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Old 07-26-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
disneydreamersx4
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HOw do you explain budget to your children?

I think we have failed at teaching our 11yo that we don't make money grow on the trees

I am constantly saying we don't have the money in our budget for this or that but that doesn't stop her for asking for things. When I was little my parents said no and that was that. I don't even remember asking for that much either (I was born in the 60's).

Here's one example with daughter. Her teacher of the last year is getting married and invited all the students to the ceremony at the church. Daughter has been whining that she needs a dress to go to it. I told her she has a nice skirt and pretty top that she can wear. That's not good enough, she wants a dress! Then DH says we'll see what's in your closet first. Well, after that, off I go to Kohl's to get daughter a dress. It helped that I had a 30% coupon so the dress cost $25 after that. It is very pretty and she didn't have a dress but still, the point is that I said she can wear the skirt.

We didn't give in to something else though, our local fair was this week and of course, she whines that she wants to go, that everyone she knows is going. I discussed with DH that we can't afford to go, we can save the $40 for Disney. He agreed. Well, the fair is over now and we didn't go yay us!

Do you think we need to show daughter that x amount of money comes in every month and x amount of money goes out. Maybe that will help her understand? Can I ask what method you use to explain to your child(ren)?

thank you so much
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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Dave Ramsey and Crown.org both have money management books and workbooks for kids and teens. Our kids are doing Crown.org materials.


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Old 07-26-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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I still that the best example of the cost of living on your own/budgeting was the episode of the Cosby show where they give Theo Monopoly money and he supposedly has to get an apt, buy furn, pay for food, and even get a job etc.... All this takes place w/in their home w/ his family members taking on different rolls. Denise is the waitress at the restaurant, Cliff (Harley Weedwacker) is the bldg maint. man/mgr, Claire (Millie) owns the furn store and the restaurant, and Vanessa works for the bank and the employment agency (I think). Rudy (Mrs. Griswold) is the bank mgr and owner of the apt bldg. It is sooo funny, but yet soooo true.
Only suggestion I have is don't share anything that you don't want others to know as sometimes (not always, but more often than parents know) kids talk about these kinds of things amongst themselves at school etc. This happens esp when one starts the ball rolling. I've seen it, I've heard it...
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:51 AM   #4
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Kids ask for stuff. Teaching about money is best done age appropriately in the day to day. It is not a reaction to a behavior problem.
I tell my DD age 6 that we only have a certain amount to spend on non necessities and we must choose what is important to us. I do not name numbers as they can change from time to time.
A typical conversation might go like this. Mom I want x game for wii .. please? Well .. if we get that than we cant go to y because we don't have enough money for both.
We also tell her that everything costs money. I take her grocery shopping she reads unit pricing. We talk about the tolls on the roadway. We discuss tax issues on the news. I don't say lets talk about the budget.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:59 AM   #5
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I started giving my 9-year old DD a $9 per week allowance and I track it on my iPhone so I always have her current balance with me at all times. When she asks for something I check her balance and I allow her to spend what she has with no (almost) no questions asked. I do not advance her or loan her money. Once her money is gone, it's gone. This has really reduced the whining and begging for things. She asks and I say: "You can spend your allowance on that." and about half the time she says "never mind!".

I tried the whole allowance thing before but I couldn't keep track of it realtime until I started using my phone. There was a lot of missed allowances and borrowing going on which simply did not work for us. She now can buy impuse purchases like silly putty or garage sale toys on the fly and I can write it down right away. I thought that she would squander it away on Littlest Pet Shop criters and junk, but she also saves up her money for big things like when we went to the American Girl store in Chicago ... she saved just about all her allowance for 6 weeks!
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:02 AM   #6
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My girls who are teens finally get it, partly because they have to spend their own money now and then and also because I've let them learn from their mistakes. If they want to blow our budget on something small I don't agree on(like a shirt) I let them. Then when they ask to go to the movies with their friends later in the week- oops! You already spent that money on a shirt. There is only so much money. They can spend it how they like, but will have to feel the pain later.

