You can give your kids all kinds of rules for playing with others: share, use nice words, don’t bite. But the moment a child understands that they should treat others like they’d like to be treated, the “rules” become less necessary.
The same is true for stewardship.
Christian stewardship is the simple belief that the universe was created by—and belongs to—God. And when we teach kids that we’re to care for creation on His behalf, it impacts everything—including money management. It’s not about teaching rules; it’s about developing a mindset.
Developing financial stewardship involves teaching kids how to be smart with money, modeling wise financial behavior, and equipping them with the best tools to manage their funds.
Even small children can grasp financial concepts, so don’t be afraid to start young. With younger kids, it’s as easy as allowing them to use their imaginations.
Why not create a pretend store where they can shop. You can use old cereal boxes or canned goods. The catch is that they only have a certain amount of “money,” so they have to shop carefully. Eventually, you can give them responsibilities on actual shopping trips.
They’ll also benefit from opportunities to learn about banking. A spending and savings account where they can put gift and allowance money is a great place to start.
If you want to learn more about bank account for kids, you can explore a popular option here.
Consider ways to show your kids how you monitor your finances. Do you have money-saving practices like clipping coupons, making shopping lists, or using a grocery-store app? Encourage them to help you.
Have you talked to your child about paying bills? Tithing? Have they seen a utility bill and understand that you pay for things like water and electricity? This builds awareness that stewardship requires choices and priorities.
And as you work on the household budget, your child can be part of the process by suggesting ways to reduce costs. This kind of involvement models what good stewardship looks like.
Equipping for Stewardship
Children are more comfortable with tech than ever before, and access to these tools can improve their understanding of banking. Some parents worry that giving their children access to banking tools too soon might encourage irresponsibility, but research shows that the opposite is true.
What children learn about finances will impact them their entire life, and the sooner you get them started, the better you’ll be able to reinforce a lifetime of smart money management. Studies show that by age seven, they’re already forming many of the financial habits and behaviors that will impact the rest of their life. So teach them to use these tools early.
Here are some ways to introduce digital banking basics:
1. Give kids their own debit card.
Many adults tend to think debit cards are unusual or unnecessary because they didn’t grow up with them. The fact is that they’re a regular part of managing money, and if we want to raise money-wise children, they need to be comfortable with debit cards, too.
If you want to learn more about debit cards made just for kids, ECCU provides details here.
2. Show them how to monitor their account online and protect their funds.
Stewardship is also about mindfulness. To be responsible for their finances, kids need to learn to keep track of their finances and keep them safe. One easy way to do that is by teaching your children to monitor accounts digitally. Some accounts even allow parents to monitor a child’s account from anywhere.
3. Teach them to deposit checks digitally and transfer money.
A couple of decades ago you might have taught kids to write a check or deposit cash into an account. As more and more banking is done digitally, it’s crucial that we equip kids to bank with the latest tools.
If you’d like more information about how you can teach your children financial stewardship with safe, hands-on tools, you may want to look into Start Young Saving and Spending Accounts from ECCU, the trusted source for financial resources. Start Young Accounts will equip your children to carefully and responsibly manage their money.
Your children are going to spend their entire lives learning to be stewards of God’s resources. Why not get them started today with financial lessons that last a lifetime?