How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Money

My second child turns two in August, which means he has one more year of free living. On his third birthday, he’ll get an allowance. By his fourth birthday, he’s getting a job. My goal for him and his brother is to join the FIRE community by their eleventh birthday.

Alright, maybe this is a little ambitious. But I do hope to instill in my children the value of money. It’s something I haven’t given a ton of thought to, but thankfully I can learn from people who have done this before. One of our podcast listeners sent us an excellent email that I wanted to share.

As for teaching kids the value of money, people of affluence have to manufacture scarcity. Don’t buy unlimited data plans for their phones. Force them to choose 1-2 streaming services at a time. Tell your kids “no” a lot, and make it clear that it’s not because you can’t afford it but because you choose not to spend your money that way.

Teach them about making quality purchases and avoiding junk. Don’t buy things the first time they ask; if they’re serious about it they will nag you into submission over a period of weeks. I have no idea if this stuff will ultimately work but I think my kids are trending in the right direction.

I love this idea of manufacturing scarcity. If you get everything, you value nothing.
Ben and I talk about this and much more on this week’s Animal Spirits, which is now available on YouTube.