Building Good Stewards in a Spend-Like-Crazy World

January is the time to make changes and changes we’re making! Okay, not too many huge changes, we want success so we don’t overshoot our goals. This year we’re implementing a chore chart and pay status (commission, freelance labor, whatever you want to call it).

I really consider myself fortunate because from day one of our marriage, Pete and I shared similar views on money. We’re both “pay cash” and “maintain low debt” kinda people. My parents always managed their money well. They didn’t live above their means. In fact, I remember when I was about 12 my dad taking me with him to our small town bank to pay off our mortgage. Back then all mortgages had a payment book and when all the payments were made a stamp was put through the entire book making a loud ringing sound… basically everyone in the bank would know you’d payed off a large debt. It was a time of celebration. Folks congratulated you and patted you on the back as you were leaving. My parents have lived mortgage free since I was 12. That truly doesn’t happen much anymore.

I began my first paying job when I was 15. Waiting tables paid for my senior prom dress, spending money and provided all my gas money. Balancing a checkbook was a feat I tackled at 16. I even tithed off of my tips (another principle my parents instilled in me as I remember my mom filling out their pink offering envelope every Sunday morning).

But looking back my parents didn’t give a ton of verbal guidance on how to manage money… they just modeled it. They never overspent, they weren’t extravagant, and we made payments on time. Basic concepts lived out in everyday life.

Our children are currently 10, 7 and 5 and there is no better time to start helping them become good stewards. A few months ago my husband did an interview with Rachel Cruz. Not sure who Rachel Cruz is? Well, she’s best known as Dave Ramsey’s daughter. The archived video can be found HERE in a message entitled “Wealth vs. Riches”. It’s worth your time to listen to her perspectives and thoughts on managing money. After the interview Pete and I were both convicted on the same point. If the number one reason recorded for divorce is money… and the divorce rate is currently at 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, then we’re doing a HUGE DISSERVICE to our children by not prepping them to manage their money in a healthy way. We are helping set up their marriage for failure by not using the time they’re under our roof as a time to teach them biblical guidelines for handling the blessings God has bestowed upon them.

But a chore chart serves more than just teaching them how to manage money. It also…
• Allows us to approach our home chores as “Team Wilson.” Our family is in this life together… even where dirty toilets are involved.
• I actually think we’ll refer to the jobs as “Household Responsibilities” rather than “Chore Chart.”
• My kids will get paid (a very small amount) for chores. Yes, an allowance, which I’ve always said I wouldn’t do… but recently (as I’ve already stated) my views have changed.
• Plus we feel strongly about teaching our kids a “Give, Save, Spend” technique.
• I think it’s important for our kids to “contribute” to our family.
• My future daughter-in-laws will love me for preparing good husbands for them!

One of the main resources I’m using to introduce “Give, Save, Spend” is a book entitled Three Cups from Tommy Nelson. Three Cups is a beautiful lesson in life and money specifically created for children.

Three Cups is a heartwarming tale that will help teach children positive and generous attitudes as they learn to handle their own money. It’s a simple story that helps open the doors of communication as your entire family discusses how to appropriately take care of what you’ve been given as you charitably think about others. It’s a great way to introduce concepts that will leave a lasting impact in your children’s lives. The story is so easy to implement that you’ll find yourself weaving Three Cups into everyday discussions and actions. And the illustrations are beautiful.

That’s what January is gearing up to look like for us. I’d love to hear your feedback on implementing chore charts, payments systems and resources you’ve found helpful!

Brandi is a wife to Pete and a mom to Jett, Gage, and Brewer. Her life is truly “Brandi & Boys.” Brandi has been a pastor’s wife for almost 15 years. She and her husband planted Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee in 2002. Brandi has a heart for women in ministry and co-leads a ministry for pastors’ wives at Brandi loves to be organized, but hates to clean and ice cream is her favorite food.