This “ Kids Teach Us Better Financial Management “ describes what kids teach their parents. I should say, this post describes what parents need to learn from their kids. This post first appeared at The Distilled Dollar as my guest post. This post contains affiliate links/ads. See disclosure policy.
When I was young, all I had to do was to be a good kid and do well in school. Those were the things my mom and dad told me were my jobs. Nothing more, nothing less than those. So, that’s what I did. But now, my life is different. Now, I wear different hats. I am a father, blogger, husband, comedian to my daughter, etc.
As parents, we always want what’s best for our family especially for our kids. We do everything we can to make our kids’ lives better. We teach them the values of life. We teach them the right and wrong things about anything and everything based on our own beliefs.
When I was single, many of my friends who are parents told me that kids teach elders, too. Being the inexperienced person I was way back then, I easily dismissed what they told me because I had no basis for comparison. I did have young nephews and nieces back then, but it was still different because I didn’t have a kid of my own. I did not have anything to validate what they were talking about.
Years forward, I realized what they meant. Maybe it’s just hard to understand such things when you don’t have that experience (i.e. having kids to raise).
How Kids Teach Us Better Financial Management
As I go through life together with my loving wife and my dear daughter, I really learn a lot from my daughter. Here are some of the things I have learned from my daughter.
Go with the basics
Kids teach us to be happy and be contented.
When my daughter showed interest in playing with toys, we gave her building block toys we bought for $5. Up to now, she likes playing those toys. Many of our friends and family have given toys to her.
My daughter played these fancy toys for only a couple of times. After that, she goes back to her mechanical block toys. Regardless of how many toys she has, she would still play them like she has not play them before.
So, how does she and her actions teach me and my wife about our finances? The answer is simple and straightforward. My daughter shows us that even when there are better and more appealing products out in the market, we can or should always come back to the basic products because they simply provide us what we need. We realized that if our baby can do that, so can we.
Go try again
From time to time, I see my daughter getting mad or frustrated when she is not able to accomplish what she wants to do.
When we see her in this situation, we help her and explain her what she has to do to make things work. We tell her to be patient. We also tell her to try again until she gets it.
I pretty sure there are other kids and parents out there who went through or going through these events.
What’s the lesson here?
When we go through some tough times like dealing with debt, it seems that life is not going to get any better. Actually, it could and/or it will. You need to exert extra effort to make things work. If you need help, ask for one.
Go be creative
Kids are creative and imaginative. Often times, they have imaginary friends. They play with them and have fun. They make something out of nothing.
As parents, we sometimes forget to be creative because of the many things going on simultaneously. We focus too much on the things in front of us that we tend to forget to think outside the box. The same reasoning goes with our finances.
Kids teach us how to be resourceful. As parents we need to make ends meet when we have to do. We need to stretch our money when we need to. We need to learn what and where we can cut down or cut out. We can use our DIY talents that may still be dormant inside our subconscious mind.
Go learn some more
Kids learn new things constantly. They learn all the time. They learn how to play with other kids. They learn new talents and skills and so many other things. They are sponge in that they pick up anything and everything from anywhere and everywhere.
As parents or as adults, we learn as well and we do learn every day. Just because we are all grown up does not mean we stop learning. Learning about finances shouldn’t be an exception.
The lesson here is that we should and can educate ourselves about investments, savings, spending, among other. This education can and will help us make better decisions with regard to personal finance. For the most part, the one thing that separates us from learning things is our lack of willingness to learn and make time for them.
I do not know of any parents who have put off their needs so their kids can get theirs.
When I was a young man, I always thought my nephews and nieces were spoiled because they were able to get what they needed but my siblings (i.e. their parents) had to give way for their kids.
As parents we learn how to sacrifice so our kids can have a better future. We sacrifice because we like our kids to have more than what we have.
If we know how to sacrifice for our kids, we can always set aside our wants so we can fulfill our needs. We grow older each day and many of us will want to retire in the future. Would it be too much to sacrifice now and save money so we can have a good life later? Is it too much to ask to save money for emergency so we can have money to meet those emergencies later on in our lives?
Go do what I say and do
Parents teach their kids why needs are more important over wants. That’s good. Many children follow their parents because they understand their parents are teaching what is best for them.
Unfortunately, a number of these parents go on to buy what they want for themselves, which is opposite to what they teach.
Kids do teach us the lessons of acting and listening appropriately based on what is taught. Parents should also learn from these lessons.
If we want our kids to follow us, we need always need to set ourselves as examples for them. If we teach our kids how to prioritize needs over wants, we should always do what we say and not what we do.
What do you think kids teach you about (better) personal finance management?