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Talking With Your Kids About Money

Air Date 04/06/2015

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Finance experts Scott and Bethany Palmer explain how parents can strengthen their relationship with their kids while teaching them sound, biblically-based principles about money.

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Episode Transcript


John Fuller: So, you want your child to learn how to manage money well, but sometimes they just don't get it. This is "Focus on the Family" with Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller and Jim, it seems that sometimes, you know, you can be in a good dad mode and helping the child understand. And you offer some advice about finances and they say, "What's that got to do with my money?" And it's just that they're not gettin' it.

Jim Daly: Well, yeah, what age does that start? Like about 3?

John: Something like that. (Laughter) Yeah, I was thinkin' 5, but maybe as early as 3.

Jim: It's my money, dad. But you know, it's okay. It's what they're learning. At least they showed some ownership, right? And I think for Jean and the boys and I, I mean, this is an area I'm excited about talking about this topic, because so often as parents, we tend to ignore kind of passing these virtues, these attributes down to our kids. We kinda let them develop on their own, thinking we can't do much to shape their financial ability. But you can do a lot as a parent to recognize your child's personality and then help move that child along in a godly way to deal with money.

John: And we have a couple of guests to help us do just that. Scott and Bethany Palmer are well-known as "The Money Couple." We always get a great response when they're on the program. And they've got a book that addresses it and Jim, I'm gonna push back and listen, because I think I need to listen.

Jim: Oh, come on.

John: I'm not sure I've had—

Jim: No, no.

John: --the conversation like I need to.

Jim: Yeah, we need your stories here.

John: Oh, we'll see.

Jim: You're gonna put me out on a limb.

John: No, no, no. I just want to (Laughter) hear what they have to say.Their book is The 5 Money Conversations to Have with Your Kids at Every Age and Stage. And of course, we've got details about that and other helpful resources at


Jim: And it's great to have you both back. Let me welcome you.

Scott Palmer: Well, thanks for havin' us.

Bethany Palmer: It's great to be here.

Jim: Now here's the difference. I mean, we've had Dave Ramsey on. We've had other financial folks on. Rarely if ever, do we have the couple on. So, I like your bravado, your courage in both (Laughter) coming on, 'cause you kinda straighten each other out along the way, right?

Scott: Well, we – it's much more truthful when your spouse is there and lookin' at you goin', "Yeah, you didn't handle it like that. (Laughter) Was that—

Bethany: What are you thinking?

Scott: --what you handled in your mind?

Jim: I think id's be easier to be a financial counselor and only do it by yourself.

Scott: That's right.

Jim: That way you could talk about your spouse (Laughter), but she's not there to hold you accountable.

Scott: Right, you don't have visions of grandeur and you can't make the story to make you look like a genius all the time. (Laughter)

Jim: True.

Bethany: Exactly right.

Jim: Well, we've gotta also say that our kids all kinda go to school together, which I love. And your two guys, Cole and Cade are part of your story.

Bethany: Absolutely.

Jim: And today we're gonna talk about kids and their temperaments. You have this great new book, The 5 Money Conversations to Have with Your Kids at Every Age and Stage. How do you begin? Where do you begin? At what age do you begin to really instill these principles? And what wobbles do you have along the way?

Bethany: Well, one of the things I think is, that we think that our kids should just know how to handle money.

Jim: Yeah. (Laughing)

Bethany: We just assume that they should just know how to do it and the truth of the matter is, they have to be taught in a way that they can hear what you're trying to teach them.

One of the best ways we believe to start is with an allowance. That is a way to begin to show them about money, the value that it can have, that you need to save it, spend it, give it. And starting that at a young age is great. Now when you're young, we actually suggest and we have a really easy way to do it, but actually just suggest with giving them $3, not associated with any kind of work or—

Jim: Not a performance—

Bethany: --job.

Jim: --$3.

Bethany: Not a performance thing, just giving them $3 a week.

Scott: So, they can get used to …

Bethany: They can [get] used to holding it, seeing it. And make sure that there's three different pots, you know, sometimes put just a bank that has three components to it.

