Teaching Kids Biblical Money Priorities
Teaching wisdom and generosity with money is a mindset that needs to be modeled in front of children. The Four Quarter Method is a simple and proven method that teaches children Biblical priorities and individual responsibility with money from a young age.
How The Four Quarter Method Works
Beginning at age five or six, give your child 4 quarters every week. This money is not for work or chores performed around the house as this method is a teaching tool, not pay for expected chores. Go out and buy two piggy banks or small lock boxes for each child. Mark one as “short-term savings” and the other as “long-term savings.” At the start of each week, have your child bring out their banks and help them understand how money should be divided up. This constant reminder will provide many opportunities to teach the importance of Biblical priorities and responsibility with money. Every year, increase the amount of money your child is responsible for managing, and once they start to earn their own money, this system will hopefully have them well on their way to Biblical financial wisdom.
Quarter One: Giving
Whether your child is giving to your church or a worthy charity, you are teaching the principles of priority and generosity within a Biblical framework!
Quarter Two: Short-term Savings
This second quarter is for gifts, youth activities or upcoming events the child might want to attend or participate in.
Quarter Three: Long-term Savings
This is for college, a car, or even marriage expenses. At young ages, kids may not understand all these future costs, but we are teaching children to never mix short and long-term savings.
Quarter Four: Discretionary Spending
Many young children cannot even say the word! This money can be spent, saved or given away. We are trying to establish the concept of sequential priorities and order with money.
Keep These Seven Rules
Share the household income on Sunday morning so your child has the opportunity to give to your local church.
Save a portion each week in the short-term and long-term savings banks. Weekly savings must be part of the training to teach our kids to become regular savers.
Don’t allow the kids to borrow from siblings or parents, and no advances. Older kids tend to spend their discretionary money and ask younger siblings for a loan. Anticipate this and stop it before it happens.
Never allow the children to spend 100% of their short-term savings. Teach them to always keep some cash reserves.
After Christmas, help the child count the quarters in their long-term piggy bank. If it’s more than the required minimum, reward them and match what they saved. Open a mutual fund with that money and teach them about investing. Every year the long-term savings is added to their “college fund”.
When a child earns $25 in a week, they no longer need an allowance. It’s not an entitlement.
Lastly, teach your children there will never be co-signing for a bank or car loan. Don’t wait until they turn 16 and want a car. Be proactive and train early.