Learning how to budget your money is such an important life skill. If you learn how to make a budget when you are a kid, the habit is likely to last into your adult years! We will setup an awesome chore / responsibility chart tomorrow. Make sure to join our Facebook group and to follow us on Pinterest, so you don’t miss it!
Before our kids start to earn an allowance, let’s teach them how to budget the money that they will receive. Kids absorb lessons and concepts best by “doing” an activity (versus just learning the theoretical idea.) So rather than just talking to our kids about how to budget money, we will create three money jars (often called allowance jars or “Spend Save Give Jars”) that will reinforce the concept of budgeting their money. I even made free printable labels that you can download to make your “Spend Save Give Jars” further down in this post!
“Back to Basics” Classes for Kids
Wow! Can you believe that it is already week six of our virtual camps? We have done all of the following camp activities already!
- DIY Craft Camp
- Cooking Classes for Kids
- Science Experiments for Kids
- Kids Entrepreneurship
- World Traveler (Kids Geography Camp)
This week’s virtual camp theme is “Back to Basics,” and I can’t wait to teach our kids important like skills, like how to fold a shirt, how to make a budget, how to sew on a button and tons more! Don’t forget to join our Facebook group to see our live classes and follow us on Pinterest, so you won’t miss a thing! You definitely need to follow Hannah at Inspired Sparks too, because she is posting all kinds of awesome videos to teach kids about science, crafts and cooking.
Elmo’s Three Jars
The original concept of learning how to budget this way comes from a Sesame Street clip. Elmo’s three jars (for me, for you, and for later) are still a huge hit, many years later! If your kids haven’t seen it before, here is the Sesame Street clip! Don’t worry if your kids are “past” the age of thinking Elmo is “cool!” The “3 jar” approach works well for our older kids too (and they can skip watching the video!)
DIY Spend, Save, Give Jars
To teach your kids how to make a budget, begin by discussing the concept of splitting the money they earn into three different piles – one to share, one to save and one to give. Let’s cover one at a time!
The spend jar is where your child will allocate a certain percentage of their money to use for small treats. These are often impulse buys like a candy bar or a toy from the dollar aisle at Target. My eight year old daughter (who is a total saver!!!) allocates just 10% to this category each week. Whereas my six year old triplets put 20% into their spend jars. Talk to your children about the advantages of the “spend jar” (such as instant gratification) versus the disadvantages (less money towards their big, dream purchase or for helping others.)
The save jar is where your child will place the money to save up for a more expensive item. Older kids may even opt to put this money into a savings account for a “rainy day.” My oldest daughter allocates 60% of her weekly allowance to her save jar. Our triplets allocate 50% to their spend jars. Ask your children to think about how quickly they want to purchase the more expensive item that they selected. Then, calculate how long it will take them to save up enough money with the percentage that they are allocating to their save jar. If they want it faster, perhaps they may decrease the percentage of their allowance that they are allocating to their spend jar!
The give jar is where your child will save money to give to a charity or person in need. Help them to brainstorm an organization or charity that they are passionate about. I suggest setting a minimum percentage of 10% to donate to the charity they select, but it is completely up to you. My kids decided to donate 30% (proud mama moment for sure!)
How to Make 3 Money Jars
Now that your children have decided how to make a budget for their allowance, they need a way to keep their three “piles” of money separate. I made Spend, Save, Give Printable Labels that you can use to make your three money jars (spend, save and give).
Just click here and print out the image! Make sure that your print layout is landscape and that it is set to run the full width of the page.
You just cut the three strips out and tape them around empty mason jars. Unfortunately, we ran out of color ink last week and are still waiting on the replacement cartridges to arrive! So, I printed ours in black and white to see what it would look like.
Not bad! However, it is far more fun and exciting for kids to see lots of bright colors! So, if you run out of color ink (or only have a black / white printer), here is what you should do!!! Print the 3 money jar labels out without color. Then, cutout the black ovals on each of the three labels (spend, give and save.) Next, cut a strip out of fun cardstock paper. Use a glue stick to adhere the black oval label onto your strip of cardstock. Finally, tape the whole thing around your mason jar! See how the color makes such a huge difference?!
DIY Spend, Save, Give Jars
Now your kids should know the basics behind how to make a budget! Don’t forget to share with us how your DIY spend, save, give jars turn out by posting a photo in our Facebook Group! We are always so inspired by all of our amazing members!!!