Jim: We did that.

Bethany: Okay, so now you have $3 and you could put $1 in "Save," $1 in "Spend" and $1 in "Give." It's just a really simple way to start to have them see that money has different categories that it goes into.

Jim: And you know what I think when I look back on when we did that (Chuckling), we got down to, you know, "You want to do 10 percent here." Kids aren't gonna grab that.

Bethany: No way.

Jim: Now that I think about it—

Bethany: That's—

Jim: --I'm laughing.

Bethany: --exactly right. That's exactly right.

Jim: 'Cause we did do that. Did you do that?

John: Oh, yeah. In fact, just the other day I was in our closet and I found the—

Jim: The bank.

John: -- little give bank that we had for one of the kids and it still had money in it.

Jim: But I liked that idea, $3, one here, one here, one here.

Bethany: Right.

Jim: That's easier for the kids to—

Bethany: Right.

Jim: --grasp--

John: Yeah.

Jim: --conceptually.

Bethany: Right and a lot of times parents have a hard time because, well, my child shouldn't have to get an allowance for things that they do around the home. That's just part of being a family, in the family. (Laughter) And we agree. I mean, there are chores that you need to do just because you're part of a family.

So, what happens is, well, I don't give my child an allowance, because they should be doing chores around the home just being part of the family, but then you lose out on the opportunity to teach them about money.

Jim: Right.

Bethany: So, that's one of the reasons why we say it's just simple just to start with a simple $3 when they're really young. And then we have another approach that you can take when the kids get a little bit older.

Jim: Well, let's talk about it.

Bethany: All right.

Jim: I mean, let's—

Scott: Great.

Jim: --move it on up the chain.

Bethany: Sure.

Scott: So transitioning, you brought up earlier, you know, how do we make sure that, you know, parents aren't raising kind of the materialistic and—

Jim: Entitled.

Scott: --entitled and financially dependent? Well, what we found was, right around the age of 10, that's when we started to kind of change the way that our kids started dealing with their money. Part of the great thing about writing all the time, is you eavesdrop on people. It becomes an amazing way to have stories in your book.

Jim: You're makin' me nervous already.

Scott: But we listened to these two teenage girls. And she was saying, "Yeah, I just got this job." She goes, "You know, it's go great. I have my own money now and my mom and dad can't tell me what to do with it. I mean, it's just none of their business. It's all mine." And then the other girl says, "Yeah, I'm gonna get a job, too."

Andso, we're listening to this conversation, our jaw's on the ground. And I'm thinking, oh, my goodness. This is probably a conversation Cole's gonna have in four or five years. We better get our arms wrapped around this.

So, what we did was, at the age of 10, we transitioned from just, here's your allowance, to basically, here's what you can do around the house and here's the cost associated with that. So, if you're gonna sweep out the garage, that's $7. If you're gonna vacuum the whole basement and clean the bathrooms, that's $7.

So, what we basically did, was we transitioned from the, here's your money, to here's some other things that you can do around the house above and beyond your chores and there's a price tag associated with that. This has worked amazingly well. And I think you brought up a great point with the tenth. That's just really hard for a kid to get, a 5-year-old.

Jim: Right.

Scott: You know, it's a hard concept. But what we're able to do is, at the younger age, if you can start programming them in thinking, I'm gonna save a portion; I'm gonna give a portion or tithe a portion and I'm gonna spend a portion, it just gives them some financial training that they don't even know what's happening.

Jim: Now you've applied something that you've learned at kind of the parental level, your normal discussion about your five money personalities. But now you're applying this to children.

Bethany: Yes.

Jim: Let's talk about the meat of that and then get to the survey. Then I've love to tell you how my boys did. (Laughter)

Bethany: Absolutely.

Jim: But–

Bethany: Absolutely.

Jim: --what are you tryin' to do there?

Bethany: Yes, there is a huge problem and a huge disconnect inside of families, because we all look at money differently. And when you all look at money differently because of the way God made you, and you look at it differently than maybe your child looks at it, it can be really hard to parent that child.

