How many times do you use the word “no” with your kids when it comes to money? It’s a frustrating conversation. “No, we can’t go to the movies this weekend.” “No, we can’t order a pizza tonight.” “No, we can’t get that toy.”
Whether you feel like you’re always having to tell your kids “no” or not, many families can benefit from sharing the household budget with the kids. Do they really understand what it takes to make these things happen? Probably not. Here’s how you can help them to understand:
• Every household should have a written budget showing where your money goes every month. Some bills are the same month-to-month (car and health insurance, etc.) and others vary depending on the season or expenditures (credit card, electric, gas). Show your children what each of these items costs, and be sure to include what you spend on groceries, dining out, entertainment, clothing, and other miscellaneous expenses.
• As you’re sharing costs, share your household income as well so they can see how much work and money it truly takes to keep your family’s needs and wants covered.
• Budgeting is a skill that children can begin learning at an early age. Young children may not understand fully what health insurance is, but they can certainly grasp the concept of income versus the cost of the toy they simply “must” have.
So tell us…what tips can you share that you use to teach your children about budgeting?