Letting Kids Participate in Family Money

Surprised at computer

We had a mom write in with some ideas that she uses with her own kids at home.  We thought they were great, so we wanted to share them with you.

This mom said she wanted to find ways to give her kids more visibility and involvement in everyday decisions she was making as a mom about money and budgeting.  Here are the ideas she came up with and put into practice:

  • Let them open the bills.  She said their shocked faces were priceless as they absorbed how much they had to spend each month on their mortgage payment, utilities, and other bills.
  • Let them help pick out groceries, but make it a game in that they can only buy things that are on sale.  Whoever finds the biggest discount on things they need to buy wins.
  • Let them hand over the cash at a store or a restaurant counter.  There is a real feeling of loss when they have to hand over cash in their hand to someone else.  It helps makes spending “real” vs. just swiping a credit card.
  • Put them in charge of some of their own spending.   Give them a budget for eating out and, even if they go out as a family, they must “pay” for it themselves out of this budget.  She said she set up an “Eating Out” goal in FamilyMint that she makes a deposit into each month, and the kids withdraw from each time they go out.

We think these are all great ideas, and love to hear about ways you are creating teachable moments to make your kids money-smart on a daily basis.

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