It's so interesting, because just this morning we were hearing a lady talk about her children. And she happens to be a primary saver. And she has three children, she said that her two children are great kids. They save, save, save. But my third child, man, I've gotta watch that child. And I thought to myself, isn't that interesting. It's not that it's bad; it's just that it's different.

Jim: Right.

Bethany: And we've gotta understand that. We've gotta see. So, we've made this really exciting tool for parents and we are so excited to get it out there, because you've really gotta understand the perspective of money that your child has. And it's really fascinating, because each child has two out of the five money personalities.

Jim: Yeah, you have your front style and your back-up style.

Bethany: Right, your—

Jim: But before—

Bethany: --primary and your secondary.

Jim: --before we go to that, you said something I don't want to brush over that, 'cause I think it's important for us as parents to think of this, because in our parenting, in our discipline, we can use shame. And in our financial teaching, as you just alluded to, we can use shame. Shame is not an effective parenting tool, because it devalues the child. And then that can really be the rootedness for some very poor behavior later on.

Bethany: Yes. I love to tell the story of my mom and my relationship, because we are so opposite. My mom is a primary saver, secondary security seeker. I am a primary spender, secondary risk taker. Well, we could not be more different. And how often she wouldn't need to, but she would shame me for things that I wanted.

I was a nationally ranked swimmer, so swimming was a big part of my life. And there was a special kind of swimsuit I needed to nationals. And she just could not understand spending $32. Now that's a joke, $32. But $32—

Jim: That's a deal.

Bethany: --for a racing suit, that just seemed ridiculous to her. And she didn't understand that I took it because I'm a primary spender, that I wasn't worth—

Jim: Yeah.

Bethany: --the $32 for the swimsuit. So there was a lot of pain there.

Jim: It's almost like it's a language—

Bethany: Yes.

Jim: --isn't it?

Bethany: It's a way that you see not only just money, but you see life. You know, God talks about money more than 2,300 times in the Bible. And we believe it's because He understood how much it was going to impact our relationships.

Jim: Yeah.

Bethany: And so, it's really important to make sure that we understand that about it. Just it will open your eyes in a whole new way and give you an explanation for the way that they think and talk about things.

Jim: Well, it's like with Dr. Kevin Leman, with the birth order. You know—

Bethany: Yes.

Jim: --if you're in a certain order, it doesn't work for everybody, but generally it gives you an understanding—

Bethany: There we go.

Jim: --like you're saying. Same is true with this financial play. But let's talk about those five types—

Bethany: Sure.

Jim: --and then let's do some application. What are the five types?

Scott: Great.

Jim: Of course, there's a spender.

Scott: Yeah.

Jim: There's gotta be a spender. (Laughter)

Scott: Everybody knows there's a spender.

Jim: We love the spender (Laughter). We want to hang out with the spender.

Scott: They're our friend.

Bethany: We're both primary spenders?

Scott: The spenders—

Bethany: Oh, man.

Scott: --are the life of the party all the time. They're always up for something exciting. So, what Bethany and I did was, we put together a money personality assessment for adults, because we started working with couples. So, you've got a saver, a spender—those are pretty self-explanatory. You've got a risk taker. I say those are my wife or the Donald Trumps of the world. They're (Laughter) always looking for the opportunity that's out there. They're your buddy that has a new job. Every time you sit down talk to them, there's this new opportunity.

The fourth one is a security seeker, which I happen to be secondarily a security seeker. Security seekers love a plan. The security seeker is going to be the life insurance salesman's dream, because we have to have a plan; everything needs to be in place.

And last but not least is our flyer. And what we found was, the flyer money personality is the person that never thinks about money. And the reason they never think about money is because relationships always come first.

So, if you have a child or you're married to a flyer, if someone says, "Hey, let's go do this," they're always gonna say, "Yes," if there's a way that it's gonna improve the relationship. The money question always come second.

Jim: So, would a flyer sometimes look like a spender?

Scott: Absolutely, but they're different in that, the spender is naturally gonna always, if there's money there, they're gonna spend it. As where a flyer isn't necessarily gonna spend money, but if there's a way to connect with someone in a relationship, they're not gonna think about the money.

