talk about money in a negative tense, your children will grow up believing all the common misnomers that abound around money. Even if you are facing challenges around money, always look for ways of making it about you, rather than about money. You don’t need money to be happy but having money doesn’t make you unhappy. Especially if you know how to use it and give back where you can.
Talk to your kids about philanthropists like Bill Gates who although have billions of dollars are the most generous and giving people who are humble, caring and know that they can give back to so many people. If you do need to have tough conversations about money, it is advisable that you educate yourself and your partner about the best ways to handle these money conversations.
Whether you have 50 cents or $50 to give your children as pocket money or as we call it, future money, your child’s education around money should start from as young as 4 years of age. This begins their imprint period where they will form their beliefs about money for the rest of their impressionable years. Talk to them about separating their money into savings, ‘pay yourself first’, and spending money. With my 5 year old I even talk to him about donating 10%. The more your child knows about money, the more their relationship with it will be great.