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The pre-teen years are great for reinforcing budgeting skills learned throughout childhood. This is when the need for money becomes a bit more prevalent. Kids may want to go to the movies with their friends, run to the local candy shop, or buy that new trendy item.
One method to use to reinforce budgeting is to remind your pre-teen about the 50/50 rule. Half of money they make from allowance, dog-walking, babysitting, or any other side jobs needs to be put into savings and the other half can be spent. This not only helps improve their financial responsibility, it helps set them up for success when they need a down payment on a car, need the first and last month for rent deposits, or even purchasing their first home.
I highly encourage all pre-teens to get a savings account if they haven’t already. That way they have a safe place to put their saved money where it also won’t be a temptation. While having a savings account is a big step in the right direction, knowing how to care for a savings account is also just as important. The pre-teen should be taught how to reconcile their account monthly so they know how much they are saving and so they can double check that the bank didn’t hit them with any fees. It should not cost any money to have a savings account. If it does, look for an account elsewhere.
The other 50% of the money they earn can be spent however they want. The most valuable lesson for the spending percentage is saving up for something that takes a bit of time to get to. This is a very rewarding task and teaches a work ethic as well.
For the parents, it is also important to decide what types of things you will require your child to use their own money for. While you may pay for your child to go to the movies, maybe any movie theater snacks are their own responsibility. It’s important to start slow as they are still dependents.
These are great suggestions, Kari! I agree that it’s important for all pre-teens to get a savings account if they haven’t already. I know my parents had me get one! 🙂
Good tips! I really wish I had started learning more about budgeting as a kid, it would have made the start of adulthood a lot smoother!
I completely agree that starting kids of early with good financial habits sets them up for success as they mature.
Great tips! I have a little 8-month-old but my hubby and I are already talking about how we’re going to instil financial responsibility into his every-day life.
My parents tried to get me to do the 50/50 thing when I was younger, but of course I didn’t listen, I just wanted to spend it all! I wish I hadn’t now, though!
Great tips! My son is not quite old enough to have a job yet, but he does get money from birthdays, holidays, etc. This is a really great idea for that too.
My kids are 6 and 7, and we just got them their own bank account. They had a bunch of checks and such from grandparents for birthdays. I don’t think they care too much about it right now, but they love that they can dump their piggy banks into the coin counter at the bank! I’m sure they will appreciate it in the future and they’ll have a pretty good amount saved up to learn how to manage.
I’ve lived basically almost worse than paycheck to paycheck for the past year and it’s awful. I hate not knowing where my next meal is coming from. But I finally got a new job a few days ago which comes with better pay, more hours, and benefits. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to know what it feels like to live a life with less financial stress.
I love this. I think there might not be a more valuable lesson that understanding deeply the concept of financial responsibility. SO great! I like the movies ideas too. Just start them off slowly and they start to learn what is valuable to them and what is not.
This is so important! I wish my mom would have encouraged me more in saving money, growing up. It is something I will definitely be teaching my children about 🙂