So, the flyer is so interesting, because the flyer is the easiest money personality to work with, especially with a kid, because it's all in the relational side. You really have to watch their secondary money personality to see how they're gonna react to spending or saving or taking risks or seeking security.

Bethany: And I also want to highlight the saver and the spender. I think sometimes we say, well, they're very self-explanatory, so you don't need to talk about them. But the interesting thing about them--let me take the saver for example--they like to save, but they also like other people to save, as well.

Jim: That's important to them.

Bethany: Isn't that (Laughter); it is. (Laughter)

Scott: That's huge.

Bethany: It's huge, because it's like they will want you to get a good deal. And when you don't, they will be frustrated with you.

Jim: Interesting.

Bethany: Isn't that interesting? Same thing with a spender. A spender wants to go ahead and spend. They love to give gifts, love to give gifts. Spenders are very generous people.

Jim: Do you tend to hang out with people that you ID with in this way? Do spenders hang with spenders?

Bethany: Well, it definitely makes the relationship easier, because (Laughter) you can see the thing that impacts you every day in a very similar light. And so, it's easier to get along with them, because you see life and the money that impacts you every day in the same way. So, it's definitely easier when it's similar.

Program Note:

John: Well, that's a good perspective and we've covered a lot of ground to this point on today's "Focus on the Family" radio program. If you'd like to find out your child's money personality, do so with the code found at the back of the Palmer's book, The 5 Money Conversations to Have with Your Kids at Every Age and Stage. And we've paired that book with the extended broadcast CD of this program. You won't find the book and CD package anywhere else, except at or when you call us and our number here, 800-232-6459; 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

And since we're talking about finances, when you make a generous financial contribution to Focus on the Family of any amount, we'll send that book and CD bundle to you as our way of saying thank you for supporting this ministry. And of course, you can then take that money personality profile quiz with your child.

End of Program Note

Jim: Let's talk about the survey, 'cause I did it early this morning (Laughing).

John: With both boys?

Jim: With one at a time. Thankfully they didn't wake up at the same time. So, Troy is my early riser.

Bethany: Perfect.

Jim: So, Troy came—

Bethany: Nice and fresh.

Jim: --up. Right and I was working, reading, you know, through the book. And so, I scratched this little scratch in the back of the book and it gives you a code. And you go to the website, enter the code and it's again that about 35 quick questions.

And sure enough, Troy came out a spender, security seeker. So, he has that spending mentality. He's 12-years-old. What can I do to move him in a good direction?

Scott: Well, that is a great money personality, I have to say, because (Laughter) it's the same as mine. (Laughter)

Panel: [Everyone talking at the same time.]

Scott: Troy and I are buddies already.

Jim: Hangin' out together.

Scott: Right. He and I will be friends. You know, it's so interesting, because I love what Bethany said about and you talked about the shaming part, it's really easy to shame spenders, because a spender is your kid that gets the allowance and he's like, hey, we're in town. Let's swing by Target and see what's happening.

Jim: Exactly right. He says to me every allowance day, it's "Can we go to Walmart today?"

Bethany: Absolutely. (Laughter)

Scott: Absolutely, that is a typical spender. They are just ready to go.

Bethany: Their money definitely burns a hole in their pocket. (Laughter) I mean, it is unbelievable.

Scott: But we don't tell them that, because that would be shaming. But the secondary money personality is so interesting, because it's a security seeker.

Jim: Right.

Scott: And so what Troy is gonna go through is, he's gonna spend money, but he loves to have a plan with that.

Jim: Right.

Scott: He's not necessarily going to just walk in and buy the first thing. He's gonna scope things out. He's gonna, you know, where should I put my money, here? Or if I hold back a little bit another week or two, I could come back here and buy this also.

Jim: Right, he'll save with a purpose, but if he—

Scott: That's exactly it.

Jim: --doesn't have the purpose, he'll spend it.

Scott: That's exactly it. And so, it's so awesome. My youngest son is actually the same way. He's a primary spender, secondary security seeker. And we talk about this in the book and part of the vernacular that we used to use with our kids. So, about five years ago, we started talking to Cade about his future spending plan.

