Children and budget planning- a good mix!

Author : teriann

I am sure that you have seen children shopping with their parents and begging them to buy items.  Often the parents react with either mild or severe annoyance to their child’s request.  Parents often give very little explanation to their children but the message that the child hears is that there is no money to buy everything that he sees on the shelves.

In some cases, children don’t accept the explanation and they can even cause embarrassment to their parents by their persistence.

When parents are faced with children demanding expensive items how should they react?

Children and money

Most parents give their children lunch money to purchase lunch at school.  Especially older children are expected to manage their money so that they can purchase the items they need at school and still have enough money left over for their bus or taxi fare if needed.

This is a step in the right direction as children need to know the value of a dollar.  They can be included in the decision making process so that they understand what items they can afford and which ones are simply out of reach.

If children recognize that they can offer options that are cheaper than their original choice it will encourage them to see that any money saved will benefit the family in the long run.

Make it fun!

Children do not need to see making a budget as a terrible exercise. Parents can make the activity fun in various ways.  They can incorporate charts as they formulate the budget and show each child how his or her contribution will positively impact the family.

Some parents even have competitions among their children to see who can save the most money as they encourage healthy saving habits.  Children can also be given treats based on their ability to save their money and stick to the budget.

Help them to save their money

There are many programmes that target school age children and encourage them to save on a weekly or monthly basis. The amount of money might be minimal but it helps to encourage children to develop good financial habits.

By making the budget a part of the family structure parents are teaching their children a vital skill that will last well into adulthood. Too often children become young adults with no concept of money management and so they easily fall into debt. Therefore it’s never too early to get children involved with budget planning and saving.

So what’s your take on the issue? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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