Kids and adults learning to manage money together {Guest Post}

This blog post is testimony to the huge influence that young children have to driving us into deep debt. …  Oops, I mean on our spending decisions.  No, really, I mean on driving us into deep debt.

It is a fact that during the parenting years, most people are deeper in debt and more likely to need credit counseling than before and after kids, and that disposable income is at its lowest.  Let’s face it, kids are expensive.

creditBut we can exercise some discipline to ease the pain, and at the same time teach the children some valuable money decisions.

Spending money is about making choices.  What you spend on one purchase is no longer available to spend on another purchase.  The money is gone.  You are left with a toy, a shirt or a memory.  The money is no longer there to buy another toy or another shirt or another memory.  You can still make memories, but not in a theme park.

If you as an adult have mastered this concept, you can teach it to your kids.  However, if you have run up huge credit card debt, you are obviously spending more money than you have.  No problem.  You can learn this lesson together with your children.

Set yourself a budget.  You don’t have to do this with your kids; they won’t understand all the things you need to pay for.  But when you go to the grocery store, you can certainly explain to them how much money you have allocated for this shopping trip, and have them add up the cost as you fill the basket.

They might not agree with all of your choices (“No mommy, buy the cupcakes, not the chicken.  Cupcakes are yummier.”), but over time they will come to understand about making choices.  They will understand that if you buy chicken instead of beef, you can also buy a dessert.  And that is what budgeting and managing money is all about…

Making choices.

The grocery store is the easy place to teach about money on a daily basis.  But closer to their heart will be when at the amusement park.  Do you buy them ice cream and cotton candy and other treats?  Do you buy the overpriced junk food meals?  Or do you make your own meals and maybe allocate funds for one special treat?  Let them help you decide.  If they choose the meal at the amusement park, withhold from them something they really want.

“Sorry, we spent that money on the meal.  Next time if we bring our own meals, we’ll have more money available to buy other things.”

And after leaving the park, you can do the same.

“Sorry, we spent that money at the theme park.  Next time if we don’t spend as much, we’ll have more money available to buy other things the next day.”

What counts is not the exact amount of money.  What counts is that children learn to make choices and to think about what they might be giving up later on before making an expense today.  Hopefully they will manage their money better than we do.  And hopefully, if we teach well, we will also learn well… and manage our money better than we did.

This is a guest post from Consolidated Credit.  If your debt load has become too heavy burden because of kids or for any other reason, you can reach out to them at


Social Media Specialist at Kidsumers
Sheri McDonald is a Mom to 4 awesome kids who range in age from 6 to 21. She is a Canadian Mom Blogger, a Travel Blogger, a Brand Ambassador, a Social Media Influencer, a Spokesperson and an amateur photographer. You can find her writing about family life, food, travel, Disney and family friendly products at Kidsumers (a play on the word 'consumers') and sharing her travel experience at Big Family Travels.


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  1. Jeannette Laframboise says

    That is the truth! We have tried several times to get through to our youngest about money. We generally don’t over spend and we don’t have any credit card debt but still I swear he really thinks we do have a money tree…He is always asking for a Wii game or a new computer game etc. but he doesn’t get the connection. I bought him a game not too long ago and it was $65 which is expensive but I sure learned my lesson. He played it non stop for about 3 days and then came to happily inform me that he “Won and reached the end of the game.” Translated, it meant I paid approx $21.66 per day for the 3 days and since he ‘won’ he will likely never play it again. Silly me. I only allow him to rent them now. I have tried to explain how many hrs etc. that I need to work to purchase things and sometimes he seems to get it and others, well, not so much. I will definitely try out a few of the tips in the post above. Thanks for the info!

  2. says

    It is always so hard to teach them about money. My son is now at the age where if he asks for something and I tell him that we don’t have the money for that he says sure we do, you have your bank card (debit card). He doesn’t yet understand that it is tied to a limited amount of funds.

  3. Victoria Ess says

    I think those are great tips for teaching kids valuable lessons about money. Overall, my personal opinion is that consistency is key. My parents taught me these lessons from a young age, and I had started paying for everything for myself when I turned 16 and got a job, including university. I don’t think I would/could have done that if they hadn’t taught me how to budget when I was younger.

  4. Anne Taylor says

    My parents taught me absolutely nothing regarding money; thus I didn’t do a great job with my kids because I just didn’t know any better. Its so very important and really a most important life skill

  5. says

    Great post. Great tips too. I have teenagers and we’re trying to teach them about budgeting their money, saving money and all the positives and negatives that come with money.

    My biggest concern is credit cards. They are the “devil” and I hope our children will learn by our example and not fall victim to them when they get older. We try and show our kids that if you don’t have the $$$ you can’t buy it (unless it’s for an emergency like if your fridge dies on you).

    Thanks for sharing these tips.

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