Jim: Not a budget.

Scott: Not a budget, 'cause you say the word "budget" to a spender, their ears will just shut and suddenly, you're just "Wah, wah, wah." But you say "a future spending plan"—

Jim: That's exciting.

Scott: --they're dialed in.

John: Yeah, I like spending.

Scott: 'Cause they're gonna—

John: Yeah.

Scott: --get to spend. And so, that's part of the vernacular and part of how we can change the way that we talk to our kids and why it's so important for them to understand what their money personality is, because you can highlight the great aspects of their money personality. Plug into that and then watch them save. Watch them learn how to give and more importantly, as important, come alongside them and encourage the way they spend.

Bethany: One of the things that's been really fun in our child who's a spender security seeker is really encouraging the generosity that he has. Because it's so easy—

Jim: Right, it's natural.

Bethany: --for the spender person to want to go towards materialistic things. But you just do a one little degree of change and you'll be leading them towards the generosity side of their spender money personality. And you watch that grow and that's really, really exciting. And he loves to give.

Jim: Yeah, I could see that in Troy. I mean, he does; he gets excited when other people are excited about something he'll help with.

Bethany: Yes.

Jim: Now my older son, Trent, he's more of the security seeker as the primary and then saver as a secondary. He was the kid and I remember this clearly, 'cause Jean and I kinda chuckled, he wanted to buy the Lego Death Star.

Scott: Oh, that huge one.

Jim: That's huge; it's big.

Scott: Like 500 bucks.

Jim: It's like 500 bucks. And so, I thought there's no way. And so, I said, "Well, if you save half of it, I'll meet you and help you with the other half for a Christmas present or something." And I chuckled walkin' away, saying to my wife, Jean, "There's no way."

Scott: You're safe on that.

Jim: It's not gonna happen. Oh, lo and behold, two years later, "Dad, I finally got the money." I'm [like], "Money for what?" "For the Death Star." (Chuckling) I was like, "You're kidding." (Laughter)

Scott: And he's been thinkin' about it every day.

Jim: But that's that guy, isn't it?

Scott: Well, you know what's so cool? You didn't even know it at the time. You were totally speaking his language, because he's a primary security seeker, so he loves to plan. You just basically inadvertently gave him the plan. And he's a saver, which was totally right in his mojo. I mean, he's like, are you serious, Dad? So, I'm glad you didn't commit to like a Corvette or something.

Jim: Yeah, that was at like about 8 bucks a week, plus Christmas and birthday money.

Scott: Right, but that totally spoke to his money personality. And it's so interesting, because when you start to speak to your kid's money personalities, you're gonna really be able to find stories like that all the time and making sure that they really know who they are.

Jim: Well, and again, it goes well beyond the money transactions, talking about spiritual behavior, emotional behavior. And that's probably back to your point, Bethany. That's why the Lord brought it up thousands of times in Scripture, 'cause it's so close to who we are.

Bethany: It is so close to who we are. And oftentimes we find that the spender, the risk taker and the flyer money personalities are shamed most often, because savers and security seekers are really praised in our society.

Jim: Right.

Bethany: And they really are.

Jim: They're doing the right thing.

Bethany: They're doing the right thing and it's the best thing and it is so important to save. I mean, we're both primary spenders, so we have to make sure that we have a good spending plan.

Jim: Well, let me ask you about that, 'cause I love the honesty of that. When both the parents are in that zone and then you have a child that might be a spender, how do you self-regulate?

Bethany: Everybody can be taught. Everybody can be taught how to save. You know, we have to save by having money automatically put into accounts each month. We would not choose to do that, but we have the discipline to do that. And so, it's important to learn that skill. It doesn't come naturally to us at all and so, we had to learn it. We teach it, but we also know that there's really great attributes to spenders, again being generous. Risk takers, they're the ones who start our companies in our country. And then you've also got the flyers, who build the relationships. You know, I really think about Jesus. Think about it. He was a perfect mixture of all five.

