IMAGE ANC OnTheMoney/Facebook and @joytmendoza/Instagram
Teach your kids how to be money smart from a young age by taking a cue from Edric Mendoza, lead anchor of On the Money on ANC, keynote speaker, and president of TMA Homeschool Inc. He is a dad to Elijah, 12, Eda, 9, Titus, 6, Tiana, 4 and Catalina, 1.
SP: Give us specific examples of how you teach your kids the value of money. Edric: One of the first things we teach the kids is obedience, and then we teach other related values: respect and stewardship. Stewardship means when you wake up [in the morning], turn off the air-con or the fan. When you leave the room, turn off the lights so we won’t waste [energy]. When it’s time to handle money, they can apply the same principles.
We don’t give them an allowance because we are a homeschooling family, so the way that we have inculcated [money principles in them] is through hard work. For example, Elijah earns money when he shares what he has learned during my speaking engagements. He also earns money when he makes stock reports, for which he has to research and gather data faithfully on Mondays. If he submits his report late, he gets a lower fee.
“The values that you teach your child are important, so that when it comes to actually handling money, they can properly frame how it is supposed to be treated.
SP: How did you start teaching them about money management? Edric: We also follow the value system. Whenever Edan and the younger ones see coins or things lying around, they put these in a container. From that, the older ones understand that there’s a place where they can put their money, and I have a separate bank account for them. The younger kids, on the other hand, just want to see their money. Elijah already tithes (gives a portion of his earnings to support the church) on his own. I was surprised when he did it after the first few speaking engagements we had for a corporation. He understands that you [should] give back to God. He put the rest of the money mainly in a fund.
SP: You mentioned prayer is part of your conversation with your kids even with money. How does that go? Edric: Before we go on speaking engagements, Elijah, Edan, and I pray: ‘Dear God, help us become a blessing.’ It helps calm our nerves as well. After we speak, whatever goodies we get, we pray again and thank God for what we have received. That’s for our family, but you need to know where money stands in yours. Once you have that perspective, then that’s the time you can go into detail.
Ask them: ‘What’s the purpose of money? What is it for? Is it to be able to make more money? Is it to make the most in this world or to buy things, or is it to be used so that we can be a blessing to others?’
SP: What are your tips for parents when it comes to kids, say, preschool age, about money? Teach preschoolers how to give, save or invest (you can interchange the order), and spend. In our family, we teach the kids to give back to the church, and then save or invest. We also don’t force them to invest their money. After Elijah asked me to tell him more about stocks, that’s the only time I taught him the basics and trained him to create his own stock reports. If your kids are not interested in stocks, discover what their interests are and take it from there. Integrate money lessons into their interests. Then, let them spend and enjoy the fruits of their hard work.
This article is an excerpt from "Money Lessons From Dads", a collection of interviews from personal-finance advocates dads, which were originally published in the June 2015 issue of Smart Parenting magazine. Minor edits have been made by Smartparenting.com.ph editors.