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Lesson #26: Teach your Kids to Keep a Budget

Today, we’re going to continue last week’s exercise of starting (and keeping!) a budget. Keeping a budget is THE most important activity when it comes to financial freedom. Of course, it’s also the hardest part.

Mother and ChildTeaching Elementary and Middle Schoolers to Keep a Budget

Ask your kiddo(s) how they feel about having a plan for their money.

  • Do they feel confident that they can meet their goal now that they have a plan?
  • Do they feel like it would be harder without a plan?
  • Why?

Also, if they spent money, took in some money, or both — make sure they write it down! When this happens, be sure to ask them how it makes them feel to write it down. Do they feel more confident?

Writing in Small NotebookTeaching Teens to Keep a Budget

Ask your teen(s) how they feel about having a plan for their money.

  • Do they feel confident that they can meet their goal now that they have a plan?
  • Do they feel like it would be harder without a plan?
  • Why?

If they spent money, took in some money, or both — make sure they write it down! When this happens, be sure to ask them how it makes them feel to write it down. Do they feel more confident?

Of course, your teen might say that budgeting feels like a hassle, don’t be tempted to dismiss or gloss over that feeling. After all, this is what keeps most adults from sticking to a budget. I recommend you acknowledge the hassle of keeping a budget.

At the same time, remind them that there is a clear and continually reproducible reward in keeping a budget. Tracking your money will lead to less (or zero) debt, as well as increase the chances your teen will meet their financial goals – as opposed to not tracking their spending or saving at all.

Calculating FinancesTeaching your Kids to Keep a Budget — For Parents:

One step to try that will help both you and your children — in the event you struggle with (or just don’t like) budgeting either — use this opportunity to track your own budget along with your kids!

We also highly recommend that you are transparent with your kids and tell them if you struggle with budgeting. Many kids appreciate the challenge of being more “adult,” and there’s not many things more challenging than keeping a budget. This activity may be the very accountability you need to more consistently track with your own budget as well.

Just as we’ve mentioned with previous lessons, relationships are inextricably linked to personal finances. What a great way to strengthen your relationship with your kids!

Random Fun: Go outside and throw the frisbee around! Don’t have a frisbee? Challenge your kids to make one! See whose design flies the furthest.

May 2019

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