Click below to listen to Episode 27 – Money Master or Money Monster

Money Master or Money Monster

Are you creating a money master or money monster when it comes to teaching future generations about finance?

Bob and Mary Jo present ways to create a “Family Money Legacy” for your children and/or grandchildren. A common goal for many parents and grandparents is for their children and grandchildren to learn how to master their God given resources, and not have money master them. It’s important to create a “Money Master” and not a “Money Monster”.

Money can be a monster if you first don’t learn to master it, especially when it comes to your emotions about money. Teaching children in regards to money issues can have a multi-generational impact, and leaving a financial legacy is about more than leaving a financial inheritance to the next generation. It’s about teaching them how to be good stewards of what God has blessed them with.

It’s about family, a shared family history, and shared family values.

HOSTED BY: Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA® and Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®

Mentioned In This Episode

Christian Financial Advisors
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Bob Barber, CWS®, CKA®
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Mary Jo Lyons, CFP®, CKA®
Is Your Child a Money Master or a Money Monster by Sunny Lee
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Family. Money. by Terry Parker & Gary Speary
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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Bob: Welcome to Christian Financial Perspectives, a weekly podcast where we talk about ways to integrate your faith with your finances. This is Bob Barber.

Mary Jo: And I’m Mary Jo Lyons.

Bob: Are you ready to learn how to apply biblical wisdom to everyday financial decisions?

Mary Jo: Join us as we look at integrating your faith with your finances. If it’s your first time listening, welcome to our podcast, and if you’re a returning listener, welcome back.

[EPISODE]

Mary Jo:
We do apologize if our voices sound a little scratchy today, Bob and I are both getting over a cold. We’re trying to get this out, but we just want to apologize if you hear any of our throats clearing.

Bob:
Okay. Yeah. Yeah. We’re trying to getting over this. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” What a beautiful scripture in today’s program, we’re going to look at some ways to create a family money legacy for your children and grandchildren. But first, what is even more important is creating that spiritual legacy because if you just create a money legacy without the foundation of a spiritual legacy first, you could create a money monster. I’ll tell you no parent or grandparent wants that.

Mary Jo:
God gives us many warnings in his word. For example, from Proverbs 20:21, “An inheritance gain hurriedly at the beginning will not be blessed in the end.”

Bob:
Mary Jo, I’ve seen that one play out many times with the years of experience I have in financial planning. I bet you have too.

Mary Jo:
Absolutely.

Bob:
Another scripture, before we get to the actual program, that is the foundation for today is 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” And I want to emphasize that it says the love of money. Money itself is not evil, but it’s the love of money that makes it evil. So we’re calling today’s show “Money Master or Money Monster”. That’s an interesting title that you gave today’s program, Mary Jo.

Mary Jo:
That’s true. I’ll share a little insight on that. So, is your child a money master or money monster? I do think it’s a great title. In fact, there’s a book by that name by Sonny Lee who’s an investment advisor in California, but I just loved the title and thought it really addressed the thoughts very clearly on what we wanted to share with our listeners today. A common goal for many parents and grandparents is for their children and their grandchildren to learn how to master their God given resources and not have money master them.

Bob:
Leaving that financial legacy is about more than just a financial inheritance for the next generation. It’s really teaching them how to be good stewards of what God’s blessed them with. It’s really about family and family history and sharing those family values. So, we’re going to explore this topic of stewardship and being prepared. The question is, think about this as you’re listening, have you as a parent or grandparent chosen who the next steward is going to be for the wealth that you have been able to accumulate over your lifetime and that God has helped you to create? Because we really want you to think about who that person is going to be. I have three daughters and we have a couple of son-in-laws now, but they all manage money differently. They all have different styles of managing it. I will say one of them, I can’t get her to even go out and spend a dime because she’s so conservative. Another one, she’ll spend every dime or every dollar or every thousand dollars you give her within a very short period of time and the other one’s kind of in the middle. So it’s interesting how all of our children have different ways that they deal with money. So as you’re hearing that maybe it’s making you think about your children. Who is that person that you would make the head steward of your family wealth should something happen to you prematurely, either death or disability, after that wealth has passed on. So there’s many different ideas there.

Mary Jo:
And are they prepared to handle whatever comes their way in a wise manner and from a biblical perspective and a biblical worldview? The next steward of your wealth is one of the most important stewardship decisions that you as a parent could make, that person or persons should be prepared to receive their inheritance with wisdom and not be surprised by it.

