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Drawing up a budget

25 avril 2022

When should you start talking about budgeting with your children?

Useful tips


Learning to establish a budget to plan purchases helps your children become financially independent.

When should you start talking about budgeting with them? It depends on your child. The following elements will help you determine when to talk about budgeting:

  • Age
    There is no ideal age to start talking about managing money, but your children should have an idea of the value of money before learning about budgeting. Although your children's age is not really an important factor, their sense of responsibility is. A young, responsible child will be more open to learning.
  • Allowance
    If you're planning to give an allowance to your children or if they're already getting paid for work they accomplished, at school for example, you should start talking about budgeting if you haven't done so already.
    As parents, you have every right to approve the purchases your children make with their hard-earned dollars.
  • Friends
    Your children's friends may start receiving an allowance before your own children do. It's not the time to change your decision. Instead, you should determine whether this situation affects your child.
    Maybe your children will want to learn more about savings when they see their friends getting an allowance.
  • The desire to run errands
    If your children are more and more interested in running errands and they even suggest items to add to your list—it's a genuine sign! This interest in family purchases shows that they are now more responsible and ready to talk about budgeting with you.

How to help your children establish a budget

Useful tips


Budgets, savings, expenses. Do your children know the meaning of these words? Are these terms still completely unknown to them?

The 4 following steps serve as a foundation for a budget template your children can follow for many years to come:


  1. List recurrent purchases
    With your children, list recurrent purchases they plan to make every month or year. If there are few or none, ask them to think about purchases they plan on making in the near or not so near future.
  2. Understand the cost of life
    Ask your children to have a look at the family budget together or to list your main expenses. This exercise will allow them to better understand real expenses while learning to measure the cost of life. Visualizing the amounts to set aside for expenses such as electricity, gas, rent and monthly mortgage payments puts the notion of savings into perspective.
  3. Save for a specific goal
    Both savings and due date management are essential components of a budget. See Purchase Planning Model and teach them the best way to save on a daily basis.
  4. Calculate income less monthly expenses
    Find a budget template that is in line with your children's reality. Use Model to Plan Monthly Spending.

Your children will also have to learn that they need a savings plan to buy a bike or pay for a trip. They'll have to establish a specific budget for every goal, in addition to their monthly budget.


Which questions should you ask yourself before going to the store?

Useful tips


Money in hand, your children are now ready to run their own errands. They should, just as you do, ask themselves questions to ensure that they are spending their money at the right place.


Examples of questions to ask yourself:

1. Did you and your children list the items you need to buy before running your errands?

To keep needs in mind and encourage responsible purchasing.

2. Do you already know the price of the articles you need to buy?

It's a good way to predict the total amount you will spend, within a few dollars.

3. Do you have everything you need in case you need to return or exchange something?               

Bills, information on store return policies, etc.