Budgeting Techniques for Kids: Teaching Kids to Manage Money Like a Pro

by Briana Marie
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Budgeting techniques are a valuable skill for children to have, as it allows them to learn how to best manage their finances in adulthood.

And if you’re not sure where to start with teaching your kids about budgeting, here is a quick guide to help you get started.

Continue reading to learn more about key budgeting techniques you should teach kids early on.

mom teaching son budgeting techniques

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Start young

First things first, budgeting is something you can teach kids very early on in childhood and there are a variety of methods to do so.

Why is it a good idea to start teaching these budgeting techniques while they’re young?

Well, teaching kids important budgeting techniques from a young age can set them up for financial success in the future. By introducing the concept of budgeting, children can learn that money is a valuable resource and that they should make wise choices about how they use it.

A budget demonstrates to kids that they may not be able to have everything all at once, but they can outline a plan to acquire it in the future.

It is very important for children to learn how to budget while they’re young before they start managing their salary in adulthood. This is one of the best ways to set them up for financial success.

Parents can teach their children about budgeting through fun activities and games, such as creating a budget for a family vacation or tracking expenses for a week. You can also take advantage of children’s books about money.

By making budgeting a part of everyday life, children can develop good money habits that will serve them well into adulthood

If Money Doesn't Grow on Trees, where does it grow? book
If Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, Where DOES it Grow?

by ‘Ailani & Aralynn Riley

Use a piggy bank

One way to teach kids about budgeting is by using a piggy bank. As a matter of fact, the three piggy banks method is a great way to teach children how to separate their money for spending, saving, and sharing.

Parents can explain the concept of budgeting and help their children decide what percentage of their funds should be allocated to each container.

The spending bank can hold money for fun purchases like snacks or small toys, while the saving bank can be used for bigger-ticket items like a new bike or video games. You can then teach kids about tithing and using their money to improve the world around them by using the sharing bank to donate to organizations and causes of their choice.

Parents can also encourage their children to set savings goals and track their spending. As children grow older, they can transition to a savings account at a bank or a kid-friendly debit card to continue learning about money management.

By using a piggy bank, parents can instill responsible money habits and foster a charitable spirit in their children.

Budget for expenses

Teaching your kids to budget for expenses is an important life skill that can help them establish good financial habits early on. Budgeting can help them achieve savings for long-term goals and prevent them from spiraling into debt.

You can help your kids create a simple budget sheet with columns for goals, savings, and costs.

Encourage them to list their goals and the costs associated with them, and then work with them to determine how much they need to save each week or month to reach their goals.

You can also help them track their expenses and income, and encourage them to adjust their budget as needed.

By teaching kids to create a budget for planned expenses, you can help them develop good money habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Encourage earning

Allow your child to earn money through extra chores, such as helping with gardening or organizing areas of the home. This will help them develop a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility.

It is also important to discuss different ways to earn money and help your child come up with ideas to make money so that they can start saving toward their goal.

For example, they could start a small business, such as a lemonade stand or a dog-walking service.

Set savings goals

Teaching kids to set savings goals early on is an important step in helping them develop healthy financial habits. Parents can start by explaining key concepts such as savings, budgeting, and goals, and then keep the conversation going.

Allowing children to EARN an allowance can teach them the value of money and putting in the work to grow your money while helping them set savings goals can motivate them to save for larger expenses and investments.

Parents can help their children break down their goals into manageable bites, and provide a place to save, such as a piggy bank or a bank account.

It’s important to help children define a savings goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based (SMART). For example, if your child wants to buy a new bike that costs $200, you can help them map out how much they are earning each week and at that rate, how long it will take them to earn enough to purchase the bike.

The children’s book If Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees, Where DOES it Grow does a really phenomenal job of demonstrating how setting a savings goal can be extremely beneficial for kids. I highly recommend reading this book with elementary-aged children as it teaches very valuable money lessons.

By teaching children to set savings goals early on, parents can help them develop good financial habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Wrapping Up

By implementing these budgeting techniques, you can help your child learn valuable financial skills and manage their money like a pro.


  • Briana Marie

    Briana Marie is a mental health and financial literacy advocate, and founder of Major League Mommy. In her spare time, Briana enjoys yoga, travel, and spending time with her Husband and two daughters.

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