Learn three easy ways to teach financial independence, and meet the kids’ financial planner that makes it possible.
Money management is hard, even when your main priorities are gel pens and V-Bucks. I remember the days of getting an allowance and within seconds, those dollars were burning a hole in my pocket.
Like anything else, though, kids don’t know how to save and budget instinctively. Those skills need to be taught, so here are four financial tips for kids that you can help them with.
1. Break Down Budgeting Piece By Piece
Most kids treat one single dollar the way an adult treats expensive chocolate. It’s special, so I have to use it right away.
By showing how to spend money carefully instead of all at once, allowances and savings are as sweet as candy—almost.
It’s always a good idea to help kids understand that money received should have a job. For my own son, I taught him to always divide up all the money he gets into three categories: Save, Spend, and Donate.
I don’t specify how much or what percentage goes into that category. Instead I let him decide. Sometimes it’s 50/30/20, sometimes is 90/5/5. But either way, he is in charge and feels responsible enough to create his own budget.
2. Divide Up Money Into Separate Envelopes
The easiest way for kids to stay on track with their savings and giving goals is to have them put that money in a separate place from their spending money. If they are keeping every dollar they have in their Spiderman wallet, you can pretty much guarantee it will all be spent.
I recommend having your kid make three envelopes, and suggesting to them that you be in charge of the savings and giving envelopes. My son is saving up for something big and he specifically told me not to let him use his savings until he has enough to buy it. He also asked me not to let him change his mind. So I guard that envelope and he doesn’t even know where it is.
(My son is 13, so obviously this will need to be tweaked for a younger child, but you get the gist.)
3. Color To Save $100
If $1 feels like an accomplishment to a kid, imagine what $100 would feel like. To make such a big goal more attainable, use a grid of squares.
For every dollar in a savings account or piggy bank, color a square, and once the entire grid is a masterpiece, your kid is a hundredaire all by themselves!
This method works for any amount of savings goal, and it provides your kiddo with the visual reference to actually see how much they’ve saved and how much they have to go.
Plus, coloring in a new square or two is really exciting so your kids may even ask to do extra chores to earn some more dough.
4. Help Them Learn The Lingo
Eventually, your Littles will have to know their debt from their deposit. By teaching them terms like interest, budget, sales tax, and savings in kid-friendly layman’s terms, they’ll be better equipped to make good choices earlier on in life.
You may not think they’ll ever need or care about what interest is when they’re in fourth grade, but the ones who have grown up understanding how money works early on are the ones who say “pass” when credit card applications start swirling around the college campus during his freshman year.
It’s never too early to teach kids good money habits, and informing them on the technical terms will give them the leg up on their finances when they’re all grown up and can buy their own V-Bucks.
Need A Kids’ Financial Planner?
My Organized-ish Binder Kit Collection has the same Kids Financial Planner I use with my son. It has separate pages for all three of these tips, plus other great resources that help kids feel confident in their financial independence. Hop over here to get lifetime access to this planner, plus tons of others.