Budgeting… is that a bad word? It might seem like that to some of us, but it certainly comes in handy when we stick to a budget. Budgets help limit impulse shopping and teach us self-control. Children can understand spending too.
Playing with pretend money is usually fun for kids. One of my favorite quotes from my 7-year-old was, “Dad, did you know five $20 bills makes $100? Do you know how I knew that? Monopoly!”
I hope we can give kids more opportunity to play with money and give them a hands-on experience of budgeting. Here are a few ways kids can use budgets…
- Kids get to earn play money based on task performances in the classroom or turning in homework. They can use their money in a classroom store or auction.
- Play pretend restaurant where the kids have a certain amount of money to pay for meals for the group. Can they stay within their budget?
- Plan a grocery store trip with a list of items to buy to prepare a meal. How much does each serving of the meal cost? What it a good price? How does that compare if you went out to a restaurant and got the same type of food?
- Have the kids realize how much basic bills take away from free spending. Give the children the amount of play money they might typically earn as a working adult in your area. Have them pay the monthly bills (rent/mortgage, utilities, clothes, food, car payments, etc.) and see how much money is left over for spending on other things. This was eye-opening for my own kids when I did this with them.