Having Fun With a Kids Budget
It is our duty to teach about how a children budget works and how money works in our society. If we start earlier, our kids will understand earlier. We start teaching our kids from the time they start pointing at things (about 9 month's olds) if they are allow to have what they want. The reason is because we are responsible for their well-being. When kids grow to about two years old, they are known for "terrible twos" because tantrums usually get them what they want (if we give in to them) or they have learnt the all important word "NO" from us.
Young kids these days comprehend how to get what they want and understand why moms and dads won't give them, I think it is only wise of us as parents to not disregard our kids potential to understand money and how it works in our everyday life.
The common saying "One dollar for every age" is the general rule-of-thumb for pocket money. For a children budget, it doesn't need to be difficult to understand. Kids don't have to pay bills so up to about age 11, kids budget is focusing on what they receive and what they do with it. When they start elementary school, it would be wise to have a children budget drawn up for them. At these times, parents should start educate children about saving. Teaching children about saving is critical for later life. We as adults are so busy focusing on paying the bills we ourselves don't always prioritize savings. The rich men in the world will always tell you "pay yourself first". A simple principle of paying yourself first, if applied early in life will lead to great success for your child.
Budgeting for kids should be implemented in a way that is visually attractive to the kids with lots of color and pictures, and of course fun doing it. Make sure your kids get to design the layout of the budget with grids for the days of the week and money descriptions with pictures example a piggy bank for savings, picture of mum and dad for the allowance, books, toys, food, gifts and donations.
Savings in a kids budget should be around 10% of allowance. Take them shopping to pick out their piggy bank. Encourage them to put 10% into the piggy bank first when you give them their allowance for the week. Before you give them the next week's allowance encourage them to put in the remaining unused cash they have before the next week's allowance is given. This will teach them about living within their means. At the end of a month you can count the savings together and then take it to the bank to deposit into their bank account so it can accumulate interest. This will educate them about compound interest and will encourage them to put more into the bank.
When it is meal time speak about to your child what they have chosen to use their allowance for and also the topic of budgeting for kids. Make sure you always offer positive encouragement when your child has made a poor decision. If they bought more chocolate with their money and ended up with a tummy ache, explain to them to think about this experience before they choose to repeat the process. Alternatively if they saw a toy they wanted to buy but have come short in cash because they used their money for something else, teach them about patience and have them wait for their next allowance. It's not wise to pull out extra cash to buy them something they want straight away as this teaches them nothing about responsibility.
During those special times in the year you can encourage your child to save more, for example during their birthdays, or Christmas time. A month prior you may encourage your child to save by matching their savings or doubling it. This can be an attractive draw card for them when they know they have more to gain than the afternoon snack that week.
I deeply believe that wise parenting must involve teaching our kids about money. Budgeting for kids is so important in the health of their financial future.
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