Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Teaching Kids about money, budgeting, paying bills....


Teaching kids about healthy financial habits can be daunting when you are still struggling with healthy habits yourself. It doesn't have to be daunting though, discussing some of those hard issues in terms that they can understand can be healthy. It's sort of like saying "look see mom/dad made some mistakes, we all do, and we are working on fixing them" and then explaining how people fix their financial mistakes.


All of that being said I have an older daughter she is *almost* a teenager *yikes*, at 12 she gets a lot more than she did at say 3. She sees and hears me talking about budget and bills often. A few weeks ago she asked me about how a budget works and "how do you pay your bills?" I was surprised by this. She has always been a fairly observant child. Her father and I are not together, he is no better with money than I used to be he just had lots more of it than I did to spend. Our daughter has never really seen a good example of saving, spending, and paying bills... until now.

Mint.com has a really great blog/article about teaching kids budgets, I encourage you all to read it. In fact Mint.com is a really great (and free even!) website to check out and familiarize yourselves with. I think for my child though going more in depth is what she is asking for.

With my daughter's needs/wants to learn personal finance and budgeting this week we are starting something new. I will give her an allowance for time she has worked over and above family chores that everyone does, she will work with me to create a budget on saving to spend on a goal, savings for college, and spending money. I will take her to the bank and help her learn to fill out deposit slips (and when the time comes withdraw slips) and how to balance her savings accounts and keep track of what money is for what things. I am also going to show her my pay, where things go to, where they come out and how much is left at the end of the month/day/week... Not all kids can handle that I don't think nor should they, my child seems to have a need/want for that to understand. This need/want stems a bit from how she learns anything new and her abilities to really take the information in.

Most of all, I want my child to have a better understanding of personal finance than I did so when she makes mistakes she knows how to correct them. I was never taught anything about budgeting, making money, paying bills, writing checks, or balancing a check book. Nothing at all, I was thrown into it and failed miserably, I'm working at teaching myself now but I'd like for my daughter to know better. Whether she makes the right choices by having the right knowledge is totally up to her. I can instill the right things and educate her with the knowledge and then it is in her hands on how she applies all of those things.

2 comments:

  1. Yeah, training your kids in their early age is a very good start to help them become financial savvy one day. Just make every session enjoyable to them. Adding a little pressure one at a time.

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