Make it a lesson
Right now, you can incorporate budgeting into home schooling. Create a simple, age appropriate scenario: for younger children have them work out saving up for a new bike by mowing lawns and saving their weekly allowance, right up to teenagers looking for part time jobs who are planning to go to university in a few years setting a budget for how many hours they’ll need to work to save for what they want.
Make it real
Let the kids create a grocery list with coupons and flyers that will stay on budget (and let them shop with you to see the choices out there). This is a great way to discuss brand names, the value of goods, and wants versus needs – all while getting a family errand done together.
Make it future-based
Let them shop around online to create a new “dream bedroom” or other high value purchase and then have them calculate the full cost – including taxes and shipping – and find out how long they would have to save given their current allowance, part time job, or other income.
Make it normal
Set an example and let them see and hear your budgeting in real life. Show them the family finances (to a degree they can understand) and let them help make choices. Many kids hear parents arguing about spending, but never really get to see the positives, the budgets, or know the value of their wants. As you make choices based on the money available, you’re teaching them by example, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your budget that way too.
Make it a lifestyle
Avoid impulse buys – even small ones at the grocery store – and show them the value of postponing purchases. If they see that budgeting isn’t about punishment, but rather about hitting goals that matter, they’ll be less likely to ask you to go off track, and can even become great little accountability partners.