Wall Street Journal has this article about a new book about teaching kids about money.
I think my parents taught in such a way that their lifestyle matched their philosophy concerning money. At least that was the case growing up. We were not wasters and instead collected things and werer satisfied from the stuff that we actually bought.
But of course as I look at myself, I am not totally 100% correct in how I see money and need a more balanced view of things. Before getting married, I was a total minimalist/miser. It took an act of Congress before I would spend on anything that was worth anything. Now, all it takes is the push of my wife. Although I prefer to save as much as possible, my motivation in saving had to be for something... so I also needed a right view of spending. In the past it was just for the sake of saving. Having large bank account gives financial security, pride, etc. But I also knew that is not all there was to life.
I think starting a budget, having my kids learn financial sense is good. But even more important, I think, are the motivations about buying stuff that they want and need, finding the needs of others, and realizing the purchases that we make (whether for big ticket items or food or whatever) reflects our personal values. Underlying our consumerism is our morality and ethics.
I know I don't have this 100% down, but I'm starting to see that if you don't even consider your own philosphy towards life, your spending will be just as random. But if you have an underlying perspective in life that will help in ordering how you spend your time, money, resources, talents, etc.
Here's to leaving an inheritance to our children's children...