Do your kids forget to shut the front door in the winter? Leave the room with the television or lights on? Ask for too much in the grocery check-out line? It’s a frustrating conversation to have with kids. No, we cannot go to the movies this weekend. No, we cannot order a pizza tonight. No, we cannot get that toy.
Whether you feel like you’re always having to tell your kids “no” or not, many families can benefit from sharing the household budget with the kids.
Children often take for granted that they have warm clothes in the winter, or that your family can take that summer vacation to the beach. Do they really understand what it takes to make these things happen?
Every household should have a written budget- where your money goes each and every month. Some bills are the same month-to-month (car and health insurance, sanitation, etc.) and others vary depending on the season or expenditures (credit card, electric, gas).
Show your children what each of these items costs, and be sure to include what you spend on:
- dining out
- and other miscellaneous expenses
As you’re sharing expenditures, share your household income as well so they can see how much work and money it truly takes to keep your family’s needs and wants covered.
Budgeting is a skill that children can begin learning at an early age. Gauge the amount of information you share based on your child’s age. Young children may not understand fully what health insurance is, but they can certainly grasp the concept of income versus the cost of the toy they “have” to have.