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Financial Stewardship Begins at Home

Tuesday, April 09, 2024 @ 12:42 PM Financial Stewardship Begins at Home Jordan Chamblee Stand Writer MORE

For many, the financial future of the next generation looms dark on the horizon, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2022. More than two-thirds of survey respondents believe that today’s children will be financially worse off than their parents. Pew also found in a 2023 survey that nearly 90% of parents believe it is important that their children be financially independent in adulthood.

To explore this topic, The Stand spoke with Rob West, president of Kingdom Advisors (kingdom and host of the radio program Faith & Finance that airs weekdays at 9 a.m. Central on American Family Radio. As a financial advisor and speaker, Rob’s mission is uniting Christian values with financial advising fields.

The Stand: How do you perceive the financial future of the next generation?

Rob West: The financial outlook for children today remains optimistic. America is a land of great opportunity with the largest and strongest economy in the world.

We have challenges, no doubt, so I would encourage parents to teach their children all they can about managing money wisely. That will help equip them to achieve financial stability regardless of what the future holds.

TS: What specific financial planning steps can parents take now to invest in their kids’ futures?

RW: Teaching your children the value and honor of work is very important. Give them the opportunity to earn money early. Then teach them to budget that money.

You should also teach your children to avoid debt, and that includes student loans. The earlier they start saving and applying for scholarships, the less they’ll have to borrow.

TS: What mistakes do parents make that jeopardize children’s finances?  

RW: A serious mistake that many parents make is helping too much, often sacrificing their own financial security. For example, signing student loans for them. It’s best not to borrow at all, but if borrowing is necessary, it should be done in the student’s name, not the parents’. The student has far more time to pay off debt than parents have to save for retirement.

Most importantly, parents err when they don’t model financial stewardship for their children. Begin including them in budgeting decisions. You can also bring them into some of your giving decisions, modeling generosity. 

TS: How can parents nurture financial responsibility in a child who doesn’t see why it matters?

RW: Make the learning process as real as possible. Children want things, and you can make them work for it.

In terms of giving back to God’s kingdom, allowing children to put their own money in a collection plate often encourages generosity.  

All of this starts with teaching kids that our giving is very small compared to what the Lord has already given us, especially with the gift of His only Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. When a child understands those concepts, it will inspire charitable giving.

The act of giving has been shown time and again to break the bonds that money can have over us. Encourage children to give their own money as soon as possible to a ministry of their choice.

(Digital Editor's Note: This article was published first in the April 2024 print edition of The Stand. click HERE to get a free six-month subscription to the print version of The Stand.)

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