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Kids and Money Part 1

Welcome back to The Frugal Teacher. This week's post will be Part 1 in a series of 3 that focuses on kids and money. Parents today often struggle with how to manage and budget their money as it relates to their children. Kids today are expensive! Between extracurricular activities, clothing, food, and entertainment, the costs really add up. And that's not even counting the thousands you'll spend if your kid ends up needing braces. I recently interviewed my son, who is barely a teenager, about his thoughts on money so that I could gain some insight. Here's a snippet of that interview:

Q What's one thing you've heard me say about money?

A Money won't solve all your problems.  Save your money.  You say a lot of stuff about money, mom.

Q You’re right, I do.  You had a birthday a few months ago.  What have your parents taught you about what to do when you get money as a gift?

A They taught me when I get money for my birthday or Christmas to keep half in my wallet and put half in my bank account so I can save it.

Q What will you buy with the money in your savings account?

A Probably a car or truck. Or maybe a Jeep.

Q Do you ever give your money to others?

A I always try to give some money at church and at fundraisers if I know it will help someone.

Q What are some things your parents have taught you about money?

A Do not get credit cards because you have to pay interest so things cost more. Get a debit card and put in your PIN number when you swipe it so the money comes out of your bank account.  Or just pay with cash and don’t even use cards. Spend your money wisely and not just on something you see. Think about it for a few days and then make a decision. Do this so you know if you really want it or maybe you just saw it and thought you wanted it. If you want to buy something online, look at reviews. Read a lot of them, not just 5. Do not buy it if there are very few reviews. You always tell me to do my research and you also tell me to “Google it.”

And there you have it, frugal readers. Some insight from a young man. I think he has a pretty good start on managing money, but I might be a little partial. We bought him his first velcro wallet from a flea market when he was 5 years old and he's been keeping up with his own money ever since. He initially kept his wallet safely tucked away in his mama's purse so he'd have access to his money whenever he wanted but now he keeps up with it himself. He likes this one* because it's a front pocket wallet and is super cheap at only $10 on Amazon (it's the same one he's holding in the pic above). In fact, it's the same wallet his dad and uncle carry and they all love it.

Over time, we've allowed him to make more of the decisions on how to use his own money and he's pretty much taken over that decision making at this point. He's more of a saver than a spender by nature, so that probably makes it a little bit easier.

Next time will be Part 2 in this series and will focus on how to manage your kid's everyday spending and how chores and an allowance can play a part in that. Part 3 will shift to budgeting and the role your kids' activities and needs play in your monthly budget. If you've got a little one at home and this blog post caught your attention, I urge you to buy him or her a wallet if they don’t have one already. It's a great gift and a crucial first step toward teaching your kids about money.

*affiliate link


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