Experts talk about the pros and cons of cash gifts, earned money, dole outs, and allowances. Parents wonder, which is right for their families. We may be missing the bigger picture. How our children get spending money is irrelevant. It’s what they learn about money that matters.
When we say we want our children to know about money, what do we mean? Do we mean we want them to know how-to make it and how-to spend it? If we teach them the why we make money and why we spend money, they will know how-to.
If money is the end, there will never be enough. If money is a means, there will be plenty.
It is not necessary for children to have their own money to learn to manage money. They are learning by everything we do – how we hide it, how we spend it, if we share it, and if we waste it. The subliminal message is transferred with the money.
When we give with conditions, pay the bills begrudgingly, or spend whimsically; when we harbor, hide, or compromise, we spread the fear. When we give without conditions and spend from conscious choices, we spread the peace. Living a fear-less life requires us to be a Peaceful Chief Financial Officer.
We are the CFOs of our money, our homes, and our businesses. There are two types of CFOs – the peaceful CFO and the paranoid CFO. The peaceful CFO manages money with love; the paranoid CFO manages money from fear.
|Peaceful CFO||Paranoid CFO|
|Purpose||Earns, Saves, Spends with Purpose||Spends without purpose; Never has enough|
|Creativity||Thinks Both-And; Growth Mindset||Thinks Either-Or; Fixed Mindset; entitlement|
|Influence||Wonders “how” can I afford that||Thinks I “can’t” afford that|
|Love||Earns money from highest self||Compromises highest self for money|
|Authenticity||Promotes worthiness and value of self and others||Unworthy, undervalued, victim to justify cheating|
|Trust||Open to receiving new opportunities||Sees only obstacles to growth|
|Connection||Thinks Big – Chooses to help thousands of people||One for all – There is no succession plan|
Are you a peaceful CFO or a paranoid CFO? A peaceful CFO creates; a paranoid CFO hordes. This is not to say paranoids don’t have money. They may have lots of money. And, they are attached to it. They are always fearful they may lose it. A peaceful CFO knows there is plenty – enough to share and more to make.
When we are peaceful, it is always from our highest self. The peaceful mindset is “how can I expand the pie.” When we are paranoid, our highest self can be compromised with fear. Paranoid fear can come in the form of achieving, conforming, and performing. The fear mindset is “there is a limited supply, and I must get my piece of the pie before it is all gone.”
As a Life Entrepreneur, conscious parent, and a business owner, I am teaching my children about money by means of practical life. We talk about money at home. We use real numbers and real life – how much we earn and how we get paid, what we spend it on, and what we save.
When my 4 year old wants a plastic gadget off the dollar isle, and I say no, I always include the why I say no. It is more than, “No.” I communicate that it is not about my power or just because. I simply state, “We don’t need that and we are here to only buy useful things.” It has never failed me; my children have never had a temper tantrum in a store over stuff.
Our oldest daughter has outgrown her bicycle. We were talking about getting a new bike and she asked how much one costs. When I told her, she thought for a moment and knew how many hours dad would work for her bike. I thought that was pretty cool. It doesn’t matter who pays for it. Our money is her money. She recognizes the value of life used in exchange to have something. She values time; she will never waste money.
I am training my children to be peaceful CFOs of their own money, lives, and businesses.
• Give and you shall receive.
• Create more; consume less.
• Don’t waste your resources.
• We have a life of plenty.
Michelle is a Life Entrepreneur: wife, mother of 3, triathlete, and advocate of life, love, and learning. One the side, she is a business owner, volunteer, and holds a Master of Social Work. She writes about conscious parenting and simplified living at My Child’s Gardener.