Dave Ramsey taught his kids 6 financial lessons to remember

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As if parenting wasn’t hard enough, we’re also responsible for making sure our kids learn solid financial lessons.


Most important points:

  • Money habits are formed by the time a child is 7 years old.
  • The most powerful lessons a child learns about money comes from looking at you.

As someone who has ever had to file for bankruptcy, Dave Ramsey knows how easy it is to get into financial trouble. By the time Ramsey’s children were born, he had more than a few money lessons to share.

Here’s what the Ramsey kids learned about money.

1. If you want money, you have to work

Ramsey does not believe in giving money to children ‘to breathe’. Just as they have to do when they are adults, children have to earn their income. That could mean paying them for chores like taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, or cleaning up their toys. Teaching children that they will have nothing in life prepares them for the day when they have to make it on their own.

2. Spend with wisdom

Children are impulsive by nature and their spending habits can be too. Let’s say a 10-year-old has $10 and sees a small toy they want to buy. That’s your chance to remind them that it’s okay if they buy that toy, but if you do, they might not be able to buy a football net or video game they saved up for. They may not understand the meaning of ‘opportunity cost’, but they will learn that everything is a trade-off. If they want something today, it may take longer to save for something they dreamed of.

3. Patience pays off

Delayed gratification is difficult for many adults and even more so for children. Teaching a child to spend money wisely shows that patience pays off. When a child is small, it’s easy to illustrate how patience pays off by having them save up for something they really want, then take them to the store to buy it with their own money. When they grow up to be teenagers and you help them open a savings account, they will learn how compound interest can grow their money if they leave it alone. As they learn how to invest, they will make a clear connection between patience and the power of compound interest.

4. Be generous

While it may sound counterintuitive, researchers have shown that “givers” are happier than “takers.” In fact, the brain activity associated with happiness increases simply by making a commitment to be generous to others. As humans, we feel better about life when we help someone else. Whether that means helping to buy food to donate to a local pantry, collecting school supplies for other children, or giving money to charity, children have the opportunity to learn how good it feels to be generous. to be.

5. Debt is not your friend

After his own experience of foreclosures, Ramsey took the opportunity to keep the interest of debt free. If something is worth having or doing, it is worth saving for.

6. Don’t forget to be thankful

Gratitude is a difficult skill to learn, especially in a world of consumerism. During childhood, children are bombarded with thousands of images telling them they need a new gaming system, a pair of tennis shoes, or whatever advertising they may be. Life becomes an endless race to own ‘things’. And that loop never ends unless you teach them how to stop and take a moment to be thankful for what they have. Desire for more does nothing but rob them of the joy they might experience.

And here’s the tricky part of Ramsey’s classes: you have to model them yourself. A study from the University of Cambridge revealed that money habits are formed in children by the time they are 7 years old. They learn by watching you. Everything you do, from going to work every day to earn money to being generous to others, stays with them. It becomes their blueprint for making financial decisions.

If it’s important to you to raise kids who can handle money, you’re in the perfect position to teach them how.

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