Thank you so much for all the great input here about money (in the comments). Man, there are so many great ideas out there.

Like the comments from this post about Hard Work (wow, lots of insight there), the ones from this “money” post are ones I’m going to need to refer to over and over again to get inspired. Thank you so much for adding to what I say here.

A perfect system to help kids learn to deal with money?

I think the bottom line about “money matters” is that sadly there is no perfect system for dealing with money. Every family is so different. Every child is so different. Every situation is so very different.

But may be not “sadly” because isn’t it cool that we all come from different places and we all get to figure out what works for us?

We’ve all had different experiences growing up. Some practically wasted away to nothingness to pay for their own college and have come away empowered and stronger because of it. Some in the same instances are probably bitter to the core because they had to scrimp by so much.

Some people got paid for helping around the house growing up, some were work-horses and still others probably had maids dusting around them as they never had to lift a finger. And because every personality is so different, each person is going to come out of their personal experiences differently.

But I believe wholeheartedly that even with all the differences in the world, teaching kids about money and how to save and work hard will always be a huge benefit.

This whole money thing has just made me realize teaching kids about money is something that has to be taught over and over again (just like my Dad went over the 10-20-70 thing like a broken record…yes, sort of annoying at the time, yet priceless in the long-run).

Money is such a huge issue. I don’t want my kids going into debt. I want them to know the value of a dollar. I want them to understand the importance of savings. And I certainly don’t want them to feel entitled to things they could benefit so much from earning themselves.

I also want them to have things they need. I want them to look nice and to wear decent clothes. I want them to have great opportunities and I want desperately for them to turn out differently than I did in the coordination arena (thus, sports training is a must). Of course as parents, Dave and I want to provide things for these ragamuffins we call our dear children. But we also want them to have the satisfaction of earning things. We want them to feel the joy of delayed gratification. We want them to take good care of things, and what better way to train them than to have them pay for at least part of them themselves?

It’s all a balancing act.

No, there is no perfect system for money matters aside from the system that reminds us continually that we need to be aware of it. We need to re-work it according to our needs (and those of our individual children), and we need to be conscientious about saving like nobody’s business.

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  1. Since we are in the thick of things in law school: every penny counts and we can't spend anything unless it is towards food or baby. Less than 2.5 more years of being students. BUT I know that in the end, we will look back and feel grateful for the lessons we learned and how important saving, budgeting, and trusting in the Lord will help us in the future. BUT, right now, it is reallllllly hard. and since "everybody goes through it" (like my mother likes to remind me), it is nice to know we're not the ONLY struggling student family!

  2. My parents taught us the value of money and now that I am an adult I am thankful my mom taught me to shop sales (mainly clearances). We ourselves do not have unnecessary debt (a mortgage is really a needful thing but when we bought our house we bought something we could afford 🙂 and though money is tight, like it is for most every young couple, we thank the Lord we don't have the looming bills that come every month for most young people.
    My parents did the 10-50-50 rule. Once we tithed to the church we had to put 1/2 of our earnings in the bank (an actual account once we had enough to open a savings) and 1/2 could be spent how we wanted. We plan to teach our kids very similar to that. Thanks for the practical posts about life and kids in general!

  3. Shawni, I was thinking about you today as I was doing some studying in my scriptures and came across D&C 76:79. I thought of your one word to focus on for the year and I thought that maybe mine would be Valiant. I could miss out on so much if I am not Valiant in my testimony of JC. It made me think, "is valiant the way I do my church work?" Anyway, thought I would let me know it made me think of you and I thought you would appreciate a good word and a good focus.

  4. I loved Elder Holland's talk in conference when he spoke about how hard he worked to pay for his mission and then came home to find out his parents worked over time to pay for his mission while he was gone so he could use that money to go to college. It made me teary eyed to hear him speak of his parents and the love they showed toward him and how they would do anything to help him. It made me realize that Heavenly Father wants the same thing for us that we want for our children. He wants us to learn to work hard and balance all the things we are trying to do and we are all different like you said and do it differently but in the end he wants to be there for us and help us as we learn life's lessons along the way. I like to look at with this perspective because us parenting our children is such an important part of God's plan as we try to emulate him.

  5. 10/20/70 is a nice idea. And it makes financial sense. But in making them do it sounds more like preparation for that first pay stub where it is decided for you this much goes toward federal, and this toward state and this toward insurance, and this toward social security.

  6. Well said! Our boys are pretty small right now, but we're still trying to show them that our family always sets savings aside. Thanks for sharing some great ideas!

  7. These days we are truly experiencing life's predicament and whether we like it or not, we have to experience it for us to be stronger and for us to be better in handling today's economic crisis. And I'm very glad that even though these times are hard, we still smile and we are still hopeful for a better tomorrow to come. Like you, I always make sure that I'll be giving the best for my family even if my husband is the only one working for our family. I make sure also that my husband's earnings from every day's hard work are being budgeted well.

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