How to Include Your Kids in Your Budget Planning
Getting your kids involved in budget planning will take some work, but it teaches them how to spend money responsibly. If you find it difficult to get your children involved, try these budget planning activities.
Start with Examples Your Kids Will Understand
If you start by talking to your kids about electricity bills and car insurance, then you’ve already lost your audience. Young children can’t relate to those expenses, let alone the seemingly large amounts of money that adults spend on them. Keep your children interested by starting with a kid-friendly budget plan that shows them how to save their allowance money to buy toys. This first step will prepare them for bigger lessons down the road.
Make a Grocery List Together
Image via Flickr by Liana_Kyle
Your kids probably have their own opinions about what makes a good meal. Instead of fighting with them every time they want ice cream and cookies, use that as an opportunity to get them involved in making a grocery list for the family. Since they already understand the basics of budgeting, they will understand that you have to buy food without exceeding a certain amount of money. This introduces kids to realistic budgeting, without overwhelming them with intangible expenses. It’s also a great chance to help your kids learn about planning balanced meals.
Move on to the Monthly Budget
After your children have some experience budgeting their allowances, and the family’s groceries, it’s time to introduce them to monthly budgeting that includes all of your household expenses. That includes your entertainment, food, gasoline, mortgage, insurance, savings, and any other recurring expenses.
At first, your kid might find this difficult to process. Think back to when you were young. Remember how impossible it seemed that your parents earned thousands of dollars a month? Once you do some quick addition and subtraction, though, they’ll learn that a healthy income doesn’t mean you can spend money frivolously.
Ask Your Kids for Input
You already know that the math will only keep your kids entertained for a short time. That’s why you need to start a conversation that lets them offer some creative input. Sure, you already follow AmeriSave on Twitter.com to learn about interest rates and financial planning, but your kids might come up with ideas that surprise you. The most important thing is that you keep them engaged in the process.
When your kid offers an idea, talk about its merits. Do they really understand what it means to cut the family’s entertainment expenses in half? Do they realize that earning more income means working more hours? In return, you’ll have to get creative to explain these concepts in ways that make sense to them.
These are real-world discussions that you should teach your children as early as possible. The sooner they learn, the better they will be at making smart choices when they grow up.
How do you get your kids involved in budget planning? Every family has its own concerns and ideas. Share yours to help other families teach their kids how to use money wisely.