These are the financial habits you actually NEED to teach your kids

Positive financial habits are so much more than saving and maintaining a budget.

These are the financial habits you actually NEED to teach your kids

Positive financial habits are so much more than saving and maintaining a budget.
  • But I want it! I want to buy it! Just get money from the bank!

  • As soon as I heard those words come out from my 6-year-old daughter's mouth, I felt like a failure as a mother. Where did I go wrong? Whose entitled kid is this? And I thought that we had this type of behavior where she throws a fit whenever she doesn't get what she wants all worked out. Sigh.

  • Raising Kids These Days is Hard

  • There's pressure to be the best parent on the block. We're too scared to make mistakes because we get bashed online. With the rising popularity of social media platforms these days, everybody can just air out their opinion regarding your parenting skills, unsolicited or otherwise.

  • Also, with hundreds of thousands of parenting tips on the interwebs, it can totally short circuit an exhausted mother's brain. It leaves you more confused than ever.

  • A Pinterest pin says you should spoil your kids because having nice things will teach them to be responsible. Another blog post says reversing indulgent parenting can lead to a happier family life.

  • Pshhh.

  • I have come to realize that in order for my family to work, I should focus on what MY family needs and what works for us. One urgent family matter that definitely needs working on ASAP is the state of our finances.

  • After I attended a financial literacy forum, I realized that my husband and I have made so many bad financial decisions in the past. Things that left us where we are now. More than the hard realization though, I was encouraged to turn our situation around.

  • So when exactly is the best time to plan for your financial freedom? They say 20 years ago. The next best time? TODAY. It is never too late until it's too late!

  • By making changes in our financial habits starting today, I know that we can make it financially. Also, I have two kids whom I want to be more exposed to financial matters than I was at their age. The earlier they start, the more likely they'll achieve financial understanding and freedom at an early age.

  • With these small but important changes, I am hoping that I will be able to instill positive financial habits in my kids.

  • We are NOT Poor

  • In the past, I told my kids that we were poor. We couldn't afford to buy toys. Our money was just enough for food/groceries. What exactly was I teaching my kids whenever I said those lines? I was telling them to STOP and accept the fact that we are POOR and we CANNOT afford to buy stuff.

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  • What I forgot was that I wanted them to learn to GO FOR IT.

  • Just not right now.

  • BUT we can find other ways like SAVING their allowance so we can go back and buy the toy as soon as they have enough.

  • We are poor because we are poor - this is not a tautology. The culture of poverty is self-perpetuating. We are poor because our people are lazy. - F. Sionil José

  • What the Filipino novelist, writer and journalist F. Sionil José pointed out as one of the reasons why Filipinos are so poor struck a chord with me. He said it in a manner so raw that it is painful to read.

  • Each time I was telling my kids to stop asking for a certain item because we can't afford it, I was really telling them to stop dreaming for something bigger. To be content and stuck.

  • That's exactly the opposite of what I want my kids to learn! I want them to dream big and to go for it. So today, I never tell my kids that we are poor or that we can't afford it. I ask them what they think WE CAN DO so we can afford it one day.

  • Kids and Money Talk

  • For some reason, I felt awkward talking about our finances in front of the kids. This especially happens when we are on a tight budget. If the kids are around, my husband and I talk in a curt and veiled manner. What I didn't realize was that by doing this, I lost the opportunity to teach my kids the value of money. Instead, albeit inadvertently, I was showing them that money matters is something that we should be scared of.

  • What I should have done was be upfront that we have limitations. That mom and dad are doing their best to make ends meet and to make it work, and we need their cooperation. That way, they will better understand why we may delay buying new shoes or why we need to forgo dessert at the restaurant.

  • I tried to change my technique just this weekend when my 6-year-old daughter and I went grocery shopping. My daughter loves a specific chocolate drink. She drinks it every single morning. Upon comparing it with another brand, I saw that we can save money by switching. I showed both products to my daughter and naturally, she reached out for her favorite brand. I took the opportunity to explain to her that if we get the other brand, we get to save money which will mean we can afford to buy additional food supplies for the week.

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  • "OK, Mom!"

  • Right then and there, I felt that I am on the right track. Not only was I able to teach my kid how to stretch our budget, that short explanation saved me from the headache of a tantrum had I just said no directly to buying her favorite drink.

  • You Can't Model What You Aren't

  • Walk the talk. Practice what you preach. Do what you say, say what you do. We can quote all the quotes in the world regarding behavior modeling but the bottom line is we can't model what we aren't.

  • Kids learn from watching adults and more often than not, the first models in their lives are the primary caregivers. Kids are like sponges. They absorb observable behaviors and this includes unhealthy ones. If I want my kids to develop good behaviors, I need to to be a good role model.

  • Instead of telling the kids to save money, I have decided that moving forward, I will take them to the bank whenever I make a deposit into our account. My husband and I are also planning to open a separate bank account for each of them by the end of this year. By doing this, I am showing consistency in my values and actions.

  • Another thing that I want to expose my kids to is how to invest. I'm looking at getting a mutual fund for the kids as soon as they have saved enough money in the bank and since I want money matters to be a family matter, I plan to take them with me (especially the 12 year old) when we're finally ready to talk to a financial advisor so that they will hear the benefits first hand.

  • Consistency is Key

  • While I cannot predict the future, what I can do as a parent is to be consistent in guiding the kids. To help them build a good foundation of knowledge and pray for their future. If I want them to grow up as responsible and financially sound adults, I need to be consistent with my guidance.

  • I am raising my kids so they can leave me in the future.

  • With confidence.

  • With pride.

  • And with gratefulness.

  • Editor's note: This article was originally published on The Missus V. It has been republished here with permission.

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Jhanis Vincentté is your friendly motherblogger from Cebu. She has received many awards for her work including Healthline – Best Mom Blogs 2017, ESCooped – Cebu’s Top Family Blogger 2016, Top 10 Blogs Voice Boks Comedy Edition, Bloggys 2015 – Finalist, Family and Relationships Category. She has also been featured on and She also blogs at


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