Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: financial responsibility

money management for homeschool kids

Teaching Kids to Use a Debit Card, can Really Pay Off

As Parents, we would never toss our car keys to our teenagers without first teaching them to drive. In fact, we begin explaining the rules of the road to our buckled bundles of joy as soon as we start shuttling them between their countless events. It’s a natural way to ease them into an important skill they’ll need later.

So, why would we send them out into the adult financial world without training them how to manage a debit card? Before they are inevitably bombarded to open a credit card, we can drive home the benefits and consequences of credit, but use a similar and safer alternative learning tool—a youth debit card.

A debit card can be a great way for kids to gain practical experience with digital money management while they are still under your guidance and protection.

They Get Card Experience—You Stay in Control

Kids can miss the fact that swiping a little plastic card equates to spending real money. Having their own debit card and account helps them understand the cost of each swipe. Your kids can see how fast money actually disappears on small things, and we can monitor and motivate our kids to make better financial decisions.

Practice Makes Perfect (sense)

What better time for kids to make spending mistakes than when you can monitor their activity and correct any unhealthy financial habits. When they use a debit card, you can track their spending activity from anywhere and then later discuss and re-direct their spending. And, when they do make a financial mistake, and you’ve set a spending limit, it’s the perfect learning opportunity!

Spending Safely   

Carrying around a lot of cash has risks. If your teen’s wallet is stolen, you won’t be able to recoup the lost cash. Debit cards are safer, as they protect your child’s money with a security code, and they are subject to spending limits that you can control.

Cashless Convenience

No more handing out cash or worrying that they have enough for last-minute events. You can transfer money into their debit card account in seconds with a digital app, no matter where you are. Plus, it gives them the ability to not only use the card, but to get cash from an ATM while they are out.

The Credit They Deserve

Using a debit card won’t help with their credit report, but teaching kids to use a debit card responsibly is the first step toward building a good credit score later. If kids can keep debit card spending managed properly, that will affect their credit card habits later and help them establish a strong credit score.

If you’re looking for a youth debit card with all of these features and no maintenance fees, check out the Start Young Visa® Debit Card, the debit card that safely helps you prepare your teens (and even younger children) for the world of digital banking. The card is included with every Start Young Saving and Spending Account from Evangelical Christian Credit Union, the trusted source for Christian financial training.

Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) stands with homeschooling families with offers and resources that are specifically designed to benefit your unique lifestyle. 

 

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And make your plans to join us at Teach Them Diligently Conventions this spring because we’ll have a special track of sessions that are all about finances, money savings, and financial education.

 

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For more great articles about teaching your children how to manage their money and more homeschooling information be sure to check out the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

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A lot of people are surprised to learn that Jesus devoted 15 percent of his recorded words to the subject of money, and that the Bible has more than 2,300 verses addressing it.

Money is of great importance because it fuels nearly all of our activities in some way and can be used for good or ill.   It is utterly necessary just for daily living, and its handling is a mark of character, again, for good or ill.

A common misnomer is that the Bible – and therefore God – regards money as evil.  But this is a misreading of 1 Timothy 6:10, in which the Apostle Paul warns: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Some Money Facts

In the United States, which is arguably the richest country in the world, the Treasury Department continually provides new bills and coins at a staggering rate.

The first coins minted in America were pennies created in 1792.  “Paper” money debuted in 1862 during the Civil War, when precious metals became scarce.  Then, as now, the bills were mostly made of cotton and linen, not paper, which is sturdier.

Today, the U.S. Department of Engraving and Printing, which has plants in Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas, uses between 10 and 18 tons of ink per day to print nearly 25 million notes worth $560 million, according to the Treasury website.  Some 95 percent of these merely replace old bills taken out of circulation – much of it overseas, where the American dollar is a widely used currency.

In the 1860s, “In God We Trust” was added for the first time to coinage, debuting on a two-cent piece.  Later, it was added to currency, such as $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $100 bills.

Starting Good Habits Young

For Christians, money presents an opportunity to put our faith into action.  That begins with the radical notion that all of our money, not just 10 percent (a tithe) or whatever we are donating to the church, belongs to God.   This is the principle of stewardship.

When teaching children about money, it’s very important to begin with the foundational truth that it all belongs to God, and that while God is magnanimous toward us in inestimable ways, we have to operate as stewards of His riches.   Only when we do that can we properly handle money, please God and bless our families and others.

While many people in our culture of rugged individuality think of themselves as being in charge, the stewardship model begins in the Book of Genesis, when God assigned Adam and Eve the job of naming the animals and caring for the paradise around them.  They lived up to the task of stewardship until falling for the temptation to go beyond their God-given roles into a realm of power reserved only for God. We’ve all been working “by the sweat of our brow” ever since.

Throughout the Bible, we are advised to be good stewards of our Creator’s wealth, which includes our own lives and how we touch the lives of others.

“When it comes to a man’s (or woman’s) real nature, money is of first importance,” said former U.S. Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson.  “Money is an exact index to a man’s true character.  All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.”

Whose Money?

If we view all money we acquire only as our own, we are tempted to believe that we don’t need God or Biblical guidance.  It’s the ultimate power trip – we call the shots, no one else.  But if we view ourselves as stewards of God’s provision for us, we learn the beauty and joy of giving back and can develop a healthy view of our finances.  Concentrating on acquiring money for its own sake can lead to soul-destroying greed and contempt for those less well off than ourselves.

