My grandmother raised my brother and me. I know if you have ever heard me speak or listened to me on a podcast interview I always talk about my parents and not my grandma. So, let me clarify this statement. For about 7 or 8 years we (me and my brother) lived with grandma.
My father was always there because it was his mother. And we saw my mom once every week or two depending on her work schedule. Grandma raised my brother and I in what I call the development stages from elementary into middle school. Then we moved in with mom in high school. Now that that’s cleared up let’s move on.
Money is where my grandmother dropped the ball. She didn’t teach us anything about it. It’s not her fault there was a big generational gap between us. Besides she had already raised her children and she shouldn’t have been put in a position to raise us too.
Grandparents Money is Not an Adult Topic
For all you grandparents reading this post I understand. I understand that back in your day money was an adult topic, and not to be discuss with children. That is no longer the case. Generation after generation of parents not teaching their kids about money has led to an environment where we are making more money than ever before. But we don’t know what to do with it, we’re not saving any of it, and debt is the highest it’s ever been.
Be Specific in Every Money Lesson
It’s okay to be specific this younger generation wants details. Tell them your stories, give them your example and things to do and not to do. Money is now a kid topic. But if there is no adult to share real life content with context it makes the process of learning about money harder for kids. It’s okay of you don’t know all the answers. Share the answers you do know. And share the mistakes you made that you don’t want them to repeat.
It’s Not Just about Saving Money
We’ve all heard the saying “Save for a rainy day”. But today there’s a lot more going on than just saving for a rainy day. Yes, that is a start but there is more to the conversation. Talk to them about earning money. How do you get money in the first place? Talk to them about giving. How do you give and be compassionate towards other people and their needs?
Teach them about responsibility. Just because you have a lot of money doesn’t mean you should spend it all. This topic does fall into savings, but it also falls into realizing what’s most important in life. Teach kids about gratitude and being thankful for the things that they already have. And teach them how to be humble.
Don’t Give Cash
Stop giving your “grand monsters” MONEY on their birthday, holiday, and in graduation cards. Wellllll stop giving them so much money. Give them less money and a deposit bank receipt. Open your grandkids up a savings account and make deposits for the events I listed before.
I know you want them to use this money to buy themselves something. Two problems with that is your grandchildren will most likely buy crap or their parents (your child) is going to take it and buy crap. So, stop giving them money and start saving that money for them. If you start when they are young who knows what the total could be when they get older. You can always do both put some in the bank and give them a little less in the celebration card.
You Can Disagree with Your Children
We all know that grandparents are gold. They’re the reasons you get to eat candy during the week. Their house is where you want to go on the weekends? A lot of people’s fondest memories is at Grandma’s house for the summers. And Grandma’s Sunday dinners after church is always the best.
Everyone may not agree with this next statement but…
Grandparents have no reason to follow parent rules. So, if you want to teach your grandkids about money. Teach them about money. If you have a different point of view than their parents. Teach your point of view.
Children learn in different ways and different kids learn faster from various people. So, any advice that you can give your grand kids about money that’s positive give it to them. Any money advice that helped you in the past can be useful to them.
Your advice can help them grow in their financial future no matter their parent’s opinion about money. Just because we raise our children does not mean we can determine what kind of adult they turn out to be. If you feel like you need permission, then reading this blog VALIDATES you and here’s your permission. Now go teach your grand-babies.
For more on this topic visit my other article about teaching kids money.
If your 50+ and you need to get your finances in order check out my friend and blogger Kristen Edens