Teaching kids to manage their money is important! Learning to create a budget, keep track of expenses, and save for emergencies are skills that are essential to life as an adult and it’s never too early to start good money habits with our children.
I thought I was doing a good job with my kiddos until a recent shopping trip, which spurred me to put some new money management systems in place. My kids had some money put aside from their birthdays so I told them I would take them shopping. I asked them to quickly grab their money so we could head out to the mall.
What should have been about a 1-minute task turned into an ordeal. My children came to me with crumpled up bills, most of them were missing some of their money, and one couldn’t find her money at all! After a little searching, we found their money, tucked away here and there in various “special hiding places” and headed to the mall.
Once we arrived, I was surprised by what my children bought. One child used all their money to buy candy. One child blew all their money on the most expensive thing we found in the first store and then was upset as we shopped along because she saw other items she wished she bought instead. Others took their time and looked around before they made purchases, but only one of them saved some of their money. The rest spent it all!
This was shopping trip was eye-opening for me. I don’t want to tell my children what they can spend their money on, but I do want them to know how to care for their money and to carefully consider what they are spending it on.
I knew it was time to put a plan in place to help my kids learn how to take care of their money and to carefully consider what they would like to spend their money on. Here’s the solution I found!
3 Super-Smart Tips for Teaching Kids to Manage Money
Designate a Place For Money
I had each child pick a special container for their money. There’s no shortage of pencil cases, purses, wallets, and little boxes in our home, so they had plenty from which to choose. Once they picked out what they were going to keep their money in, I had them pick a special place in their room where to keep it. The deal is, all their money must go in their wallet or bank and be stored in the same place in their room.
Use a Ledger or Money Tracking Sheet
I created a ledger for my kids so they can keep track of their money. A ledger is a place for them to keep track of how much money they have and to write in when they receive money when they spend money, and on what they spent it.
I love this because they know exactly how much money they have but they can also see where their money is going. If a kid sees they had $50 and spent it all on candy, that may spur them to re-evaluate what they are spending their money on. Click HERE to download this money tracking sheet to use with your kids.
On the ledger, I added a line so the kids could write in what they are saving for in this space. I like this right at the top because they see it every time they receive or spend money. Hopefully seeing this goal will help them take a minute to consider whether they should spend money or save it for their
The ledger can be folded up and go right in their wallet, or money box. Whenever they receive money, they will need to write in their leger and after they go shopping, we’ll use the receipts to write in what they spent.
Set a Savings Goal
I think it’s important to set savings goals. For kids, they are probably choosing to save for a fun activity, a toy, or a video game. As adults, we too save for fun things, but we also need to save for emergencies. Teaching our kids now to save for fun things shows them how to save, so they’ll be prepared for adulthood.
I’m hoping these three super-smart tips for teaching kids to manage money will help my kids be more responsible with the money they have. How about you? Do you have any money management tips that work well for your kiddos? If so, I’d love to hear them! Please tell me about it in the comments section!
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