Jim: Yeah.

Bethany: If you really think about it, He had freedom in His spending. He started new ideas. He saved and that was a huge part of what He did and He always had a plan. And one of the things that is a great way to see kids' money personality, even at really, really young ages is Easter candy. Believe it or not, if you think about it, think about this. A spender eats Easter candy really fast. A saver saves it.

Jim: It doesn't break down at any point?

John: Nine months later you're seeing so.

Jim: A lot of kids eat their candy really fast—

Scott: Yeah.

Jim: --I would think, even a saver. But you're saying no.

Bethany: No way, saver? Oh, we have a nephew. He has Easter candy from the year before. (Laughter)

Jim: It's not that he doesn't like it?

Bethany: No (Laughing), absolutely not. He saves it. He laughs with us, because he talks about that.

Jim: Oh, my.

Bethany: A risk-taker, they trade it.

Jim: Yeah.

Bethany: You know, I'll take this Easter egg for that, you know. They trade.

John: Okay.

Jim: Trent does a little bit of that.

Bethany: Okay, so …

Jim: They might have a little—

Bethany: Risk taker in him there.

Jim: --yeah, yeah.

Bethany: But security seekers, they have everything planned out. They put all the Easter eggs in this pile, you know, everything is all planned out. And if you think about it, the flyer, they give their candy away, because it's all about the relationship.

Jim: Yeah, Troy, he drills through that pretty fast. (Laughter) I'm a little shocked at times. "Weren't there like 400 pieces of candy there?

Bethany: But he's a—

Scott: That's your spender.

Bethany: --primary spender.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Bethany: And it is so fun to really see at such young ages. And that's why, when you put the different assessments together, even an assessment for 5- to 12-year-olds, because you really can see their little personalities come out at such a young age.

Jim: Now if he's listening, I just want to say, "I love you, boy." (Laughter)

John: Oh, I'm glad you did the illustration there of the risk-taker, because, that's my youngest. He is Mr. "Hey, I have something of value; let me trade it for something that is of value to me." He does this with Lego pieces. He does it with food. He does it with all sorts of different things. It's the art of the deal for him.

Jim: It's probably gonna be in his future vocation, I would think.

Scott: Absolutely.

John: That would be interesting. I'm not sure if I'd trust him with my money. (Laughter)

Scott: Well, you know, it's so exciting, 'cause you can really plug into that.

John: Yeah.

Scott: Your risk takers are the ones that are just gonna come to you and say, "Dad, I kinda have this crazy idea about doing X. What do you think?" And it's so great, 'cause you can plug in and say, "Hey, give that a try." I mean, really plug into that, because that's your future entrepreneur. And if you can plug into that passion and they feel supported by their mom and dad and it doesn't always work out.

Cole came to me. My oldest is a primary risk taker and he came to me last week and he said, "Dad, look what I found online," and it was a kayak. And he's like, "I think I should get it." And I'm like, "Son, we live in Colorado. We have like one river and you don't even know how to kayak." He goes, "Yeah, but you never know." (Laughter) And so, instead of me going, "No, we're not getting a kayak," I'm like, oh, he's a risk taker; he's a risk taker.

Jim: Yeah.

Scott: So, I said, "You know what? I think it's a great idea. It's the middle of winter. Why don't we sit on that for a while and if you're still interested in kayaking, this summer we'll go back and revisit that. Well, he wasn't shamed. He wasn't put down. I plugged into it and I'm thinking, that was just a risk-taker idea. By this summer he'll have moved onto something else.

John: Some new risk.

Jim: And you're really teaching him not to go on the impulse, because—

Scott: Absolutely.

Jim: --they do have a lot of impulses in that way and that's good. That's good training. Let me ask you this though. We talk in categories, 'cause it helps us to understand the language. Can kids change as they're getting older? I mean, I don't want to suggest that if your 5-year-old is not demonstrating saver mentalities, don't panic, because by the time he or she is 12, they might be. Is that fair?

Bethany: No, that's not fair. One of the things, we believe that you are born with your money personality. And by looking at little children and how they handle their Easter candy is such a great way to see how it starts very young.

