As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children financial awareness. This includes showing them how to budget their money from an early age. Including them as a part of the family budgeting plans is a great thing, but it does not relate directly to them on their level. Never do they handle the funds that pay your household bills and few show their children the actual bill with payment and balance information. Therefore, helping your kids set up a budget of their own will teach them on a smaller scale what it is that you do every month with your finances.
“Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with it. I have good advice and sound wisdom; I have insight, I have strength.” ~ Proverbs 8:10, 11, 14
Teach your Children to Budget
Teach Your Kids To Use A Budget Template
There are many options out there that you can find to help you with the basics or just use a spreadsheet program on your computer. The left hand column will be for the days of the week and the columns that span the page across will be the categories like games, food, clothes, gifts, and savings. Include a place for what they earn to be recorded, just as you know how much is brought into your household to pay expenses. Explain to them that they need to fill out their chart (or do it together) and disperse the money into the categories they need to. If you incorporate a rule that 20% goes into savings or to charity, those should come out first and then obligations like gifts. The rest can be divided into the fun areas and once they spend it, the money is gone…they need to earn more.
Set Budgeting Goals With Your Kids
When you were younger, before the time of children and marriage, you dreamed of having a family and a home. These dreams became goals for you, things to accomplish and make your life richer in a more spiritual way. Money truly does make the world go ‘round, unfortunately. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel comfortable in your situation or provide your family with a home. In fact, it sets a great example for your children. So sit down with your family and
set a short term goal and a long term goal with them individually. Have them draw a picture of it and hang it by the budget chart so they see it every day and remember why they are saving their money. It can be something as simple as buying a Matchbox car and saving for school clothes or putting their money toward college.
Reward Your Child’s Budgeting
You can expect some hesitation, a little bit of resistance even. As your children begin to take the process in stride and take the initiative, be sure to reward them with a shopping trip to buy that item they had been saving for. Every new program needs to be tackled with a loving and supportive attitude so when the family steps up and applies your wisdom, let them know how much you love and appreciate them back. Your reward comes much later in life when they are financially stable people.
Being a parent is a true blessing, but one that does not come without its responsibilities. Enrich them with your knowledge and train them up to be sturdy adults in life. It may feel uncomfortable or harsh at times, but you really are helping them, preparing them for their future.
Phil Marks spent 25 years working for community newspapers before recently making the transition to digital media. When he isn’t busy enjoying the great outdoors or spending time with his family, Phillip shares his design and finance expertise as a writer for Cheap Check Store, where you can order a wide variety of custom personal checks.