No matter how frugal or sensible with your money you were before kids, all of this can go out of the window. It’s no secret that having kids can be expensive, and so you need to completely reevaluate your budget to accommodate them and ensure they have the best life possible.
Once they get old enough, you can start to share your budgeting prowess with them. Kids aren’t necessarily known for being great, or even good, with money. So, sharing your knowledge and teaching them the value of what saving means will help them manage their finances better, whether that’s from their pocket money, their first job, or if they ever get lucky with a lottery ticket.
Be Open With Everyone
There’s no point trying to shield kids from financial responsibilities, so it’s always worth being be honest and open with them about the value of money and why they should take care not to spend it all in one place.
You can discuss things that you, as a family, can and cannot afford, be reasonable, and come to compromises when your kids are begging you to run to McDonald’s on the way home. Rather than cave to every craving and impulse, it’s better and more beneficial for you to teach patience, how to save, and the rewarding feeling that comes from finally being able to afford something that you have saved up for.
Agree On Percentages
Deciding on a set amount to save weekly or monthly does not always work, and it can also make it hard to budget if you rely on numbers rather than percentages every time. By using percentages, you can make it easier to save.
Kids and adults alike are more comfortable putting away 10%, 20%, or 30% of their earnings each month rather than a dollar amount. This becomes especially useful if their wages or pocket money is not as consistent month-to-month. It still gives them the option to save something.
Match What They Save
One excellent way to encourage your kids to save and budget better while they are growing up is to match every penny that they collect. As kids, it’s unlikely they will have much money left to save, but this will make it easier for you to match it.
Let’s say they drop a dollar into their savings jar every week. You can do the same. It might not be much for you, but it will be more than enough for them. This creates a positive saving experience for them and makes them happy to save, rather than come up with excuses not to, which also plagues adults.
You may not be able to continue to match their savings as they get older, but they should already have an impressive amount saved up by then.
Know What You Can And Cannot Do
A significant part of budgeting is knowing what you can and cannot do when it comes to a range of everyday demands. An aspect of the frugal and budgeting lifestyle is getting over your reliance on professionals to do things for you. Instead, you grow your vegetables, make your clothes, and fix things yourself.
However, there are some areas where you need to bring in an expert, and trying to Do It Yourself could only lead to higher costs. Making sure to teach your kids to seek the right appliance repair, rather than try to do something they are not capable of, will prevent any severe extra costs. It’s good to be self-sufficient, but it’s also good to know your limits.
Let Them See the End Goal
Kids are easily distracted. They are easily bored, and this is as true with budgeting and learning to save as it is with games, play, and school. You want to keep them on-task, though. You want to show them that all their hard work and sacrifices will pay off, so it’s always vital that you help them to see the end goal.
Demonstrating that you are willing to follow through with any promises about saving up a certain amount of money will boost motivation and continue their positive association. Conversely, failing to do so will discourage them, and they may not learn why budgeting is so beneficial.
Your kids may find all this education boring, they may not even listen to you the first few times you give them the money lecture, but with enough persistence, they will soon start to take your advice on how to budget. By getting into these good habits now, you can feel more confident when they are out by themselves.