111 Things I Want My Kids to Understand About Money

Teaching Financial Literacy & Money Matters to Children.

These are ideas, lessons, concepts and values I want my children to learn, understand & embrace regarding money. Some of these I definitely learned the hard way. Others, I was able to learn vicariously.

By way of qualifications – I did earn my Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Finance from Binghamton University in 1990 along with a psychology degree. Additionally, I earned my CFP (Certified Financial Planner) in 2007, and have been a practicing financial advisor for nearly 20 years. Some of these points about money & budgeting I learned from courses & books – others were definitely life experiences and the school of hard-knocks!

Although I don’t yet have 111 of them – and I plan on adding to this list over time, I felt there was enough here to post at this time.

111 Things I Want My Kids to Understand About Money

  1. You can’t really get control or improve your financial situation until you understand that you need to accept responsibility for it. The longer you blame someone else or something else – the more delayed your arrival to financial freedom.
  2. You are responsible for your financial situation and you can do A LOT to improve it.
  3. People & companies are sophisticated, persistent & creative in their attempts to take money away from you.
  4. Advertisements are designed to convince you that you need their products. You probably don’t.
  5. Resist impulse purchases. Institute a self-imposed mandatory waiting period before you buy something – and force yourself to return items that don’t live up to your expectations.
  6. Debt is not your friend and is dangerous.  With taking on debt you are spending today, dollars that you have not yet earned. You may be able to earn those dollars – but have not yet.  Therefore, in the future – you will need to earn enough to not only cover current expenditures, but those past one you have not paid for yet too. Opposite of saving – which is dollars earned today are saved to be spent in the future.
  7. If you have debt – attack it with vigor and intensity. Make a game of reducing it as much as possibly – on a monthly, weekly – or even daily basis.
  8. “Compound interest is the 8th Wonder of the World. He who understands it, earns it, he who doesn’t, pays it” Albert Einstein
  9. Start saving early and make saved dollars work for you. 
  10. Make saving, and giving, a habit.
  11. Understand the difference between needs and wants.  There is a true difference – and it is not very nuanced or subtle.
  12. Identify your tendencies to rationalize that you need something that is really just a want.
  13. Money is a tool – and like most tools – it may injure you if you are careless with it.
  14. Save some money, give some money away to those in need and spend some.
  15. Only spend money on things that are important to YOU!
  16. Don’t waste money trying to keep up with the Joneses.
  17. It is easier to make up a lost opportunity as opposed to lost money.
  18. Experiences are more important than things.  Allocate you money accordingly! Read my post HERE.
  19. You can’t buy time or youth back no matter how much money you have.
  20. You can’t take it with you, really…
  21. Don’t use money as a weapon or as a way to impress others.  Rather, only as a way to help others.
  22. If you don’t understand it – don’t invest in it.
  23. Don’t advertise your financial situation – whether it is good or bad.
  24. Don’t let money destroy a relationship.
  25. Don’t let money become the basis for a relationship.
  26. Don’t let money define you.
  27. Don’t let money limit who you are either, or what you become.
  28. Don’t lend money to friends or family that you can’t afford to lose.
  29. Your parents don’t owe you an inheritance.
  30. Before you marry someone, you need to have meaningful discussions about money and make sure you are on the same page.
  31. As Christians, we recognize that we are entrusted financial resources and have a duty to God to be good stewards of such monies.
  32. Tying up a lot of capital in a car is not wise choice. It is a depreciating asset that is worth less every day and with every mile driven. It is a very inefficient use of capital.
  33. Money can not buy you happiness or friends.  It may help create the illusion of happiness – but true happiness comes from within.
  34. Just because everyone else has “X” does not mean you need to have it too.
Credit card
  1. Don’t get a credit card until your spending habits are responsible and firmly established. Otherwise – it is like carrying a loaded gun – pointed at yourself!
  2. If your parents don’t give you everything you want – they are teaching you an important lesson about money & budgeting.
  3. Frugal is good, stingy is not.
  4. Pennywise – pound foolish. You don’t want to be so focused on saving money in any way possible that it ultimately ends up in you having to spend more money (& maybe time) because of some of the foolish ways you cut corners earlier!
  5. Be mindful about your financial situation – but not obsessed about it.
  6. As the Bible says – you can’t serve two masters. God is the master for you to serve – not money.
  7. Is money the root of all evil? The Bible does not say that MONEY is the root of all evil – but rather that the LOVE of money is the root of all evil! 1 Timothy 6:10
  8. Live on less than you make.
  9. When investing, don’t be too greedy – or too fearful.
  10. Build a good financial foundation – before you start to invest.
  11. Sometimes a zero percent return is really, really good! The first time you lose money on an investment – you will have a much greater appreciation for this fact.
  12. Having a reserve account is imperative to having a good financial foundation.
  13. Make smaller mistakes while you are younger – that’s why we incentivize you with money sometimes & encourage you to make your own purchasing & spending decisions.
  14. Money is tied up DEEPLY with psychology.
  15. It’s NEVER worth dying for!
  16. If money can fix it – it’s not really that big of a problem.
  17. Not everyone has a price, make sure you are someone that doesn’t.
  18. The best things in life really are free.
  19. Appreciate what you have, rather than lamenting what you don’t.
  20. As your father, I don’t want you to remember me for what I bought you, but rather what I taught you.
  21. Gambling is like smoking, don’t ever even try it….
  22. Money spent on travel is money well spent.
  23. Most times, investments of time & money into people will be your very best investments & yield the greatest return.
  24. Only insure things, the loss of which, would change the trajectory of your future. Therefore, don’t insure your TV, phone, or watch…
  25. PASSIVE income is powerful! You want to set up endeavors and business that don’t always require you to be there to simply trade hours-for-dollars. Think of real estate or blogging / vloggin. You can be making money while you sleep or are on vacation! Check out TheBlogIncomeProject.com Start sooner than later – since blogging / vlogging and niche websites can take some time to build and mature before then may bear much fruit.
Empty wallet
  1. If your available resources (income) are always just meeting your current needs – maybe you need to re-center and find some contentment. Money & material things might be becoming an idol that you are serving.


Default image

Blessed father of 4 wonderful children & trophy husband to 1 lovely wife. Part-time blogger, full-time nerd & aspiring Renaissance man!

Articles: 186

All constructive comments are welcome!

%d bloggers like this: