Have you tried teaching your kids how to budget? I didn’t realize that trying to teach your kids budgeting can also help you out as a parent. I didn’t realize this until I tried teaching Noah, my nine-year-old son, this past weekend.
I told Noah to sit down and think about what he really wanted from Santa and what he wanted to buy on Black Friday. Then, I told him to make a list. I looked it over and did a rough estimate, totalling everything up on the list. Every Saturday, we give our kids pocket money, so Noah and I worked out how many Saturdays were left and how much everything he wanted was. Bless his face—there was a huge gap between how much it all cost and how many weekends he had left before Christmas!
Despite the shock, it helped us both, as I then asked him to go through his ginormous list and figure out what he wanted first, second and third. Doing this made Noah realize he had to prioritize in a massive way.
I let him sit on it for a day. We went to Target and Sprouts, where I pointed out the items on my shopping list and asked Noah to find the those items that were on sale. Very quickly, he got excited running around looking for the best deals to save us the most money. He realized he could take the same approach to his Christmas wish list, so together we looked online to compare prices at different stores. We looked for Black Friday coupons and added these discounts to the list, too.
Developing the DiaryZapp app has been a massive learning curve for our family—and it’s definitely helped a bit with Noah’s appreciation of money. He still has some learning to do, as I think the amounts spent are just too high for him to fully comprehend just yet. Black Friday and the holidays are more realistic.
Now, he has a list—and a plan. It’s a bit cold now for garage sales or selling lemonade, but he knows that if he does a few extra chores he can double his pocket money, which is a win-win for both of us.
I’m glad I took these first steps teaching my son about the value of money, from how to plan his spending as well as the importance of taking care of what he already owns. But the best thing I’ve discovered about teaching my kids how to budget is that now I know exactly what they want for the holidays—and can get it before the shops sell out.