Getting your children involved in the family budget helps you do two things. It encourages them to understand the costs that the Bank of Mum and Dad incur on a daily basis beyond covering their sweets and pocket money. It also saves you cash while teaching them an invaluable lesson in how to become a savvy spender – not just on whether a lego purchase is really worth it but in everything they do in the future – from negotiating a mobile phone contract to getting car insurance.
So – how do you get them involved?
Make them family budget busters:
Rising costs in gas and electricity bills has been receiving plenty of press. There seem to be more broadband and telephone deals on the market than ever before and thanks to the explosion of comparison sites and advice columns (Money Saving Expert being our favourite), there is plenty of advice. However, if you’re like me and have your bills on direct debit, sitting down to review your current costs and finding a better one is something easily put off until the following week.
Get your kids involved – they can help you check the comparison sites and writing up the best ones on a board can be great fun and rewarding if you offer them a share in the money won back! Another way to release cash from your house is to encourage your children to become Ebay guru’s and its worth checking out our top tips for Ebay here >
The supermarket is a great place to get your kids thinking about the value of things.
I’m a particular fan of checking on the labels in places like Tesco to see what the cost by weight and size is and hunting out good 2 for 1 deals or scouting out reduced items can be a great way to save some pennies. Making it a challenge will make it fun for your children (and a distraction from simply picking up e-number filled sweet packs and trying to smuggle them into the trolley). You can also incentivise them with a reward chosen on your way to the checkout.
If you want to save a bit of cash online and visualise the experience for your kids, sites like Mysupermarket.com mange price comparison calculators.
Are there things that you might pay someone else to do at the moment? Do you need to get all your windows washed by someone else or can you get your kids to tackle the ground floor ones? If you wish you had time to put your feet up rather than cleaning the bathroom or really want to do a job you aren’t usually able to get done, get your children involved. Offer to pay them for those jobs on an agreed rate (make sure you are firm with the amount and stick to it) – they will learn what it takes to run a house and the satisfaction of earning some cash.
Don’t feel you need to reward household jobs directly with pocket money. Many parents on Roosterbank use Reward and Star Charts to create a points system which they then convert into pocket money or a different reward. It’s worth checking out this post from Jo Middleton on the perfect reward chart for Roosterbank.
Roosterbank is a great way for kids to manage pocket money online. It is free to join and you never deposit real money. The site is packed with educational games and safe and fun resources, designed to get your children saving and spending responsibly. Read more about how Roosterbank works.