Being a parent can be tough. You want so much better for your kids than you had and want them to be so much more informed than you were.
But how can you be a good role model (especially when it comes to money), when you’ve made mistakes and aren’t 100% perfect on the topic?
Don’t worry — you still can be. Here are four quick ways you can be a good money role model RIGHT NOW.
Talk about it
I’m big on talking. Kids learn from many different sources; you as a parent should be #1 on that list. Also, kids listen more than you think, so don’t worry that what you say is going to fall on deaf ears.
Here are a few topics to get you started:
- Mistakes you’ve made and what you wish you would have done differently (here’s one of mine)
- How and what you’re learning
- Smart decisions you’re making now
- What you want to teach them
- Check out some of our communication-related posts for more ideas
Kids love to be involved in making decisions, too, so consider consulting them the next time you have a money-related decision to make.
Look for alternatives
My son brings home a monthly book fair flyer from Scholastic. He circles the books that he wants and either I or his dad buy them. I love that he’s a good reader and definitely want to encourage that in him. Last month was particularly tight for me, though, so I had to come up with an alternative.
I checked the library. Two were available (one I could get that day and the other I requested to be sent to our local library). He was totally fine with it. It didn’t make sense to buy the third book (it was the second in a set and he didn’t have the first), so we talked about asking for those for Christmas. Again, totally fine.
This is a recent example of us looking for alternatives, but what other alternatives can you find if you look?
Make a plan
If I go to the grocery store without a list, I come home with TONS of groceries I wouldn’t have otherwise bought. But if I have a plan going in, it’s a lot easier to stick to it and just buy what I need.
Whether it’s full on budgeting, saving for Christmas or even just thinking about your summer vacation, making a plan ahead of time and sticking to it shows that you’re committed to being intentional with money (and prioritizing what’s important to you).
In our world of credit cards and apps, there’s not a lot of cash flying around. It can be difficult to show kids exactly what’s happening when you slide a card at the gas station or grocery store.
- Your bank account balances
- Your pay stubs
- What you’re saving for and how you’re doing it
- How you pay your bills or taxes
You don’t have to be perfect — we’re all a work in progress. No matter how good (or not so good) you are with money, you can be a good money role model for your kids.
What other ideas do you have? Share in the comments below!