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{ LIFE GUIDE}

Teaching Children

How to Budget

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he word “budget” has an image problem. Most people view budgeting as a restrictive process that ruins all their fun. I see it as an opportunity to spend money thoughtfully on the things that really matter to you, and to stop spending so much darn money on the things that don’t. Spending thoughtfully is critical in order to build (and maintain) a strong financial foundation and is a key piece of spiritual growth.

Our children have grown up around excesses that most of us did not have, which means they are going to be tempted to spend, spend, spend. Here are some tips for giving your children some budget wisdom:

Start where they are

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or younger children, talking to them about grown-up numbers is likely to be overwhelming. Using the word “budget” is probably too much! Instead, give them little opportunities to budget in real life. We have found road trips provide great opportunities for giving children budget experience. Often when we go on a road trip, we give the kids a small allowance for souvenirs, perhaps $5-10. They can choose to spend the money on souvenirs at any point in the trip. It’s a little more record-keeping for us when one spends $2 at one stop and $3 at a different stop, but it allows children as young as five an opportunity to make spending decisions all on their own instead of relying on us to decide which moments really speak to them.

Make giving mandatory

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art of spending thoughtfully means acknowledging that everything we have comes from God. Gratitude and tithing are a vitally important part of the discussion and a necessary discipline to teach kids. For younger kids, paying their allowance in coins makes it easier to divide their funds into tithing, saving and spending.

Give them practice

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s children get older, they will need more experience using a budget. We give our nine-year old a budget for her clothing for each season. This allows her to decide whether she is going to buy some brand-name clothes or if she’d rather do a little bargain shopping. While the parents still retain veto power, she gets a good dose of freedom to dress how she’d like to dress and spend more in areas where we might not. It also eliminates a lot of discussions at the store; she knows she gets that budget twice a year and anything in between is on her dime. Cornerstone | March - May | Lent/Eastertide

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Cornerstone March 2018  

Inside: The Kildays describe their work in Cambodia, a guide to Holy Week at Covenant, one member's effort to provide relief in Puerto Rico,...

Cornerstone March 2018  

Inside: The Kildays describe their work in Cambodia, a guide to Holy Week at Covenant, one member's effort to provide relief in Puerto Rico,...

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