How to Teach Your Kids How to Budget, Ep #245

How to Teach Your Kids to Budget

I make a spending plan for our family every single month. We account for every dollar coming in and going out. But what about the things that happen quarterly and annually? We add up all of those expected expenses at the beginning of the year and calculate the total approximate cost. That money will be saved every month to go toward those expenses. That is how we allocate money for things like Christmas and birthdays, too.

We budget $300 for each daughter’s birthday party and $200 for a present and save for it monthly. But last year, we bought pizza, cake, snacks, etc. Our daughter requested that we take her friends to brunch the next morning. We ended up spending far more than we had budgeted.

Now we need to save more in the remaining months of the year to make up for going over budget. When I have to do this, we have to lower our spending or it will not balance out. I vowed that it would not happen again. So this year, we did things a little bit differently. Listen to this episode to learn a unique way you can teach your kids how to budget.

🎉 In episode #245 of the Best in Wealth podcast, I share a unique way you can teach your kids how to budget that they’ll enjoy, too! #PersonalFinance #Budgeting #FinancialPlanning Click To Tweet

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:35] Why my kids had to take a personal finance class
  • [2:55] Why I make a spending plan every month
  • [5:05] Budgeting for my daughter’s birthday
  • [9:09] How I taught my daughter to budget
  • [18:37] The powerful lesson my daughter learned

What I plan on doing differently this year

My daughter was talking with my wife about her plan for her birthday and I knew I needed to interject. That is when a lightbulb went off in my head.

I asked her to share what she wanted to do for her birthday. She planned to have 10 of her friends over for a sleepover. She wanted to decorate our basement with banners and balloons. She wanted to take her friends out for pizza and ice cream. She also wanted to take them to an escape room. Lastly, she wanted to give her friends a cool party favor.

I’m sweating profusely at this point, starting to get nervous about my plan. But I took a deep breath and said, “That all sounds great.” I then proceeded to tell her that we had $300 saved for her birthday party and $200 for her birthday present.

I told her that she got to plan her party down to the last detail—but that she had to stay within the $300 budget. Even better, if she spent under $300 on the party, I would take the extra money and put it toward her birthday present.

But I told her that there was a catch: If she spent more than $300 on her party, it would be deducted from her birthday present. 

💡 I asked my 14-year-old daughter to plan her birthday party and gave her a specific budget to work with. It was a game-changer. Learn why in this episode of Best in Wealth! #PersonalFinance #Budgeting #FinancialPlanning Click To Tweet

My daughter’s real-life experience with budgeting

She had to calculate how many friends she wanted to invite and how much it would cost for pizza and ice cream for all of them. She had to find out how much the escape room would cost. She had to calculate how much the decorations would cost.

She wanted to get her 10 friends Owala water bottles for party favors. She excitedly said, “They’re cheaper than Stanley’s—only about $30 a piece.” And I said, “Eva—what’s $30 x 10?” Her smile faded when she realized the water bottles alone would eat her entire budget.

So she got to work. She decided they would not do the escape room. She would get ice cream that was on sale at our local grocery store. We would buy pizza from Costco. She priced out birthday decorations on Amazon. She also decided to invite only her closest friends so she could still get each of them an Owala water bottle.

The grand total for her birthday party was $294. She came in $6 under budget. My daughter was in control of her party and learned a valuable lesson: When you want something, you have to find a way to make it work that is within your budget.

What do you think? Would you try this with your kids?

🥳 I had my 14-year-old daughter plan her own birthday party. Why? To teach her how to #budget. Learn how you can do the same thing with your kids in episode #245 of Best in Wealth! #PersonalFinance #Budgeting #FinancialPlanning Click To Tweet

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The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.

About the author, Scott Wellens

Scott Wellens, CFP® is an investment advisor and founder of Fortress Planning Group. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Scott quickly ascended to become a Vice President of North American Sales at a major regional provider of telecommunications infrastructure. While financially successful in this role, Scott searched for ways to pursue his passion related to financial literacy and providing financial freedom for both his own family and others. During his search, Scott became curious about the significant gap he found in the financial services sector: he was unable to find a comprehensive financial planner that maintained a family stewardship lens without being attached to financial products. Scott decided to fill that gap by creating his own planning firm that maintains a strong passion for comprehensive, unbiased wealth planning that is genuinely client-centered.

Scott resides in Menomonee Falls, WI with his family. He is the father of three active and independent daughters who keep him on his toes. Scott is an active community member, serving on the Hamilton Education Foundation Board, serves as a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace facilitator and leads the All Pro Dad’s group at their local elementary school. Scott enjoys spending his free time visiting state parks with his family, reading, and watching the Milwaukee Bucks and the Green Bay Packers win ball games.

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