Money Integrity: Teach Your Children Well

Written by Nicole Dean

© 2004-2005 Darlene Arechederra

‘Live so that when your children think of fairness and
integrity, they think of you.’

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.–

We think of integrity as doing the right thing when no one is looking. Does this hold true for money, too? Share with your children the money values you’d like them to carry into adulthood. We have opportunities to teach our children, even in unexpected ways!

Consider a few quick scenarios.

1. You find a $100 bill as you enter a local grocery store. Would you ask Customer Service if anyone has reported losing any money recently, and what amount it was?

2. You arrive home and discover a puppy sitting on your front doorstep. He has no tags on him. You bring him in out of the cold and keep him for the night. The next day, you discover his particular breed is worth $1800. Would you attempt to locate his owners as you might if he were a mutt?

3. You place a health & beauty order through a coworker, and she mistakenly thinks you’ve already paid her for it. Would you give her the money you owe anyway, or would you keep quiet?

4. You and your family have just eaten a meal out. Due to several factors, it was not as enjoyable as you had hoped. The bill arrives, and you notice some items were left off the bill. Would you pay it without saying anything?

5. You’re living a frugal lifestyle. You agree to join family members for a meal out to celebrate mom’s birthday. Do you order frugally, yet chip in a fair share for mom’s meal? Or do you skip contributing to mom’s meal and have others cover the entire portion?

6. Your last paycheck was $600 more than it should have been. While deciding whether to notify Payroll at work, your spouse spends the entire $600. Do you call Payroll anyway, knowing they’ll probably deduct the money from each of your next few paychecks? It will leave you no money for several weeks.

7. You’re selling your old clunker. Do you disclose any problems you’re having with it? Does your answer remain the same regardless of whether your buyer is male or female?

8. You discover that someone you dislike at work received a much bigger raise than you. Do you share the amount of his/her raise with your friends and family?

9. You purchase an ebook online — it was exactly what you were looking for. A week later, you’re feeling a money pinch. Do you ask for your money back on the ebook, even though it more than met your needs?

Children notice the decisions we make on a daily basis. Why not teach them how to develop money integrity — through your own interactions and decisions!

Do you have a scenario you’d like to share? Please email it to me. I’d love to hear from you.

Author and ezine editor Darlene Arechederra inspires busy women to put the fun back into saving their money. Her complimentary newsletter serves up heaps of motivation with a unique, down-home style of writing.

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