Shopping on a Budget
How we did it:
- paper (large; to make your budget "pie")
- paper (small; to make your budget categories)
- props (to represent your budget categories, in case you don't have readers)
The kids and I created a pie chart, and filled each slice with a category as well as a prop. (For example, a Lego Man to represent toys.) We also printed out some pretend money.
Harry (age 6.5), Sophie (age 4.5) and I started out by reviewing the different things we might spend money on. Clothes, food and toys were naturals. I added “Give” and “Save”, and we talked about what each of those meant.Sophie was eager to share her definition of “save”: “it’s like putting your money in a safe place, like high on a shelf or locked up in a bank, where a robber (or your brother) can’t get it.” It took a little more prodding, and some explanation from her older brother, to get across the idea of Save, in contrast to Spend.
The kids were excited to take turns placing their money on the pie. I asked each one how they thought about where they put their money. “What might happen if you spent all your money on toys?” “You & Dad would have to buy our food!” “But if we spend all our money on toys, there wouldn’t be any left.” “OH.”
This was a really fun little exercise for all of us, and an activity that I think they will remember – in case I need to remind them on our next trip to Target!
I was also encouraged by their openness to the idea of Saving and Giving, and love the idea of creating 3 jars – Save, Give, Spend – to help them think about this more often. (I got some cute tag printables from Good Gravy Designs.)