How are you teaching kids to budget?
Do you struggle with talking to your kids about money? For many families money is a taboo subject. The kids don’t know what is going on with the family’s finances and many children grow up not knowing much (if anything) about budgeting, or managing finances, simply because their parents never discussed it with them.
In our family we’ve taken a different approach. We’ve chosen to be open with our kids about budget and money from day one. When our kids ask to buy something in the middle of the store, we’ll have a little conversation right there about why we might not be buying the $75 toy today (or ever).
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In fact, my four year old now asks if something is on sale or clearance before asking if he can have it. When I say no, he frequently asks if we can keep watching the next few times we go to the store to see if the price goes down.
We also have conversations about some things being too expensive to ever purchase. We talk about how there are things we would all like to purchase, but we don’t. Mommy and daddy each have lists of things they’d like to buy, but we won’t because it’s not the best way to use our money.
Standing in the grocery line you might here a conversation like this:
4 yo: “mom I want some of that candy!”
me: “I know buddy, but we’re not getting any today.”
4 yo: “But I REALLY want it mama!”
Me: “I do too buddy, but we’re not buying any today, that’s not the best way to use our money.”
Since we’ve been open with them from day one, I hope there will never come a time that talking about finances is weird or taboo with them. I want them to learn about budgeting, for that to be something that seems normal and natural to them as they grow up and become managers of their own finances.
I would rather them grow up having a concept of budgeting, and not purchasing everything they want, then need to learn those skills and even self control when they leave the house to head off for college or careers.
As our kids get older and our finances change, I want to be open with them. If we’re struggling financially or if things are getting tight, that’s the perfect opportunity to teach kids how to make small sacrifices to save money for the family. It doesn’t have to be a sad or stressful thing for the kids, just a learning experience.
There are so many opportunities to dicuss finances with the kids. Not just when they are asking for toys or sweets, but also as you walk through the store. Kids love to be inolved in the shopping process, so it can be easy to point out to them why you make the shopping choices that you do. Buying in bulk to save per pound or purchasing off brand products to skip out on name brand price increases.
Simple lessons like this can affect the way your child grows up viewing finances and can help them make better financial choices as they grow into young adults.
You can also teach your kids good money habits with FamZoo’s Virtual Family Bank.
Do you talk to your kids about money? Are they involved in your family’s budget? If you are just beginning your own budgeting journey, this post might help give you some pointers on how to start saving money!