Building Generational Wealth: Practicing Financial Skills at HomeFeb 28, 2023
How does managing your money every month make you feel? For many, it feels overwhelming, stressful, limiting, and frankly, frightening. Building a balanced financial life requires healthy rhythms to our spending, saving, budgeting, and communication around money. A healthy relationship with money means we must consistently choose to grow our financial skills and practice making wise decisions with our money. When we do, we make a path toward freedom, opportunity, and a life we love waking up to every morning. We create an example of what a healthy lifestyle looks like for our kids.
Your “Enough” Number
Being wealthy is a relative idea, and everybody has an opinion on how much money is enough. Knowing what “enough” money means to you is a central part of understanding how to build wealth in your own life. Think about how you would actually use your money day-to-day if you could live however you want, doing whatever you want. What does that lifestyle really look like for you, and how much money is enough to make that dream a reality? We often think we need more money to make a more satisfying life, but you may be surprised to find the lifestyle choices you truly value require less money than you think.
Financial Rhythm at Home
Building a better life with money is all about finding more ways to enjoy your life. Your finances are a tool to help you build the most joyful version of life for you and your loved ones. Adding more joy and satisfaction to your life starts with building better financial rhythms in your daily life at home.
When you think about money or deal with day-to-day choices with money, how do you feel? Finding the places in our lives where our financial rhythms feel stressful or avoidant is a good place to start purposefully shifting our habits, responses, and rhythms to life. Building a more peaceful, optimistic relationship with money starts with how we respond to stressful moments and the small choices we make each day.
Shifting Natural Rhythms
Identifying where we struggle the most with money or finding financial flashpoints is key to creating a more purposeful, enjoyable rhythm to your finances. When you find a stressful point, like overspending in times of stress or reacting negatively toward your partner or kids about money, you can then begin shifting toward a chosen, more positive rhythm. Even starting with a few moments to breathe can begin shifting the feelings of financial stress in your day-to-day life. Awareness of our natural rhythms helps us identify ways we can purposefully craft better ones, like saving money by cooking at home instead of eating out, or shopping for a better deal before making a compulsory purchase.
Creating New Financial Habits
Adding new financial habits to your regular routine can massively upgrade your life and your relationship with money. Finding ways to put new habits into your existing rhythms can be a fun process for you, your partner, and your kids too. Remember, building a balanced financial life is about making more room for the things you value most, and building toward financial goals with your loved ones can be a fun, rewarding experience.
Practicing Financial Skills at Home
Creating a regular rhythm of practicing your financial skills at home can and should be fun for everyone. As an individual, finding ways to add financial education has never been easier or more accessible. Consider:
- Add finance social media pages with trustworthy, enjoyable content
- Follow a new personal finance blog
- Read a few pages from a book about finance each night
- Subscribe to a newsletter from a favorite finance educator
- Take an online class on an interesting money topic
- Attend a workshop in your area or through your organization about money that appeals to you
- Get coffee with an approachable, finance-savvy friend for money talk
- Join or create an investment group with friends
We can model better financial rhythms for our kids and teach them better ways to handle money from an early age. Children pick up on money habits early, and they can learn more about smart financial habits than you might think. You can encourage healthy money habits in your kids by building more purposeful financial rhythms in your home as a family now.
Make Family Financial Habits Fun
Consider creating a weekly family money game night. Pull out Monopoly, The Game of Life, or create your own age-appropriate games. You don’t need to spend all night playing, but game nights create a regular opportunity to have fun as a family and begin talking about money concepts in a positive light.
Paying off debt or saving for something in particular? Create a debt/save thermometer or another creative visual aid. For example, we have been working on paying off our house so we have a printable house with $250 bricks so for each payment/extra payment we color it in. We place in an area we pass by everyday which provides a bit of fun and color as well as a gentle nudge to keep moving towards our goal.
Teaching Kids About Money With an Allowance
Parents can use an allowance as a tool for kids to begin practicing their money management skills and learning financial basics. A weekly or monthly allowance can be great practice for a regular paycheck down the road, and managing money each week teaches kids how to spend and save wisely.
Use an allowance to teach kids:
- How to earn a paycheck
- How to make a budget
- The value of money
- How to save toward goals
- The power of delayed gratification
- Wise spending habits
- How to be generous
Keeping a Rhythm of Compassion
Remember that kids watch their parents to see how they act and what they do with money too. Building financially healthy kids starts with us modeling how to be financially healthy ourselves. The more we model how to have a healthy relationship with money, the easier it will be for our children to see how to do it too. Make the learning process fun for everyone and leave room to make mistakes. Most importantly, remember that you don’t need to be perfect. Kids learn how to handle their own future financial mistakes better by watching us learn how to make mistakes too.
For more support on your journey to building generational wealth, check out resources like My First Million Mind Map for kids or more ideas on how to teach your kids about money or how to help kids build financial wellbeing on the blog.
Photo by Yan Krukau
Questions: email [email protected]
Mariah Hudler, MSW, MBA, CFT-I™ is a financial therapist, coach & consultant, who provides premarital financial counseling, financial therapy, financial coaching & consulting, and financial wellbeing services. She works with individuals, couples, entrepreneurs, and groups to build their balance and create a healthy relationship with money.
Disclaimer: This blog is for education only. Please consult with a qualified professional when you have any questions about your personal financial, tax, or legal situation. Information contained in this post is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace professional advice.
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