Chapter 6 in Smart Money Smart Kids is all about budgeting... woohooooooo!
Spoken like a true Nerd, right?
I love that this chapter emphasizes the connection between parents who tell their money where to go and kids who grow up incrementally practicing the same so that they can transition into handling their money wisely as adults. We can tell them all we want about the importance of planning everything on paper, on purpose, but if we don't do it ourselves... it's just empty words.
I also love this:
"No" is not a popular word. Some parents feel mean when they say it, others don't like it when their kids get upset by being denied, and still others are reluctant to use the word because they want their children to have everything they didn't as a child. But saying no when appropriate--both to ourselves and to our children--is healthy. It keeps us from being indulged and feeling entitled.
Our kids know what a budget is and why we have one. Just last week, we sat down with the older two and explained that since sales have been down for the last few weeks, there are things we aren't going to be able to do for a while. Since we don't want them to worry or feel insecure, we reassured them that we have enough to cover the basics, but we felt that it was good for them to know where we stand and why we would be saying "no" to a lot of things. We've found that when kids are included in an age-appropriate way in the budget discussion, they have the opportunity to respect spending decisions and are less likely to complain or badger about the fun extras disappearing for a time.
And it helps train them how to set financial boundaries in the future, which may be the best side effect of all.