In a recent survey on personal finances, only 27 percent of parents surveyed said they feel well informed about managing household finances. Fewer than half believe they are good role models for their children regarding saving and spending.
Yet, 94 percent of students say their parents are their primary teachers on financial matters.
Oops. We have a problem. We've totally messed up our finances, and no one is teaching our children how to unravel it.
Our national debt is unsustainable. Our government is promising programs and services that it can't possibly deliver, but that will bankrupt our children in trying. Add that to the reality that today's teenagers haven't the slightest clue about how to manage their personal finances, and you realize that the future of America's economy is not just bleak, but headed for a melt down.
The economic problems we face are obvious. The question is: What are we going to do about them? While a strong alliance of policy experts and Tea Party activists around the nation join hands to try and reverse out-of-control government spending, we also need to be educating the younger generation about how to be personally fiscally responsible.
A good first step is to teach children and teens how to handle their money, rather than allowing their money to handle them.
Helping them understand how to be wise stewards is a gift that can free them from the emptiness that comes with materialism, the depression that comes with debt, and replace them with the peace that comes with financial stability and the fulfillment that comes with philanthropy.
The Bible addresses economic issues with surprising frequency. As a matter of fact, as Crown Financial Ministries points out, there are 2.350 verses on money and stewardship, making it "second to the subject of love as the most discussed subject in the Bible. In fact, two-thirds of the parables Jesus taught are about money, possessions, and stewardship."
Regardless of your faith, the wisdom of this all-time best seller is undeniable - and incredibly applicable to our world today. Here are a few examples of profound principles you and your children can start memorizing - and putting in to action - right away:
- "The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets." (Proverbs 21:20)
- "The wicked borrow and never repay but the godly are generous givers." (Psalm 37:21)
- "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave." (Proverbs 22:7)