Budgeting for Children of All Ages

March 28, 2018

Budgeting can be a rather unpleasant & lackluster lesson for children to learn. Getting kids to not surrender (so quickly) to impulses and prioritize earnings must be familiarized and implanted in the form of a habit. 

Teaching your child the importance of budgeting money will help them to:

  • Be accountable for their own willpower and decisions
  • Be aware of where their money is coming and going
  • Organize their money
  • Determine how they value needs & wants
  • Avoid making excuses & spending more than earned

You’re the best judge to determine at what age your child can absorb financial lessons as well as the appropriate level of participation for suggested budgeting actives below. Budgeting doesn’t have to be a chore, below are simple and fun ways to create healthy budgeting habits for the kids.


Ages 2-6 | Introduction to Money and Its Importance

Present the preliminary fundamentals of a budget in the most uncomplicated manner. Keep it fun & light hearted because there is no way you’re getting through to a kid when they have their eye on that new toy.


Teachable Budgeting Lessons:

  • Money recognition – Review basics of currency
  • Money buys things – Show that desirables must be purchased
  • You must earn money – Explain that money is not just given for free
  • Value for a $1 – Provide value comparisons on potential purchases
  • Sharing money – Beginning form of deprivation / loss of money
  • Saving money – The more you save the bigger the prize


Actionable Budgeting Resources & Tools:


Are a perfect way to introduce budgeting stories that you can refer to in future lessons.

  • Bunny Money by Rosemary Wells Max & Ruby must buy their grandmother a birthday gift within their budget constraints. Offers a subtle lesson about counting and budgeting your money.
  • The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money by Jan Berenstain A cute approach to teaching about overspending, problems with impulsive spending & other basic concepts of budgeting.


Put on performance

Engaging imaginative play helps your child prepare for planning and problem solving. You can encourage scenarios like:

  • Shopping at the store- Break out the toy cash registers, faux money and grocery carts! Get them used to the concept that they can purchase goods.


Leading by example

Observation is their forte. Take advantage by:

  • Piggy BankGive them a piggy bank and create opportunities for them to add to their savings. Try a piggybank where you can visibly & clearly see the money accumulating. Seeing the growth will help substantiate patience when saving.
  • DonationsShow and explain the different charities and donation you contribute to. This will show the value in giving your hard earned money.
  • Buy your own treatsHave your child give you money for things like treats and other small toys. This will teach that you must pay for goods.



Younger children thrive on repetitious media. Video & songs are a powerful tool for learning, and there are videos & music at your fingertips now more than ever. The following videos are great for the budgeting mindset & will also satisfy their thirst for visual eye & ear candy.

Sesame Street: For Me, For You, For Later - Elmo's Three Jars


Coins Song For Kids | A Fun Rap For Kindergarten and Up



Ages 7-12 | Budgeting Conversation & Allow Earning

Gen Z has grown up in an entirely digital world. Everything from entertainment, news & life lessons come entirely from social media and video. Here’s a few multimedia solutions :


Teachable Budgeting Lessons:

  • Ways to earn money – Create ways for them to earn or receive an allowance
  • Asses values for things they want to purchase - Put their will to the test


Actionable Budgeting Resources & Tools:

50% of of kids in this age group cannot live without Youtube. Here’s a video they’ll engage and easily understand.

Budgets - 5th Grade - Education Galaxy


Leading by example

Help get their feet wet by incorporating methods such as:

  • Envelope Budgeting System - Whether or not you implement this system for your entire family, this method can aid in allocating money correctly. A quick search will show dozens of instructionals and sources to get started.
  • Kid Friendly Budgeting Chart - Once the kids begin earning money, a budgeting chart will help add value to their needs and wants. This Budgeting Worksheet & Printable allows you to fill in your own data electronically or print out & manually enter data. Simply download and enjoy!

              - Add earnings

              - Add wants and needs

              - Auto generate whether or not they will have enough (digital version)

  • Gaming ExamplesUtilize the games they may already be using. For example, in order to get to a new town in the original Final Fantasy you may need to buy or sell armor. Let them decide is it worth buying? They are already making these decisions – you need to bring them to light.


Ages 13+ | Real World Preparation

46 percent of student grades 5th-12th reported their schools did not teach them about money and banking. Help implement the best financial habits by:


Teachable Budgeting Lessons:

  • Fluctuations and importance of a savings account
  • Budgeting for necessities vs entertainment


Actionable Budgeting Resources & Tools:

Savings & Bank Accounts
Support your teenager’s earning, spending, and saving patterns by opening and allowing them to monitor their own accounts.

Allow them to actively utilize money apps such as :

  • Bankaroo
  • iAllowance
  • Piggybot
  • Busy Kid
  • Greenlight



How to make a budget and stay on top of your money


CashVille Kidz Episode 23: SMART Budgeting



Keeping Track Of Your Money Gives You Power At Any Age

Proper budgeting skills will allow them to discover there's never enough money to buy everything you want & they must prioritize. Eventually they will also understand there will be times you have to wait before you can have something you really want & saving money now means something in the future. We are all slave to habits. Show your kids the value of being slave to good financial habits.


Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place.

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