Jim: So, you gotta take that core spender and really help them to understand their—

Bethany: If saving is—

Jim: --core behavior.

Bethany: --something they need to learn—

Jim: Okay.

Bethany: --absolutely. I think of myself when I was young. I'm a primary spender, secondary risk taker. I used to eat my Easter candy really fast and I used to trade it with my brother. I mean, I didn't know anything about money personalities when I was young, but it's so amazing. You can see it at such young ages. And that's why you don't want to shame or try to change them. We want to encourage who they are and who God made them so special and different.

Jim: Bethany, I think the reason I say that is, when you have that 5-year-old and you see that, that little sweet baby, that spender of yours (Laughter)—he or she—you're thinking, okay, by 12 or 13, they'll be a saver. But why is that? Why are we helping or wanting to change them, rather than help them develop tools for who they are?

Bethany: Okay, well, the truth of the matter is, when you have a lot of debt, it can control your life. Nobody wants their child to get into debt, to spend all their money, to not be wise with their money. So, that that's when the fear comes in.

But you've got to take their money personalities and encourage who they are and steer them in the right direction and help them learn some skills that need to happen in order for them to learn how to save, but don't shame them into saving.

Scott: You can have a spender that's an awesome saver. It just has to be positioned right.

Jim: And they need to learn it.

Scott: And they need to learn it and it's modeled by the parents, but it's also having really frank great conversations with them. That's why we wrote the book the way that we did, because most of us are not going to probably put our kids in college with this great amazing amount of financial knowledge.

But what we can do by training those different money muscles, if you will or those habits or building that money character, by having the right conversations, you're doing two things. First of all, you're affirming who they are. And second of all, you're opening up the opportunity to have awesome conversations with them later.

Jim: Well, and what you're talkin' about at the core is launching well, launching your children well, which we talk a lot about here at Focus on the Family, John. I mean, that's part of it. There's all different attributes to that—spiritually healthy, intellectually rigorous, and then even in this area, what would be a niche, how you deal with your money. It's a big area.

Bethany: It is a big area and again, sometimes we think that they should just know this and they don't. And it's just like any of the other skills that we want to teach them how to do. We want to make sure that we have raised really smart money kids, so they understand themselves. They understand what the pros are of their money personality. They understand the cons and where they're gonna see challenges. So, when those pop up, they'll have a tool and a way to think about it. Instead of shaming themselves, they'll be able to steer themselves in the right direction.

Jim: Well, we're doin' it. You can start today. Pick up the book by Scott and Bethany Palmer, The 5 Money Conversations to Have with Your Kids at Every Age and Stage. John, you'll give the details of how to do that.

John: Uh-hm.

Jim: I'm anxious to do it. I'm excited to teach Trent and Troy a bit more about that personality they possess that God has given them and how they can use it to His glory. Thanks for bein' with us.

Scott: Our pleasure.

Bethany: It was great to be here.


John: We always have some great advice from the Palmers and if you're like Jim and you're eager to determine your child's money personality, not to change that, but so you can learn how to work with their natural God-given approach toward money, get a copy of the Palmer's book, The 5 Money Conversations to Have with Your Kids at Every Age and Stage. We'll send that to you and we'll include an extended version of this conversation on CD when you make a generous donation today at or when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

And by the way, when you're online, if you'd like to take advantage of another took for helping your child start to save regardless of his or her money personality, we've got a tool called MVelopes, details at the website. Look for MVelopes when you're at

Our program was provided by Focus on the Family and made possible by generous listeners like you. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I'm John Fuller, inviting you back tomorrow, when you'll hear a dramatic story of a former Palestinian sniper who came to know Jesus Christ. It's a faith-strengthening, life-changing story next time, as we help your family thrive in Christ.

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Scott and Bethany Palmer

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Scott and Bethany Palmer have more than 20 years of financial planning experience. They are authors of several books and appear regularly on TV and radio to speak on topics like love and money. The Palmers reside in Colorado and have two sons. Learn more about Scott and Bethany at their website,