WHAT THE JEWS TEACH THEIR CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY
The Jews are one of the smart money managers & wealth creators that we have in the world. You have often heard that whatever a Jew touches, it prospers, simply put, they have the Midas touch. I have read a lot of books that teach on how to manage your money wisely or how to get out of debt. I have also read widely about Christian perspectives on money management, but it is this simple yet practical approach from the Jews that captured my attention & imagination. It’s about what the Jews teach their children about money.
The Jews start teaching their children about money as soon as they know how to talk, they fully understand the biblical principle that says, ‘Teach a child the way of the Lord & when he will grow, he will not depart from it’ so they teach their children about money when they are young & this is part & parcel of their culture. Children have a teachable spirit; they are good listeners & are excited about learning new things.
To train their children about wise money management, the Jews will use five jars; each jar is carefully labelled & has an opening at the top. The jars are labelled, TITHE, GIVING & OFFERING, SAVING, INVESTING & SPENDING. Every time a child is given 10 Shekels (Israeli Currency), the child is expected to put one Shekel in the Jar labelled TITHE, another Shekel in the GIVING & OFFERING jar, another Shekel in the SAVINGS jar, two Shekels in the INVESTING jar & the last SPENDING jar receives the remaining five Shekels.
The child is then expected to open the GIVING jar only on Sundays, while the TITHE jar is opened on month ends. The SAVINGS jar is opened only on special occasions like when the family faces sicknesses, while the INVESTING jar is opened only when it’s full. The child takes full charge in deciding when & where to invest the money pool he/she has accumulated. The parent doesn’t intervene, even when the child is making a mistake, they let them learn from their failures. After all, failure is a good teacher. This way, their children learn to become creative in decision making & most of all take responsibility for their own decisions.
Research done has shown that the most difficult part in our lives is dealing with money. When you get this part right, all other areas in our lives are relatively easy to deal with. Jewish children then grow with a high sense of responsibility & experience more satisfaction & success than there other peers. For instance, the divorce rate in Jewish American families is 90 % less than the rates experienced in contemporary American families. Even as many struggle with Credit card debt, the Jews, continue to thrive in their businesses & personal finances.
So what happens for you & me who were not lucky enough to have undergone these transformative lessons in our early lives? First, make deliberate plans to train your children; this is one of the best investments you can ever make to your children. Secondly, have a trainable attitude & begin the steps however old you are. It may seem to be a crazy idea, but it’s worth giving a trial. It may even be more fun when you do it separately but simultaneously with your children. You can even choose to ignore the lessons & continue with your normal routine, but ten years from now, we will be able to see the results. The simple diagram below simply captures in a nutshell what the whole concept is all about.
In conclusion, King Solomon the wise said in Proverbs 22.2: The Rich & the poor have this in common; The Lord is the maker of them all. You may be struggling with debt right now, your business may be down, your promotion may be overdue, but you have all what it takes & the Lord on your side to rise out of your current predicaments & enjoy a life of unlimited success.