They are both pretty smart with money now, and I get less complaints when I say no because they get it. They also now comment on how their friends families view money- like having a new Wii or flat screen tv and not having money to pay the mortgage. They finally see that the mortgage is not optional, but the stuff they used to view as essential really isn't in the big picture. It's tough being the bad guy when they are young, but I'm happy I am sending them off with lessons that some of my 40 year old friends haven't learned yet.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:05 AM   #7
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I use grocery shopping to teach my children all sorts of math including budgeting. I tell them before we go how much money I have to spend on groceries. They help me make my list, looking at what's on sale and what's in the kitchen already. Then they go to the store with me and together we use unit measuring to see what the cheapest options are, etc.

Just by showing them that I have a budget for groceries and this is what I can spend on them shows them what I mean when I say "No, sorry, that's not in the budget right now." because I explain to them that we have a budget for everything else, too.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:17 AM   #8
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DD13 goes shopping with me, at least for clothes. She has known for years that the reason she had so many items of clothing was because mommy got them dirt cheap on clearance!! I would tell her I got this for 2.00 or 4.00! When she is in a store with me, I take her to the clearnace racks or the sale racks. Unless it is shoes or a speical occasion, I don't htink I have ever paid full price for anything for her or her brother!! LOL. And she realizes this. I discuss money with her and what things cost. So far at 13 she realizes it.

For Chanukah last year, mil took her shopping at the mall to Aeropostale (got great deals there though), and AMerican Eagle and Hollister plus a few others. While mil was online at Hollister paying for the items DD picked out, DD said mommy...I think grandma spent enough money on me, I don't want to go to the next store . I hugged her and smiled. I then told mil who smiled, and told DD that she appreciates that, but we are still going to finish shopping. DD appreciates what things cost, especially now, since she is in junior sizes and things are much more expensive!!

DS8 doens't quite get it, even though he has spent his own money on things he wants. He still still doesn't quite get that I still have to pay the credit card company every month, and that daddy's paycheck only goes so far!!
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robinb View Post
I started giving my 9-year old DD a $9 per week allowance and I track it on my iPhone so I always have her current balance with me at all times. When she asks for something I check her balance and I allow her to spend what she has with no (almost) no questions asked. I do not advance her or loan her money. Once her money is gone, it's gone. This has really reduced the whining and begging for things. She asks and I say: "You can spend your allowance on that." and about half the time she says "never mind!".
This is pretty much what we do with DS (almost 7yo), minus tracking it on the iPhone (I like that idea). He gets $3/week that he can spend as he pleases. We don't loan him money (even a day early); he can only spend what he has. Along with learning how to save up for things, he's learning how to find things cheaper or with coupons so that he has more money left over. Sometimes he doesn't care, but it is his money so we let it go. It has also been a great math lesson for him - how much more does he need, how long will it take to get that much, how much tax must he allow for. It really has eliminated the I-wants; when he wants something that is quite far out of his reach, he knows to add it to his birthday or Christmas list (which will be pared down as the dates approach).

So far, his money has only gone towards toys and books as he pretty much takes whatever we buy him clothes-wise, and most of our family outings are to museums and zoos where we have family memberships. But I can see it easily expanding in the near future to outings, movie tickets, etc.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:42 PM   #10
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Well, DD is only 4, but she doesn't throw fits in stores...telling her we'll ask Santa for something still works (year round!)

She did ask for something in Toys R Us the other day, and I said no. She said, "Why? Because we're not rich?" She also knows we don't buy stuff if it's not on sale...we'll see how things go as she gets older, but so far so good!

