As a parent, there are many life skills you need to teach your children: how to do chores, how to budget, and how to handle their time. All of these skills will come together to ensure your children are able to be productive, efficient adults. Keep in mind that no matter what age your children currently are, it’s possible to give them the skills they need to be self-sufficient adults.
Start with Chores and Time Management
From an early age, your children should begin to learn about chores. The chores you assign to your children should be age appropriate. A preschooler can help clean up their toys, for example, while a teenager can help with lawn care. Helping your children complete chores will teach them valuable time management skills. They’ll learn that it’s crucial to complete chores quickly and efficiently, for example, so they can move on to more enjoyable activities.
Explain the Budgeting Basics
Don’t stress when it comes to teaching your children about budgeting and time management. Instead, start small. Talk with your kids about the importance of making their bed in the morning and how this can save them time later. Explain that maintaining a clean bedroom will ensure they’re always able to find their favorite toys. This, too, can save them time later on. When you begin to talk about money, explain that even you have a budget you stick to. Creating a budget offers many benefits, including enabling you to know exactly how much you’re spending and how you can save up efficiently to afford the things you want most.
Budgeting and School
It’s probably going to be quite some time before your children are going to have to start paying for their own education, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn about good budgeting practices and schooling. You could teach your child about budgeting time in regards to homework and playtime. Compare playing to spending money, and homework as gaining money. If a child plays all the time, they won’t have any money. You could also take an opportunity to talk about debt in really basic terms using their grades. Older children may have started to have GPAs and you can use those as an example. It’s a lot harder to get out of debt than to never go in it in the first place.
Budgeting both time and money is important for children. In fact, managing time is a lot like managing money. Talk about the value of living within their means, for example, and the importance of saving up. While children may be tempted to spend money quickly, talking about how a budget works, how they can plan to spend their money in certain ways, and the value of saving money can help your children become more farsighted when it comes to managing their cash as they grow up. This can also help your children learn to manage their time since they will understand the value of tracking how much they “spend” on certain activities.
As a parent, it can be stressful to talk with your kids about time and money management, but these are valuable skills it’s important to impart as early as possible.