Bob:
Well, I’ll tell you what, Mary Jo, so many are surprised. I’ve had them, as you know, you too. They didn’t know about this inheritance that was coming. They thought it was going to be $100,000 or $50,000 and all of a sudden, they’ve inherited $500,000. I have one that inherited a bunch of gold. The dad had accumulated thousands and thousands of dollars worth of gold, and they didn’t know what to do with it because the gold was up in the Northeast. They were down here in Texas, and they’re like, how do I get this down here?

Mary Jo:
So many parents are very private, and they don’t share everything. Children think it’s not appropriate to ask. So, they’re not aware of the resources, but we do encourage our listeners to check out one of our upcoming episodes on family communications, and we’re calling it “All In The Family”. There’s some great information there about how to have these difficult and challenging conversations.

Bob:
They can be that. They definitely can. One of the things that is so important is not just passing money, but you pass wisdom and how to handle it. So never pass on money or wealth without first passing on God’s wisdom to your children for handling it. In fact, there’s a beautiful story from the Bible, that’s in Solomon and 2 Chronicles 1, where he could ask for anything he wanted, but what he asked for? He asked for wisdom, and in return, wisdom actually ended up making Solomon one of the wealthiest men to ever live in the history of the world, but it was wisdom first.

Mary Jo:
Wisdom is the skill of living life well. By making good sound decisions, wealth will never create wisdom, although wisdom can create wealth. All money decisions are also spiritual decisions. With money comes emotion, and inheritance may have disastrous outcomes for some, depending on the child, their relationship with God, and their ability to handle the financial responsibility. This requires prior planning and prayerful consideration. Enormous wealth left to an untrained heir is often squandered. How many times have I heard you say that, Bob?

Bob:
Lots of times. I can say that. And Mary Jo, I want to emphasize what you said there that all money decisions are spiritual decisions, especially for a Christian, because if we believe that God owns it all, then we need to pray about those decisions. So, it’s just important that we understand as Christians. We don’t think about that, but we should pray about all the money decisions that we make and those money decisions that we’re going to pass on to our children that they’re going to have to make into their lives.

Mary Jo:
We also encourage you to pray about what advisor you’re going to work with. If you’re thinking about planning for your upcoming retirement and looking for an advisor to help you, you want to pray that you find an advisor that will help you from a Christian perspective and not a worldly one.

Bob:
You remember that program we did right at the beginning, I think it was about the fourth or fifth one, of how to choose a financial advisor from a biblical perspective. And we went into Timothy 3, and we looked at the virtues of an elder or a deacon. And there were like 15 to I think there was actually about 19 virtues. So, I’d like to emphasize that that’s a good reference in the Bible to look for that.

Mary Jo:
That’s a great reminder, Bob.

Bob:
Mary Jo, when it comes to raising money masters, one thing that we believe has helped is to talk to your kids about where that money came from, how you made it, and how you earned it. Were you a business owner? Go through those life changes that occurred during all those years that you were accumulating wealth and how you came about it. I think that’s such an important thing.

Mary Jo:
I do agree, Bob. I think that’s a great idea. You want to talk about your job, what you had to do to become qualified to do your job. And it’s a choice you make to go to work every day and provide for your family. Not everyone does this. It takes you away from spending time with your family, but you believe it’s necessary. So you want your kids to know that the money the family has to spend is hard earned and should be spent and invested wisely. It really doesn’t grow on trees.

Bob:
Wait a second. I just looked at my trees this morning and saw money growing from them.

Mary Jo:
You must have a really special nursery in your town.

Bob:
Was it that medication I was taking for the cold? I know. I’m just playing. We really want our kids to have skin in the game, though. That’s so important, and we encourage our listeners to allow their kids to earn an allowance and teach them how to divide it up using that bucket strategy that we’ve talked about on other programs – live, give, owe, grow.

Mary Jo:
Hopefully, our kids don’t owe anything. We’re talking about little kids.

Bob:
Not yet. They don’t owe taxes, but they’re going to learn about it one of these days. We’re always going to owe at least taxes, but yeah, live, give, and grow. I remember, as our kids were growing up, we did that. Here’s what you’re saving. Here is what we want you to give. Here’s what we want you to grow. The living part was always the fun part. They liked it. They liked to go spend it.

