Family Finances: 5 Ways to Budget with the Whole Family

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Although budget is a term that strikes fear into the hearts of families across America, it is actually meant to be a helpful tool for getting finances on track.

A good budget ensures that every dollar that is earned goes to a specific place rather than being spent aimlessly on items that your family really does not need.

It can also help your family plan for future goals, see where you are spending more money than you should and work together for the best results.

As a parent, you can use a budget as a learning tool for children of all ages; this knowledge will help children succeed with finances later in life by giving them the knowledge and tools they will need to save, invest and spend wisely.

Here are five tips for you to get the entire family involved in your budgeting endeavors.

Family Finances: 5 Ways to Budget with the Whole Family

  1. Have a Family Meeting

    To get your entire family involved, start with a family meeting and invite all family members, including your spouse and children.

    Keep it fun by having some favorite snacks and drinks available. Then, explain the basics of your budget to the children.

    Find ways to get them involved, such as by letting them help determine how much money they will need for ice cream, toys or candy this month.

  2. Start with an Allowance

    During the family meeting, be sure to address the children’s allowances if they receive them.

    Show them how the allowance fits into the budget, and explain what they need to do to receive the allowance.

    Some families set goals for chores or for school grades in order for children to receive allowances.

    By discussing how much allowances affect the family budget and teaching kids about money, children will learn to appreciate what they earn more.

  3. Make Space for Donations

    Talking about how much money in the family budget should be donated to certain charitable causes will help children see that money is not all about them.

    While every family is different, most families who donate to charitable causes funnel at least 5 to 10 percent into this fund.

    Allow your children to help choose where the money should go, such as to a cause that matters to them.

  4. Invest with All Ages

    You should also discuss with your children how much money you are saving for the future and how you are investing your money.

    This is particularly important for teenagers to hear because they are getting closer to having increased money of their own to save and invest as they start jobs.

    However, even younger children can be taught to save a portion of their allowances and will enjoy watching the interest build in a savings account.

    Teenagers could siphon a portion of their earnings into college savings accounts.

  5. Set Goals

    The entire family should be involved in setting goals for the future.

    While some goals may affect you and your spouse more, such as buying a home or car, your children will enjoy setting money goals for family vacations or larger purchases for the home, such as entertainment stations.

    When children have a goal in mind, they will be more inclined to help save money by eating out less and requesting fewer gifts.

When you work on a family budget, it can be a chance for you to bond with the rest of your family members. While there can be stressful moments within budgeting as you wonder where the money will come from for some necessary expense, you will experience great peace from knowing that you are not overspending in one particular area.

By working with your children in finances now, you are setting them up for a future of financial security.

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