One thing that my parents never really spent a lot of time with is teaching me about finances. As a child, I remember them always bickering about “being broke”, but we always seemed to have money to do extra things like go out to eat, vacations, and the lot. Since we didn’t really talk about finances, or how to be responsible with money, it was really confusing for me as a child to figure it all out on my own.
Now that I have my own children, we talk a lot about money. We don’t let the kids in on our family finances, but we do talk about how to earn an allowance and the importance of saving for the long term and short term. When you’ve made so many financial mistakes yourself, you want your kids to have the best education as possible when it comes to money.
As part of our homeschool lesson, we spent sometime pretending the kids were in the “real world”. Each child had to pick a job, find a house, and budget for groceries. It was a really fun exercise. The kids had fun talking about what they would enjoy doing, and whether or not earning a lot of money was more important to them or whether being happy in what they did for a living was more important.
We found this really neat Budget Calculator from Genworth Financial, that made it even easier for the kids to see some really good scenarios on how budgets work.
After the budgeting exercise, we even had the kids look up some financial articles. The girls really liked this article about women making financial decisions. It was really neat for them to read it together and wonder why the heck women are “passing the buck” when it comes to financial decisions! The kids never cease to amaze me with their perspective and curiosity. Sometimes they seem wise beyond their years!
Our family enjoyed this exercise so much that we wanted to share it with you. If you want to teach your kids about money, here is the steps that we used to get them more familiar with how important it is to understand money.