Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Simple Living :: Teaching Children How to Budget, Part 1

Budgeting is an important aspect of life. It recently became a topic of discussion in our household after the boys held a garage sale to raise money for our summer vacation. They still have this week of break before we hit the books for 5 more weeks - after which, we're taking a family vacation together.

They puzzled over how they would have fun this week while also trying to save money. I decided to make this a teaching moment and we began a short lesson on budgeting followed by an experiment.

I gave the boys twenty dollars (note: not $20 each, but together) this week to spend on whatever outside the house fun, food, drinks, and whatnots they chose. We went searching for coupons to save money on activities and planned out some free things to pass the time.

We started yesterday morning and things are looking good, so far! We've actually planned out the rest of the week (well, at least until Friday) and we've printed out everything they need for a successful and thrifty, fun-filled week.

I've noticed an increased interest by both of the boys to conserve their cash, as well as to stick to their budget. Ideally, they would enjoy the week, spend some of the cash, and conserve some for the trip. They decided I needed to take photos for all of the week's activities to share their creative choices with others. They have kept up with receipts and are tracking all their spending. I'm really interested to see how this little experiment ends up!

Have you ever tried something like this with your children? If so, how did they do?

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