Recently I was approached by My Deal and asked to share some of my top tips for a successful family budget. How do you get your family involved in household expenses?
Well, my kids are little and too small for the big picture issues such as drafting an overall budget. But I make a point to include them in discussions on money. And I also ensure they have their own pocket money. After some thinking, here is what I wrote:
“For older children, a great way to budget as a family is to use a spending app. Mobile apps such as ASIC’s Track My Spend or Good Budgets can allow you to track your spending as a family so that you know what everyone is spending their money on. This allows you to visualise your spending and demonstrate visually to older children how small expenses add up.
My children (5 and 8) are too young to own their mobile phones. They get up to $5 a week for doing chores around the home together (e.g. ‘collaboration’ in emptying the dishwasher). They can spend this money however they like. What I am noticing is that when they have power over their own money they start to make informed choices. They know, for instance, that discount chain stores have better deals on their favourite toys than most toy stores. They also know that they can search for deals online. The really interesting thing I find is that they value and appreciate their toys much more when they have saved up and purchased them themselves. It certainly reduces the nag factor as well; if they don’t have money in their piggy bank there is no point asking me for toys!”
How do you get your family involved in your family budget? What do you tell them about money? Do they understand where money comes from and how much things cost?