Budgeting is one of the most important ideas you can teach your children as they grow up. Being responsible with money is not easy when there are so many temptations out there to spend instead of save. Technology is a huge temptation especially with kids, teens, and college students because it is always improving and growing. Keeping up-to-date with tech gadgets can really burn a hole in a person’s wallet. In this day and age, with the economy the way it is and no sign of improvement, the art of budgeting is key for financial survival. But how can you teach your kids just how to do that in a way that they will actually listen and follow your advice?
Not everyone budgets in the same way; different systems work for different people. No matter how you decide to teach your children to budget, it is important that you start early make sure they understand why you are teaching them these skills. As soon as they start receiving birthday money is a great time to start. The younger they are the more impressionable they will be and the less they will actually need the money you’re encouraging them to put away.
Later on in years, teens may automatically feel like you are punishing them when you tell them to save money and stop going out with friends so much. If your children seem resistant to your budgeting advice, it may be time to go about teaching them in a different way. Research the internet, ask friends with children, or even ask a financial advisor for some advice on how to go about teaching your children how to budget with a positive spin. Sometimes trial and error will be necessary.
Since children and teens will not yet understand the seriousness of credit card bills, loans, and life's everyday surprises that may lead to financial disaster if not properly prepared for it, budgeting to them may seem unnecessary. Family Education suggests these budget ideas, focused mainly for college students:
1. Work together to itemize your student’s monthly expenses.
2. List total income, including prior money saved, scholarships, loans, allowances, or wages from their part or full time job.
3. Subtract expenses from income to see if the budget is reasonable.
4. If the expenses are more than the income, figure out where the spending needs to be decreased.
5. The college budget should include a savings strategy for future expenses.