Lesson #25: Budgeting for Kids

Well, we are 24 lessons in to our financial life lessons for kids series — and we think it’s about time we have your kids start their own budget! Why not? No better time than the present, and well… it’s only the single most important habit regarding personal finances that they can learn. So, let’s jump right in to our lesson on budgeting for kids.

How to Create a Budget Worksheet for Kids

Elementary Age:

  1. Get a sheet of paper and a pencil.
  2. Make 3 columns with the headings: Give, Save and Live. Just below these headings, write down the percentage for each (i.e. Give 10%, Save 20%, Live 70%)
  3. While these percentages are “goals,” ask your kid(s) for specific goals and list them under the appropriate headings.
  4. For example:
    • Give 10%: Church $5, Make-a-Wish Foundation $5, United Way $5, etc.
    • Save 20%: Checking/savings $50, piggy bank $50, etc.
    • Live 70%: Lego set $30, Chuck E Cheese tokens $10, etc.
  5. Put the paper in a folder and label the folder “[Kid’s Name]’s Budget.”
  6. Fun factor: Have them decorate and personalize their folder with stickers and doodles!

Middle Schoolers and Teens:

  1. Open Excel on the computer/tablet/phone.
  2. Make 3 columns with the headings Give, Save and Live. Just below these headings, write down the percentage for each (i.e. Give 10%, Save 20%, Live 70%)
  3. While these percentages are “goals,” ask your kid(s) for specific goals and list them under the appropriate headings.
  4. For example:
    • Give 10%: Church $5, Make-a-Wish Foundation $5, United Way $5, etc.
    • Save 20%: Checking/savings $50, Investment account $50, etc.
    • Live 70%: Harry Potter book series $50, new basketball shoes $80, etc.
  5. Put the file in a folder and label the folder “[Kid’s Name]’s Budget.”

Teaching your Kids to Budget: Tips for Parents

This is a simple start to a budget, but the takeaway is HUGE. It is just as important to keep a history of expenditures (a record you can return back to) as it is to decide a percentage to Give, Save and Live. Every day that your child spends money, they should update their budget. Make it part of their “getting ready for bed routine.” We’ll continue adding a few items to our new budget next week.

April 2019

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