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Teach Money Fundamentals to Your Kids

Want to help your child develop a budget? It will help teach the difference between needs and wants. With a budget, your child can purchase the items s/he needs and save for something s/he wants in the future. By paying close attention to how the money is spent, your child will find it easier to save to buy things s/he wants but cannot afford at this time.

Help your child create a list of all money s/he receives during one week. This money could be from accomplished chores, birthdays or allowance. Have your child add up his or her total weekly income. Next, add up the total amount spent during the week on your child's needs - like lunch, clothes, gifts or money put into savings. Subtract the amount spent from the amount earned. If there is a negative balance, try to determine areas where less money could be spent. If there is a positive amount, this money can be used to purchase an item your child wants or saved for a more expensive "want."

Try this exercise to help your child learn how to budget the money s/he receives.

Our mascot, Penny the tortoise, finds that he earns $25 each week from allowance and doing chores. He spends $15 each week, between buying lunch and putting money into his savings account. He has $10 left over. Penny likes to go to the movies with Bucks and his other friends during the weekend, but he also really wants the newest music player . . .

Ask your child what s/he would do. Would they have fun at the movies this weekend, or would they rather save for the more expensive item?


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