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Lesson #23: Backwards Planning

Alarm ClockSeriously… never be late again! Have you ever found yourself uttering that very phrase, either to yourself or your kids? I’m guessing the answer is: yes. We’re going to take our cue from that mantra to transition from budgeting time – as we did in our previous lesson – to the life lesson of budgeting money. We’ll use a concept and planning technique called “backwards planning.”

Teaching Kids to Budget: Backwards Planning

Elementary: Last week we made a chart of tasks and their associated times for completion. We said in that lesson that there’s an event that requires us to be in the car by 9AM.

This week, we want you to add all the task times up for a “total” time. Given our total time from adding the tasks, what time would we need to wake up in order to make it to the car on-time?

This concept is called backwards planning. You will have your kids ask you what time they need to be ready to go for any day that requires them to be in the car at a certain time. Then, they will use a chart to backwards plan what time they need to get up or start getting ready.

Extra credit if they can set an alarm and keep from having you tell them it’s time to get ready!

Questions to ask your kids post-lesson:

  • How would you feel if you didn’t allocate enough time for the tasks and ran late?
  • How would you feel if you allocated too much time and were ready way before you needed to be? What could you do with the extra time?

To Do ListMiddle Schoolers / Teens: Tell your kids: based on your tasks you identified last week, backwards plan the time you’d need to wake-up if you had to be ready to go and in the car by 9AM.

Questions to ask your kids post-lesson:

  • How would you feel if you didn’t allocate enough time for the tasks and ran late? What if spending too much time on one task threw off the entire goal?
  • How would you feel if you allocated too much time and were ready way before you needed to be? What could you do with the extra time?
  • What would you do if you suddenly learned you had to be ready a half-hour earlier? Could you prioritize the tasks and identify which ones that might be okay to bypass completely?

Finance for KidsLife Lesson of Backwards Planning: Guide for Parents

Not only is this a skill that could help you get the family moving more efficiently, it sets the stage for budgeting in general. When your kids can master this skill and employ it without being prompted by you, it WILL show up in the way they handle their finances and future financial planning.

And, remember, on these questions we list for you, try stretching the dialogue by asking open-ended follow up questions such as:

  • “That’s interesting…explain that answer please.”
  • “What else?”
  • “Why do you think you’d feel that way?”

Read Other Kids & Money Blogs: Financial Life Lessons for Kids

 

February 2019

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