Budgeting can be such an overwhelming concept for adults, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be to explain it to a child. Remember that story I told you when we were in the National Bookstore. We were buying some items and my son abruptly asked me to buy something he liked. I questioned him if he has a budget. Then he said, “No I don’t have a budget” you have a budget. So I realized, how do you teach kids about budgeting?
Kids are visual so it is very helpful to show them budgeting through an illustration. Take out your magic slates, whiteboard or a simple pen and paper then guide them through the process. Think about how much you want to spend in total on something. For example, every time I go out to buy something in the wet market I sometimes I show him the list of items that I have to buy. Then, I show him the amount of money I have to spend to buy those things. In this way, he is aware of the buying concept and the use of money. When I get back in the house, he would see that those were the things I spent for the budget I allocated.
The good news is when it comes to budgeting, you don’t need to overthink it, and instead make it really simple.
Sometimes, this can easily go out of control, we could be overspending on one item from the others that are not on the budget. For example, we had this funny example while on quarantine due to COVID-19 virus. I was about to go out to buy some stocks and my son asked me to buy Yakult drink and yogurt. He insistently wanted me to buy those two. I told him that we only have a budget to buy for yogurt and not yacult. This can be so daunting if things are not under control. Well, you know the ending. He insisted me to buy those two. We have to be bold and firm.
As a rule, we need to let them understand that we only have a budget to buy for one item. If you give in to their wanting, it will create something that they can easily get what they want. Then, they will develop a negative impact as they grow up.
We all have different experiences with our kids. Most of you have grown-ups already. Do you remember when you had your kid’s birthday party? What happened then? If you planning for another one coming soon, I suggest that you get them to involve them in the budgeting process. In this way, they could see how those items you are spending costs. Like paying for the balloons, cake, even the party hats and the design items could be an interesting way for you to get them to involve. The best way is for you to print out a worksheet and let them have a checklist for them to see how it works. I posted below a worksheet that you can use. Of course, you should be giving them a working budget where they can itemize the things that they can have.
What are the Options?
Let them know of the options that they can have. How do they want to do their birthday party? Do they want to spend it with their friends, family or simply travel to their favorite place instead of holding a party at home or to the nearest restaurant. Give them the chance to participate. Ask them, what do you think is the best thing that we can do on your birthday? You do not want to insist on the things that you want for their own special day. You would be surprised on their reactions. Most of the parents that I know when they asked them about their child’s birthday party, they would say they want to spend time with their parents simply. It is amazing right.
Now if you are pumped up about starting your budget for your child college tuition now is the best time to start. List down the expenses that do you expect during his schooling. Or if you have ample time you could also start planning for the budget for your next baby, or planning for your next home, of your next car. Anything that you planned or budgeted place it to the usual place you stay in the house, in the living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Some people would prefer to put them on the refrigerator. In this way, it will serve as a reminder for both you and your kids about your budget.
We parents will always have different strategies in teaching our kids on budgetting. However it looks like, our main goal is to give them a brighter future on their finances. In this way they can live a better choices soon.
My name is Papa Jack, I am a financial advisor from Sun Life Financial. I have been a financial advisor for over 4 years now. If you would like to learn more about what I do, click here. If you would like to schedule a short call with me click here.
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