As someone who firmly believes in budgeting (whether tracking all purchases, or merely having an idea of how much to spend on what), I often find myself wondering how to teach my children about the importance of saving (patience!), donating (concern for others!), and still keeping something leftover for spending (let kids have fun, too!).
When I was working at Borders a few years ago, I read dozens of books on this subject, but I think the only advice that really seems to fit almost anyone’s situation is: have a plan, whatever it is, and BE CONSISTENT. If you have a rule that half of all money earned goes into short-term savings (STS) — aka, saving for something that can be purchased in a matter of weeks or a month or so — then you have to enforce that rule; that money does NOT go for bubble gum or movie theater tickets. If you tithe (10%) to the church, there’s no borrowing from that section to help pay for the bike your STS are going to.
Now, my kids are both 3 and under, so I cannot exactly preach about my own successes (nor, however, do I need yet report any failures!), but I stumbled across this product this morning that strikes me as a great way to help kids visualize what they are doing with their money.
Enjoy the website — it’s a real wealth of information, ideas, for kids of all ages (their product lines start at ages 4 and up….which still leaves me wondering what to do with my 3 year old…).
- Danie Smallwood, Photography By Danie