Mary Jo:
Right. It’s also a great practice to include them in the family budget discussions. If they know how hard you have to work to make your money stretch, they may be more inclined to work with you rather than against you. I know it’s a funny thought, but you might actually just see them turn off the lights when they leave the room and not stand in front of the refrigerator door just looking to see what they might find that sounds appealing. How many times have you walked into the kitchen and the kids are standing there with the refrigerator open, just shopping.

Bob:
Especially if they’re boys. There’s an old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Have you ever heard this before?

Mary Jo:
I have heard it a time or two. This is a principle that does not work, does it?

Bob:
It really doesn’t. I mean, we have to be examples. So don’t just tell your kids to do as you say, not as you do. You need to be the example in doing it.

Mary Jo:
There’s also the thinking that I don’t need to teach them. They’re just going to pick it up from me. It’s a great mindset to have and a great way to live as many times for more is caught than taught. But if you look at it from a biblical perspective, it’s both, wouldn’t you say?

Bob:
Oh, definitely. I’d say that it’s very critical for raising money wise children and grandchildren that you’re walking the walk and living the talk.

Mary Jo:
Money management is no different. It is a skill that can be taught, but it takes many years. I have always believed that the best way to teach children is by modeling behavior. So whatever you want them to pick up ought to be what you are doing and how you are behaving. Bob, as we’re talking, I just keep hearing this song playing in my head. I am a fan of country music. It’s a favorite country song by Rodney Atkins. I’m sure a lot of our listeners have heard it as well. “‘Son. Now, where did you learn to talk like that?’ ‘I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool? I’m your Buckaroo. I want to be just like you. I want to do everything you do. So I’ve been watching you.'”

Bob:
I haven’t heard this song.

Mary Jo:
It’s probably about 10 years old.

Bob:
But it sounds like a good one because really that’s what’s happening. Our children are watching us.

Mary Jo:
They are.

Bob:
How we handle money and how we do it. And like you say, we’re either making them a money master or money monster. As a parent or grandparent, your children are watching you more than you really realize. And they may catch more by your example of how you handle money than is taught by you. I think you should do both because as God’s word says in Deuteronomy 11:18-19, “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.” This is really saying that God’s Word should be everywhere and you need to teach that to them and live by it.

Mary Jo:
“You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” What this is really saying is we should teach God’s Word to our children all the time. But what’s just as important as teaching it is that we’re living it. We’re living by example.

Bob:
Yeah. This is true. As with most parenting lessons, the modeling of how we handle money is one of the best teachers, but teaching them God’s Word is the best. It’s like today’s program, money master or money monster, because money can be a monster.

Mary Jo:
It sure can.

Bob:
If you don’t learn to master it, especially when it comes to your emotions about money. Faith is not based on emotions, but on the Word of God. So teaching our children in regards to money issues can have a true multigenerational impact.

Mary Jo:
Mastering money has more to do with our attitude towards money than anything else, what we do with it and why, how we manage it, or how it manages us or controls us. Money issues are also heart issues. When money comes up, we instinctively fear conflict, exposure, shame, or loss of control. Financial conversations take courage and can be uncomfortable. That’s why so many people avoid them.

Bob:
I think one of the biggest challenges we have today is all these cultural battles and images coming to us, Mary Jo, from the internet and all the media and social media. We really live – I don’t like to live in it, but you get into that. You can see a dark world, and we’re constantly bombarded with competing cultural messages that influence all of us, especially our kids at every turn, whether they’re 10 years old, 25 years old, or 50 years old, we need to be careful of looking at those worldly images and worldly views instead of a biblical worldview. Mary Jo, just reminds me of when I was a kid, my total worldview was just two blocks around me, but today it’s all over the place. I grew up in Lake Jackson, and when I was a kid that was about 5,000 – 6,000 people. It’s like Mayberry. All I wondered about was what was happening the next block over, but today with the internet and smartphones and Facebook, there’s all these different messages coming at us.

Mary Jo:
I think that was the value of growing up in small town America. I miss those days. I’m right there with you, Bob. Many parents think that their kids will learn about money management as part of school curriculum, but this just simply isn’t true. And we live in a credit society. Buy now, pay later. So many of our children and grandchildren never learned basic financial skills or concepts like balancing a checkbook or the power of compounding. That’s an incredible thing to look at.

Bob:
This reminds me of a story. Benjamin Franklin had a lot of great sayings, but he had this interesting concept about compounding. Mary Jo, I know you’ve heard that one.

Mary Jo:
I have, Bob. And it’s a great reminder about how this simple principle can work for you over time. So why don’t you share the story?