As Jesus Himself warned, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

In our free-market-based economy, we have many blessings unavailable to people who live under oppressive regimes that punish individual initiative.  But materialism, or the love of money, is a constant temptation in our culture, especially since we are pelted daily with advertising designed to make us discontented with what we have and aching to buy whatever they are selling so we can feel better.

Wealth can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how we view it and handle it.  For one thing, materialism can dull our appreciation for many of the best things in life that are free – including the gift of salvation.  As the Roman, North Africa-based Christian author Tertullian put it in 200 A.D., “Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”

Love of money can lead to crime, as evidenced by the fact that motives linked to money or sex account for 80 percent of crimes in the United States, but money accounts for a ratio of 80 to 1 crimes over those incited by sex.   No wonder Jesus issued so many warnings about the power of money.

Employee theft is estimated to be $50 billion annually, which forces everybody to pay higher prices. (“Personal Property Crimes,” U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006) Insurance fraud is similarly in the billions, which costs everybody because of higher rates.  Materialism is such a powerful motivator that few can resist it without God’s help.

The good news is that we don’t have to go it alone and that there are resources available to guide us.

God has much to say about money if we take the time to listen.

Written By Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author and Communications Advisor for Timothy Partners.  Some of this material was drawn from a curriculum from the Timothy Plan for family economics called “Stewardship:  God’s Plan for Financial Success.”

Written by Timothy Plan founder Art Ally, the 112-page workbook, which, along with brief video segments of a couple discussing their income and giving, offers a Gods-eye view of money, investing, giving and cultural impact.  Learn more at timothyplan.com.

Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common in the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

 

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Of the many thoughts racing through a student’s mind as he approaches high school graduation, two of his preoccupations are likely, “What do I want to do for a career?” and “How do I pay for this?”

The affordability of a college education is a determining factor in whether a student goes to college at all. ‘Financial Aid’ is a broad term used by colleges to encapsulate all financial options – from scholarships to grants to loans. Knowing how to combine financial aid options with responsibility and hard work will provide students with an answer to the question, “How do I pay for this?”

Here are some tips:

1. Federal Grants and Loans

Most colleges and universities will ask your family for the FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a federal form based on your taxes from the previous year which allows the government to determine a students’ Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Based on the EFC, the government will designate an eligible amount of aid to that student. Some of this aid will be grants (do not need to be paid back) and some of it may be loans (must be paid back starting six months after graduation).

Students should read the fine print on the awards they accept to determine whether the amount is indeed a grant or if it is a loan. If taking out loans, students should pay close attention to the Loan Entrance Counseling required by the government, and would be wise to seek financial counsel on how much to borrow. It is better to keep loans as a last resort when other options (discussed below) have been exhausted.

2. State/Organizational Grants and Scholarships

Some states, like Florida, give out ‘Promise Scholarships’ to high achieving students. These scholarships may have limitations (GPA, location, or attending a specific university/college) but are worth looking into! Organizational scholarships are awards specific to certain corporations and businesses. Walmart, General Electric, Associated Press have all been known to have scholarships available. Smaller groups such as the Rotary Club or local businesses are also willing to help out students who show ambition and creativity. Look for awards in your hometown or search out corporations you have connections with.

3. Work Study/Campus Jobs

Federal Work Study is a form of aid for which students qualify through the FAFSA. This aid caps at $4000 per year and is earned by working a campus job. The funds can be sent directly to your loans or student account, or they can be given to you like a regular paycheck. A student can also determine the percentage of his paycheck he wishes to send toward his student account: i.e., 60% to account, 40% via paycheck. Regardless of whether a student qualifies for work study, he can very likely acquire a job on campus to help pay for books and incidentals.

4. School Specific Scholarships

University aid is aid through the school itself. Academic scholarships specific to the university with their own GPA and test score qualifications, scholarships based on ethnicity, and association with certain extracurricular groups and societies (such as Phi Theta Kappa) are all opportunities for additional aid. Both state and private colleges will list a wide variety of scholarships for which students can apply. For instance – Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers an award of $500 per year to Polish-American students. That’s enough to cover books!

5. Spend Wisely

It is very easy to spend money in high school and college, especially when everyone around you seems to have a bottomless bank account. Starting financial responsibility in high school (or even earlier!) will create habits that will last through a student’s college years. Saving money, budgeting for fun expenditures (eating out, shopping, travel), and avoiding debt are great ways to both fund your college education and guarantee wise decisions when paying for school. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is one option for financial education that comes highly recommended for soon-to-be college students!

 

Working hard and making wise decisions when it comes to college will pay off in the long run. Students who work for and through college tend to value their education more because it was earned! Be sure to check out sites like Fastweb.com for additional scholarships from outside organizations.

 

Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships - eBook - By: Alex Chediak

 

 

For more on financial assistance and preparing for college, you may want to look at the eBook, “Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships“, available in the Teach Them Diligently store.

 

 

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Article contribution by, Phylicia Duran, who is a 2008 home school graduate and alum of Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university. Her educational background includes dual enrollment, CLEP testing, community college, online courses and residential study. She has filled the roles of Admissions Counselor, Social Media Coordinator and currently Coordinator of Group Visits at Liberty University and is passionate about spiritual and vocational discipleship, especially as related to home education.

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About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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