I am a goal-oriented person. Goals give me clarity and perspective both professionally and personally, which is why I take the time to set goals every year. They guide my daily decisions and bring me closer or further away from my desired result. So I find it interesting how many people shudder at the thought of setting goals. Goal-setting has gotten bad reputation.
The first step in teaching your children how to handle money is setting family save, spend and share goals. I deliberately chose to start with family goals before moving on to individual goals. However, I find some parents balk at the idea of setting family goals.
It’s not that they don’t believe in them, but they view goals in a Corporate mindset of achieve or be fired, so there is an automatic fear of goal-setting. This is not my intention. You set goals so you have something—as a family—to work towards together. To help you educate your children about the choices they can make with their money and the joy of making value-based decisions. To give you an answer other than “no” when a child gets a case of the “I wants”.
And most importantly, you create family goals to model good financial behavior to your children and to help them create a life-long healthy relationship with money. You don’t need to set difficult goals. In fact, I would encourage not to do so, particularly the first year. You know how much money you have available so set reasonable and obtainable (but still fun!) goals. Once your family becomes savvy goal-setters, then you can consider setting harder goals.
Financial literacy has always been my passion and it was my dream—my goal—to share my knowledge with others. I’ve been helping my clients feel more financially prepared for 20 years, and I was ready to achieve another goal of mine—writing The Heavy Purse to help parents teach their children how to make money decisions in alignment with their goals and beliefs.
My father taught me about money, and I am teaching my daughters to feel confident handling their money too. Now I want to help your family. And I can tell you, personally and unequivocally, it starts by setting family goals and honoring those dreams.