We went to the fair at the church last night. Normally, I don't let DD on those rides, but my girlfriend was there w/ her DD6 who does go on them...we walked around first, and I told DD she could pick ONE ride, and ONLY one to go on w/ my friend's DD. She was also allowed to play ONE game (I picked one where kids win every time ) After DD went on her ride, she asked to go on another one...I told her we were out of money. Friend's DD told me the rides don't cost money...they cost tickets. LOL Guess she doesn't get it.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:52 PM   #11
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We follow Dave Ramsey so we hold an informal meeting, usually during a car drive or at the dinner table, where we all discuss what things we need and want to do that month. We discuss what we will give if we do this or that and what we need to do to save for something big. MOF, the kids often say no to going out to dinner because of "the budget!". The kids have gotten better than dh and I in keeping to what we have set up for the budget. Now a simple, "that's not in the budget" stops them when necessary and then they either come to us later to tell us they really want something and why (this didj game will help me learn math!) so we can budget for it or they put it on their bday or xmas lists (son wanted skates for months and he put it on his list, his sis budgeted to get him skates and helped me look for sales).

When we were paying down our debt, the kids really helped a lot with cutting costs and helping dh and I stay on task. When we would go shopping at the grocery store they would remind us that getting chips or cookies would put us that much farther away from reaching our goal.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:53 PM   #12
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The best thing that worked for us was to give the kids an allowance. They each get x amount per week, and we don't buy any toys at the store. I mean NONE! No candy at the checkout, no clearance aisle toys, nothing!

They learn very quickly two things:
1. Stop asking (or whining) for things at the store

2. They learn to save up for things they want. It's easy to show them budgeting based on that. Like if DD wants a new Nintendo DS game, that will be at least 4 weeks allowance to save up.

They don't get extra money for chores either. Everybody is expected to do chores as part of the family. Allowance is to them how to use money, and so they don't have to ask for Coke money. If that's how they choose to spend it, so be it.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:25 PM   #13
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The best thing that worked for us was to give the kids an allowance. They each get x amount per week, and we don't buy any toys at the store. I mean NONE! No candy at the checkout, no clearance aisle toys, nothing!

They learn very quickly two things:
1. Stop asking (or whining) for things at the store

2. They learn to save up for things they want. It's easy to show them budgeting based on that. Like if DD wants a new Nintendo DS game, that will be at least 4 weeks allowance to save up.

They don't get extra money for chores either. Everybody is expected to do chores as part of the family. Allowance is to them how to use money, and so they don't have to ask for Coke money. If that's how they choose to spend it, so be it.
I could've written this post. This is exactly how we do it. We give $1/week according to age. For example, my 7 year old gets $7. Now, I think that sounds like a lot, but from that money a certain percentage goes into savings and a certain percent is given to the church. What is left is theirs to do with pretty much as they please. I still have veto power over purchases though. This is drastically cut down on the "I wants" and the "Can I gets." If we are going to a movie or some other outing, they know ahead of time what we will pay for. Anything else comes out of their allowance.

Now, I will sometimes give money for doing extra chores, but only if the regular chores are done first and only if they are saving for something special. I tend not to if they ran out of money because they spent it on junk.
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:28 PM   #14
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I still that the best example of the cost of living on your own/budgeting was the episode of the Cosby show where they give Theo Monopoly money and he supposedly has to get an apt, buy furn, pay for food, and even get a job etc.... All this takes place w/in their home w/ his family members taking on different rolls. Denise is the waitress at the restaurant, Cliff (Harley Weedwacker) is the bldg maint. man/mgr, Claire (Millie) owns the furn store and the restaurant, and Vanessa works for the bank and the employment agency (I think). Rudy (Mrs. Griswold) is the bank mgr and owner of the apt bldg. It is sooo funny, but yet soooo true.
Only suggestion I have is don't share anything that you don't want others to know as sometimes (not always, but more often than parents know) kids talk about these kinds of things amongst themselves at school etc. This happens esp when one starts the ball rolling. I've seen it, I've heard it...
i love that episode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #15
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I've also noticed that since we don't buy them toys and/or junk at the store, they are more appreciative of the gifts we give them for birthday and Christmas.
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