How to Adjust Your Attitude About Money so Your Kids Can Learn from Your Example

Adjusting Your Attitude About Money

Adjusting your thinking about money
Adjusting your thinking about money

We try and do everything right when we raise our kids. We do our best to make sure they eat healthy, they get a good education, and they have a comfortable, stable place to live. One of the biggest things we can do for our children is be a good role model, and yet, so many of us drop the ball, especially when it comes to money.

Regardless of how much money you have, if you have a bad attitude about your finances, your children will pick up on it and model it throughout their lives. If you adjust your attitude about money, not only will you feel better, you can prevent your children from agonizing about money in the future.

Use Positive Language When You Talk About Money

Changing your attitude about money is a huge challenge. It isn’t something you’re going to change overnight. However, you can change how you talk about money, especially when those little ears are listening in from the other room.

If you complain when sending money with a money transfer service or you regularly talk about where you’re going to find the money to pay for an emergency car repair, you’re setting your children up to do the same.

Instead, put a positive spin on every financial situation, even if you don’t feel positive. Show gratitude that you even have a way to send money abroad or talk about how easy it will be to make that repair next month and your kids will pick up on your new tone.

Make Saving Exciting

Savings is hard. Especially since it usually involves delayed gratification. You won’t use what you save today for months, years, or even decades down the road.

Kids have an even harder time with this, but it’s a lot easier if you make savings exciting! Decorate a savings jar so they can see the money piling up.

You can also save with a purpose. Your child will be more excited about saving if they know they’re saving to go to summer camp or for a special family trip.

Model Forgiveness When You Make a Money Mistake

We all have money regrets. It’s easy to feel like we’ve made a huge mistake, and if only we hadn’t, we would be so much better off right now.

It never does well to dwell in the past, especially if you have little ones around. Instead, you need to heal your financial regrets so you can model forgiveness in front of your children.

That means:

  • Talking about it
  • Identifying the belief that encouraged your regret
  • Finding the silver lining
  • Coming up with a new plan

Even just modeling the fact that you’re trying to forgive yourself can teach your children that it’s a worthwhile thing to do when we think we’ve failed.

Don’t Be Stingy

You want to teach your children to save, but that doesn’t mean you want to teach them that money is hard to come by so they better hang onto it whenever they can. You want to teach them that it comes and goes, which means not being stingy with your money.

By all means, look for the cheapest discounts at the grocery store, but don’t hold back when it comes to donating or paying for good service at a restaurant, a great haircut, or fast pizza delivery. Money has a strange way of coming back to those who give it away mindfully, which is always a good lesson to teach the kids.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

No matter what the topic, comparing yourself to others kills happiness. You shouldn’t compare yourself to others, especially when it comes to money, because:

  • Perfection is an illusion: Your second cousin may have a boat and a vacation home, but they may have also maxed out their credit cards.
  • Money comes from all places: Your neighbors down the block may be doing better than you simply because they received a huge inheritance.
  • It breeds negativity: Instead of feeling jealous that other people have more than you, it’s much better to celebrate what others have.

Adjusting your attitude about money is hard, but you have to start somewhere! Even if you only try one of the things on this list, your children are sure to notice. Over time, you’ll develop a better attitude about money, and that attitude will rub off on all the young ones in your family.

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