Teaching kids to win with $

We’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey for a while now but we really JUST started following the program recently. Like any other life improvement skills you learn, I think it’s natural to want to teach your children.

I want to launch my kiddos into the world PREPARED for awesomeness. I was taught the value of hard work, earning a living and being *kind of* frugal, not terribly materialistic as a child. But I wasn’t necessarily taught how to “win with money” as Dave says. And I’ve had a lack mindset most of my life, a paycheck to paycheck mindset, a car payment mindset. What’s annoying is we certainly don’t lack. I’ve long been aware of God’s blessing, but it’s just recently that I’ve been able to see it moving to ABUNDANCE.

I want to teach my kids everything I’ve learned before they leave. I want them to be able to be successful with money as they graduate. That requires work and intentionality. Luckily, Dave has laid much of it out. In fact, one of the things that inspires me the most for them is Dave’s Ben. Vs. Arthur example.


My goodness, if we can get our kids started NOW…the implications! Money affects our lives in so many ways…makes us take jobs we might not like, causes us to miss out on certain opportunities…might even cause us to bend our values here and there. Of course, in a relationship, money can be one of THE biggest sources of stress. And, if we teach them now, maybe they won’t be worried about being able to retire like most people I know. Even more, the implications of being able to be generous, to live life with one handful of tranquility and the other hand open with generosity. That is a vision I have for my entire family.


Teaching them these things requires me to be more diligent than I ever could do on my own. They’ve been doing chores and helping around the house since they could walk but I’m not as disciplined about it as I could be. And I’m not that way with paying them either. So, that’ll be part of truly teaching them.

What we’re doing now is a take on Dave’s “work for pay.” Dave wants you pay your kids on commission. As in not an allowance. You get paid when and if you work. If you don’t, you don’t get paid. He has a junior version of FPU you can buy for $25. His goal is for you to teach kids the value of work as well as of money. PS: He also teaches us that there should be some things they’re doing just because they get to live there. We call that family duty. So, for my kiddos that’s going to school and doing their homework, keeping their room clean and their personal hygiene. And things like unloading groceries, helping with their sister and setting the table. Just basic things. Their “chores” are doing the trash and recyclables, kitchen duties, cleaning the bathrooms, laundry and cleaning out the car. They can earn an extra quarter by doing certain yardwork or if their dad or I need extra help with something.

We decided we wanted them to make about $10 a month, so they get $2.50 a week and have the ability to earn more. We have a checklist on the fridge, each chore is worth a certain amount of money. Mine is pretty boring, but check out this one. She did a wonderful job.

We also want to teach them the principles of giving and saving. So, at the beginning of the month, they set aside $1 to give. They set aside $0.50 each week to save. Then they get to do what they want with the rest. My son wants to save every penny and his sister already has it spent before she gets it.

Rachel lays out the basics in this video. In FPU, she says she had a clear container (think cheese balls or pretzels) where she saved cash as a kid. It was a rule and it allowed the Ramsey kids to see their money. I like that idea, and so would my son (especially the eating cheeseballs part). But…

Goodness, that’s a lot of stuff. AND THAT’S NOT EVEN ALL OF IT!

We are fortunate that the local credit union partners with their school. The kids opened a savings account and are able to make deposits every other Friday at their school. They get prizes, deposit slips and general money skills with it and it’s really an awesome program. I am very grateful the bank does that-though I know they have their aims-because it is assisting us. It just happened to line up that they started this school right when we started Ramseying (I’ve made it a verb). I mean…no it didn’t just happen. God happened, am I right?


As far as giving, my church has taught my oldest about tithing pretty well. I also want them to save money to sponsor a child themselves next Christmas. I’ll do an entire thing about…I think it’ll really teach them about giving and generosity.

As I said before, the goal here is to put them out into the world with wisdom! Especially with wisdom that I wish I’d had. By giving them wisdom and requiring discipline now (that’s really the trick to it, isn’t it?) I HOPE they’ll be able to win with money. When we attended our first FPU class and went around the group, nearly every single person said teaching their kids these principles (and the rest of the 7 baby steps) was a huge motivation for them. As it is with us. Dave always says we can “change our family tree.” I think teaching them these things is a BIG BIG part of that. Sure, I hope that we get to step 7 soon and can be outrageously generous. But I REALLY want my kids to be the first ones that don’t worry about money in our family tree. The first ones that don’t panic when someone mentions retirement. The first ones that don’t live paycheck to paycheck for decades. The first ones that don’t see spending less, doing less, abstaining as the only way to make ends meet. I want them to see ways to build wealth, not reduce expenses. I want an abundance mindset that is rooted in faith, discipline, hard work and generosity!


What about you? What are you teaching your kids? What’s working? What doesn’t work? What are your hopes for them?

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