Bob:
Well, when Benjamin Franklin died, which was back in 1790, he left this gift to his two favorite cities, Boston and Philadelphia, and it was $5,000. Now, back then, that was a lot of money. Today, that may not be much, but back then, it was a lot of money. Guess what he did? He said you can only invest this money. He put that in the will, and it can only be paid out in the future at two specific dates, 100 years from now and 200 years from now. So after 100 years, each city was allowed to withdraw from this endowment that he left. Remember, it was just $5,000. After 100 years, each city was allowed to withdraw $500,000 for their public work projects. And after 200 years, that was in 1991, they received the balance of, can you guess what that amount was?

Mary Jo:
Well, I know that it was a surprising increase. I’d say something like 20 million for each city. Is that about right?

Bob:
You knew the answer. That’s right. $5,000 grew to $20 million. And in the middle of that, they withdrew $500,000 from it. So, this really teaches us about compounding.

Mary Jo:
You’re right. So this example teaches all of us in a dramatic way the power of compounding. Franklin himself liked to describe the benefits of compounding. He used to say “money makes money and the money that money makes makes money.”

Bob:
So you think about this, Mary Jo, maybe we ought to leave a $5,000 gift to our great, great, great, great grandchild. Maybe they’ll be very wealthy someday, right?

Mary Jo:
That would be awesome. It’s a great idea.

Bob:
And we don’t want to assume the mistake of assuming our kids know how to handle money, because many don’t. Many college graduates have so much debt and student loans and credit could be so easy today. So we’re going to get into some really strong lessons about this.

Mary Jo:
We’ve got seven critical lessons. So these are lessons that your young children, as well as your young adult children can benefit from. They always need these money lessons. Number one, there’s a direct relationship between effort and reward. Nothing comes for free. You actually have to work at it.

Bob:
That’s not any fun.

Mary Jo:
I know. What a rude awakening and number two, delayed gratification. Good things come to those who wait.

Bob:
That’s not any fun either.

Mary Jo:
I know. We’re taking all the fun out of it, but it definitely sets the stage. And it really is what life is all about.

Bob:
Yeah, no, you’re right. You’re absolutely right.

Mary Jo:
And number three, conflict resolution. If someone doesn’t agree with you or if you want something and mom and dad are saying no, how do you have those discussions? And you gotta teach your kids to not just get angry and blow up, but how to communicate what their wishes are and to reason it out in their mind. And then number four, how to develop a budget and stick to it. Even children have their own budget. Maybe they’re saving for some tennis shoes, but they also need some school supplies or the daughter needs some new makeup. You gotta show them how to budget for that. And then how to make financial decisions. Along with that comes number six, How to set longterm financial goals. And again, you can listen to one of our earlier episodes where we talked about setting longterm financial goals. And finally number seven, how to live for today, but plan for tomorrow. So here you go, Bob, we’re not talking about putting everything off. I mean, you do have to be able to enjoy today, but at the same time, save and plan for what may come tomorrow.

Bob:
Mary Jo, out of those seven, number five was my favorite one. That was how to make financial decisions. Because most people, they really don’t understand how to make financial decisions, which comes with that second one you said, delayed gratification. This reminds me of an example of when you’re buying a car. And don’t let your emotions get caught when buying a vehicle. I’ve seen where emotions can really get you to make the wrong decision. But I’ve seen from the opposite side of it, because I’ve been a part of that where I’m not going to let emotions play in it. And you go to buy that vehicle and you wait a couple weeks, and every time they seem to come down on the price, $2,000 – $5,000 or more. So that’s an example of learning how to make those financial decisions that we need to learn ourselves and teach our children and be an example.

Mary Jo:
Bob, as you’re talking, I’m just laughing to myself, cause I know you’re really meaning that message for my husband. One of the things he obsesses about is cars. And he’s always following me around with his iPad and showing me pictures of the hot rod of the day. And I keep telling him Mike, you just really need to wait because tomorrow there’s going to be a different one and you’re going to want that one too. So since you can’t make up your mind, you might as well just wait.

Bob:
I’ll tell you what, I’ll go with him next time he goes to buy a car. Okay. But he might not like me because I’m going to say, walk off the lot. Walk off the lot and go bid it out across the state. Cause they always say, well, that’s the last one of its kind. I always look at the highway where there’s a lot of cars going up and down that highway. I don’t think so. Mary Jo, when wealth is significant, it has a way of fracturing family dynamics. So we gotta be careful with that. It challenges even the most basic of communications between loved ones. Money just does that.

