WHAT SORT OF MONEY ROLE MODEL ARE YOU? (AND WHY IT MATTERS)
BY MEGAN TUCKER
Alright, I’m just going to come out and say it.
I’m a money worshipper.
I wholeheartedly believe that if I have more money, my life would be perfect.
Despite the fact I have a nice house, can afford to pay the bills and purchase pretty much anything I need (so, better off than 99% of the world’s population), I still can’t shake the feeling that I need more in order to make me happy.
Some might call this greedy, but the reality is that this is the money story my parents imprinted on me as a kid. For as long as I can remember, I was told that the more money you have the more power/status/freedom/value you held, so you better make it your life’s mission to accumulate as much as possible if you want to feel happy.
After having my own children, I started to realise how important my attitude towards money actually is. The more I explored this feeling of needing more, the more I realised I’m placing a large chunk of my self-worth on money, and that’s something I can’t knowingly pass onto my kids.
I needed some answers.
Those answers came in many forms, one of which the free eBook called The Secret to Raising Money Wise Kids by Brenton Tong, founder of Financial Spectrum. It’s packed with lots of practical tips to set your children up for a life of financial success and is a resource that’s helped both me and my children so much.
In it Tong explains that how we model our attitudes towards money to our children is critical in their own financial wellbeing.
“Our kids could grow up so conditioned to believe that money is important that they never stop to ask why that is. What does money really mean to them? More self-respect? Freedom? Love?
“Whether you’ve asked yourself that question or not, your children already know your answer. Subconsciously, they’ve picked up on your relationship to money. And your relationship to money is becoming their relationship to money,” he says.
Curious what your relationship to money is? Tong’s book explains that researchers have identified four key attitudes towards money.
1. Money Avoiders - “Rich people are greedy. No one deserves more money, especially not me.”
2. Money Worshippers - “Things would be better if I just had more money.”
3. Money as Status - “Poor people are lazy and don’t deserve money.”
4. Money Vigilance - “Money should be saved not spent.”
So how do we break the spell and ensure our own views on money don’t have a negative impact on our children, while setting them up for financial success in the future? Tong explains that as a parent, you need to create a balance - not too much money avoidance or too much money worship. Somewhere in the middle.
Interestingly, Tong’s book also shows that researchers have found that children who have the most financial success in adulthood understand these three core concepts (hint: you might want to jot these down):
1. Money doesn’t make you happier
2. Money isn’t power
3. Money doesn’t buy freedom
I think it’s safe to say that as parents, we want our children to have financial success and a positive relationship with money both now and in adulthood. I know I definitely do. How we think, talk and educate them about money now really does have an impact on their future.
For me, I’m slowly learning that my self-worth isn’t determined by my bank balance. I’m so much more than that. And with a little self-love and a lot of help, I’m really, truly starting to believe it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Megan Tucker spends her life juggling a freelance writing career with family life. She was two young sons and a helpful husband, yet still struggles to get the kids to school on time every morning.