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Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of first breakfast, second breakfast, and the not-so-uncommon third breakfast? Its a common occurrence around here. I needed a solution and I needed it fast. Enter summer homeschooling 101 and teaching kids how to budget with grocery shopping.
Read more about Christina.
Teaching Kids How to Budget
We have always followed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Years ago we decided we needed to clean up our budget and bolster our savings so we started following him; reading books, taking his class, listening to his podcasts…we did it all. It was inspiring. In fact, it inspired perhaps the best idea I ever had.
Since we homeschool, we are at home a lot. My kids were always asking for food and snack. I’m pretty sure I calculated 4 hours one day of preparing some sort of food/snack option for my scavengers. That was the last straw.
It was time to teach the kids how to budget. I implemented our newest class. Homeschool Budgeting 101.
How to Budget Easily with Groceries
As adults, balancing a budget is part of daily life. It just stands to reason our kids should learn this skill early on. Add the repeated desire to eat every second of the day, it was time to enact my plan.
Each child was given $30 (of my money) to spend.
Their mission is to spend less than that amount on all breakfast, lunch, and snack items for the week. (An alternative idea is to add making meal plans for them to help with preparing dinner.)
They can plan their trip based on the ads for the store. Then we go and they shop together but without my help.
They can arrange deals with each other. For instance, they found buy 1 get 1 deals that they split between them. They also used coupons by researching in advance.
If they spend less than their allotted amounts, they get to keep the difference. If they spend more than their allotted amounts, they owe me!
I did make a rule that they had to continue to eat healthily. They were not allowed to buy all junk food just because it was cheaper. We introduced them to using an envelope system to better understand where their money goes. This means they have allotted designated amounts to lunch foods, fruits and vegetables, and snack foods or other similar categories based on what they want that week. Here is the envelope system we use.
How My Kid’s Using a Budget Changed Our Lives
It didn’t take them long to learn several valuable lessons. They learned that eating all their food on Monday meant they had nothing left! Saving money became a challenge, so getting the best deal was important. They learned to meal plan for an entire week. This budgeting plan was a game-changer in our home. Don’t underestimate your kids’ abilities! They may surprise you.
If you like budgeting, check out our article on homeschooling on a budget.