Mary Jo:
It does, it does. And if you’re fortunate enough to leave it inheritance to future generations, will it be a blessing or will it be a curse? To degree that there is wealth, there must be communication about how the wealth was made.

Bob:
Another question I was thinking of, have you clearly communicated and modeled wise money management skills to the generations coming behind you?

Mary Jo:
Do your kids know what your expectations are, and do you know what your kid’s expectations?

Bob:
I want to say that one again, because when I heard that it got me a little bit. Do your kids know what your expectations are, and do you know what your kid’s expectations are? That’s interesting, and that needs to sink in, because this can create a complete conversation right there, just from that.

Mary Jo:
A philosophy is nothing more than a set of answers. Your financial philosophy, the one you pass on to your children, it will be the sum total of the answers to your questions about money, but are you asking the right questions? And the best way to start the dialogue is to ask a question. Bob, I know you’ve got a couple of good questions.

Bob:
Well the one I always like to ask is who really owns it. That’s the one that we need to ask of ourselves. It’s one that we need to ask of our children, our grandchildren, because if we really believe God’s word in Psalms 24:1, it says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” And this is a scriptural guideline we talk about often here on Christian Financial Perspectives. Just from a little bit of scripture right there, you can teach your children and go into all the things you see around you and teach that God created them all and he owns it and he expects us to be good managers of it. When you’re driving your car, ask your child who owns this car? In your home, who owns this home? That’s a Christian perspective. We understand that’s a Christian worldview because we all want to say well that’s my stuff. But according to God’s Word, it really belongs to him when we’re managers of it.

Mary Jo:
Another great question is how much is enough? I think that’s even true for our young minds. And that comes from Luke 12:17-21. This scripture is the one that talks about do I just want to build bigger barns, bigger and bigger and bigger barns.

Bob:
Another question is where should it go in the end after you’re done with it? Are my heirs equipped to handle their inheritance, like from Proverbs 20:21, “An inheritance quickly gained in the beginning is not blessed in the end” is how that one goes. So, think about that and is it going to them too quickly that it will not be blessed in the end?

Mary Jo:
And will my children and my children’s children share my family stewardship philosophy?

Bob:
That takes us back to that scripture from Deuteronomy that we talked about earlier, Mary Jo, and educating the future generations and sharing God’s Word with them. Again, that’s Deuteronomy 11:18-19.

Mary Jo:
That takes us to thoughtful legacies. We want to make sure that we’re being thoughtful and thinking through what we’re setting down, how we are setting the table for our kids. We want to live a life so that you’re making a difference for others and for those around you. Are you modeling this? This is a great legacy to leave to your kids. And remember, those legacies are not always about money.

Bob:
Think about leaving something to benefit ministries you care about. As an example, in your will and estate plan and ministries you care about in your community. So let your children and grandchildren know what those ministries are.

Mary Jo:
Work with trusted counsel to help you memorialize your intentions. Seeking wise counsel is something we talk a lot about here on Christian Financial Perspectives. It’s one thing to talk about it, but have you actually taken steps to implement it?

Bob:
Number four under thoughtful legacies is pass along training as part of an inheritance, so what is passed will also be blessed.

Mary Jo:
And help your family discover the great joy of giving. Develop a vision for sharing.

Bob:
In their book, Family.Money, the authors Terry Parker and Gary Speary from the National Christian Foundation provide great insight into many of the financial philosophies that we’ve talked about today. We’ve had the National Christian foundation as a guest on the show in the past too. So if you’d like to go back and listen to that, we would encourage you to, but they have a great guide in there about the family conversation about money that’s in the back of that book, Family.Money. You can download this book off the internet for free, just put “Family.Money by the National Christian Foundation” and you’ll be able to find that.

Mary Jo:
They can also give us a call directly if they want some more information on the book or how to get it.

Bob:
So as we wrap up today’s program, we’d like to leave you with one final scripture.

Mary Jo:
Proverbs 4:6, “Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.”

Bob:
So are your kids “Money Masters or Money Monsters”?

[DISCLOSURES]

Comments from today’s show are for informational purposes only and not to be considered investment advice or recommendations to buy or sell any company that may have been mentioned or discussed. The opinions expressed are solely those of the hosts, Bob Barber and Mary Jo Lyons. Bob and Mary Jo do not provide tax advice and encourage you to seek guidance from a tax professional. Investment advisory services offered through Christian Investment Advisors Inc. DBA Christian Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor.