October 13, 2011

Teaching Kids About Money


Growing up, it wasn’t proper to talk about money around kids. It wasn’t their business. I get that parents shouldn’t involve kids in financial decisions or burden kids with money issues. But, when I got to college it was quite a learning curve. Fortunately, at that time I was able to talk to my grandfather and learn his thoughts and insights about spending, saving, investing and donating.

Times have changed in the past 20 years and more and more people are actively teaching their children about financial management at an early age. I’ve been looking for quite awhile at ways to help teach BabyGirl about money management. She likes to save HER money but spend MY money. Her first words were shoppy-shoppy. I knew I was in trouble early on.

Kid Budget saving system

This summer, an online friend did a review of a new product called Kid Budget. Diane and her husband, Steve (although I usually refer to them as Mr. and Mrs. Brogan) have a great website geared toward their peers. They’re grandparents and have great insight and I just love their site, Mom Pop Pow. I commented on Mrs. Brogan’s post about Kid Budget and how they, themselves, saw it as an opportunity to pass along a helpful system to the young ones in their lives. I’ve gotten to know Mrs. Brogan main because both she and I are part of a group of 75 women on Twitter who have been recognized for our contribution to the positive aspects of twitter. She had an extra Kid Budget and she sent it to BabyGirl so she could try out this new product.

It’s been about 10 weeks since BabyGirl started using the Kid Budget program. The first thing CycleGuy and I had to do is figure out how to introduce money as part of our parenting. Rather than using cash we use a reward system. Years ago we started a system using poker chips. I find this a bit ironic since Mr. Brogan is a top-notch poker player and is even now learning how to become a dealer (you can about that on Mom Pop Pow, too).

Anyway, we use poker chips and that’s BabyGirl’s money. The system comes with a little book that goes through a number of aspects of money management – fun money, donating, long term savings and short term savings. In addition, it is interactive, asking the kids questions and giving them the opportunity to draw, write and share. Using the pouches that come with the Kid Budget, kids can designate each of the 4 colors something different and they can decorate them if they wish.

I’ve been an envelope (or virtual envelope) gal for quite some time. I’ve read the multitude of books out there about it and have tried to explain it al to CycleGuy (and other people) a few times. It’s something you either get or you don’t. It’s literally a hands-on way to account for your money. It doesn’t work for everyone. For kids, though, I think it really works well because they tend to have possession of all their money. Even if they have $100 they may physically have it rather than it being in a bank account. Having the pouches of the Kid Budget program means they physically divide their money. They set goals and keep track of what they have and how close (or far) they are.

If you’re looking for a way to teach your children about money management, consider Kid Budget. If you’re looking for a good way to ease in to the envelope system yourself, this could be a good way for you to do it too. BabyGirl loves the bright colors and the vault bag that keeps it all together. She loves seeing the little bags fill up and tracking how she’s getting closer to her goals.

I like it because it has real-world applicability. I know that if we keep working with BabyGirl on how to manage her money that by time it really matters she’ll be equipped with the tools needed. I’m so grateful to Mrs. Brogan for thinking of my daughter and helping us get her on a path of financial empowerment!



Nancy October 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Love the sound of this program! Helping kids to learn how to handle their money when young is so important to do. I made goal of helping our daughter understand the concept of budgeting early on (for our first trip to Disney World actually), so that she could have her own money to be responsible for spending. By the time she was ready to go to college, I didn’t worry that she was going to get in credit trouble right way: she was already comfortable with money concepts. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sara October 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Hi Nancy,

Saving for Disney World is my kind of program! What a great idea to introduce saving and something fun. Starting early seems to be the key. Thank you for sharing the importance of setting our kids up for success!


Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot October 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I love the sound of it too and laughing about the poker chips!

I think I’ve done a fairly good job with my 13 year old. He goes busking and earns $10-30 each weekend. But the trouble is he knows not to spend it on sweets at the local store where they cost more. He waits until I go to the supermarket then buys huge value packs of sweets that would feed a family for a week.

So maybe I need to teach him more about healthy eating next! Though I’m pretty hot on that too but I guess something has to give:)

Sara October 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Hello Annabel,

What your son needs to do is set up a stand and sell the value pack goodies to the local kids for a profit, but still less than the neighborhood shop. Then he’ll have the best of earning, investing AND not eating too much sweets.

I can’t imagine you’re letting him eat too unhealthfully anyway.

Thank you for visiting and I’ll be looking to read about your son’s new business soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Tracy October 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

This sounds like a great program for kids, wish it was around when my kids were still kids. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll be sure to refer my friends to this post and the Kid Budget program. We all need to make sure our future leaders get a good start with budgeting so they succeed.

Sara October 14, 2011 at 11:57 am


Thank you for your nice comment. I wholeheartedly agree that our future leaders need to get a good foundation. They’re the ones who’ll be leading the country and all these companies, and likely starting their own businesses so we owe it to them (and ourselves!) to teach them well.


Diane Brogan October 19, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Thanks for evaluating and reviewing KidBudget. We think it is a great product and are happy you and BabyGirl like it too.

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