Get the New, Free Budget Binder Printables to Help You Get Out of Debt and Save More Money!

how to make a budget

FREE Budget Binder Printables!

Get the free Budget Binder to help you take control of your money today! The free Budget Binder printables will help you to track your income and expenses, pay off more debt, spend less and save more, and reach your financial goals!

 

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Free Printable Budget Binder

 In the new, free Budget Binder, you will find tools to help you to manage your money in order to spend less, save more, and live better. Use these awesome free Budget Binder printables to get out of the debt and paycheck to paycheck cycle, and start making your money work for you!

 

In this beautiful Budget Binder, you will get these awesome printables:

  • Awesome, classically designed cover
  • 1 inch, 1.5 inch, and 2-inch spine label
  • Financial goals sheet
  • Monthly budget sheets
  • Income tracker
  • Expenses tracker
  • Debt payoff tracker
  • Saving goal tracker
  • Monthly budget review sheet
  • Notes page

Now, let’s talk about each of these free Budget Binder printables a little bit.

Classy Cover

You will love this classy cover for your beautiful Budget Binder!

Convenient Spine Labels

There are three sizes of spine labels for your Budget Binder: 1 inch, 1.5 inches, and 2 inches. No matter the size of your binder, we have got you covered!

Financial Goals Sheet

If you want to accomplish amazing things with your money and stop simply living paycheck to paycheck, you need to set and work toward awesome financial goals for an awesome financial future!

With the financial goals sheet, you can set short-term, medium-term, and long-term financial goals to help you spend less money, save more money, get out of debt, build wealth, and more!

As you set your financial goals, remember to make them SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Check out my best tips for how to reach large financial goals.

 

Monthly Budget Sheets

These monthly budget sheets are perhaps the most important part of your free Budget Binder printables!

If you have been intimidated by budgeting in the past, you don’t need to be! Think of your monthly budget as simply the mini goals that are going to help you reach your own financial awesome. Remember—you are the boss of your budget. But then once you have created your budget, let it be the boss of you, to keep you on track financially.

With these monthly budget sheets, you will record your monthly income and expenses so that you can truly manage your money!

The main categories have been designated in order for you to easily plan and organize your budget, so all you need to do is add the specific budget categories that meet the needs and circumstances of your family.

Some of the fixed expenses (meaning, the amount generally stays the same every month) you may want to include in your budget are these:

  • Tithing
  • Charitable giving
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Renters insurance
  • Homeowners insurance and property taxes (if not paid with the mortgage)
  • Car payment
  • Automobile insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Internet
  • Cell phones
  • Cable/satellite TV
  • Home phone
  • Gym or rec center membership
  • Retirement savings

In addition to these fixed expenses, you will likely have a number of variable expenses (where the amount spent fluctuates from month to month) such as the following:

  • Groceries
  • Household items (such as cleaning products, towels, and related items)
  • Eating out
  • Gasoline/fuel
  • Public transportation
  • Clothing
  • Utilities (electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, garbage)
  • Toiletries, makeup, and related items
  • Child care
  • Pet food and supplies
  • House maintenance
  • Home furnishings and appliances
  • Car maintenance
  • Education/tuition
  • Kids’ school or sport/music expenses
  • Entertainment
  • Electronics/toys
  • Recreation/sports and vacations
  • Hair care (stylist/barber)
  • Christmas and gift giving

Income Tracker

With the income tracker, write down all of the income you receive during the month, no matter how small. Even small amounts can help you accomplish big things over time!

Expense Tracker

With the expense tracker, you will record all of your expenses, how much they are for, and when they are due (if applicable). This form can help ensure you get your bills paid on time every month.

Debt Payoff Tracker

The debt payoff tracker will allow you to keep up-to-date on how much you owe for each one of your debts and when your target date is to get each one paid off. You will also see at a glance your progress toward reaching that payoff goal.

 Print a separate debt tracker page for each of your debts you are working to pay off, record your progress regularly, and you will be surprised at how quickly you are able to crush your debt and get it out of your life!

Savings Goal Tracker

This is another powerful free Budget Binder printable in your financial toolbox. Use a separate sheet to keep track of your progress toward each of your awesome savings goals.

On each sheet, record the savings goal amount, how much you have saved already, how long you plan to save for (if known), what you are saving for, and why you are saving for this financial goal.

Don’t overlook or neglect to complete the line for why you are saving! Your financial why is very important because it will help give you the motivation to reach your financial goals!

Discover how determining your financial why can help you to save more money. And get my best tips for how to achieve your financial goals.

Monthly Budget Review Sheet

On this free Budget Binder printable sheet, record areas where you struggled with keeping to your budget or what you could do better for next month. Also record financial goals for next month that your Budget Binder can help you to accomplish!

Notes Sheet

Be sure to record here any notes that will help you to manage your money better and reach your financial goals.

Conclusion

With these awesome free Budget Binder printables, you can finally make budgeting work for you! By identifying and tracking your expenses, listing your income and expenses, and including money for saving and paying off debt, you will succeed at your financial goals! It will take some time and consistent effort, but you can do this! And your future self will profusely thank you! 🙂

If you want to be able to have financial peace and stability and eventually reach financial freedom, you have to be able to have money left over after your spending to save and to invest.

And in order to do that, you have to master a budget or spending plan. If you want to win financially, as with any area of your life, you have to make a plan and stick to it.

Find information on how to stick to your budget here. And you can find the complete  Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting.

What questions do you have about the Budget Binder? Have you tried to budget before and not been able to stick with it? What are your biggest budgeting challenges or hurdles? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting

beginner's guide to budgeting how to budget

Beginners Guide to Budgeting

In this beginner’s guide to budgeting, I am going to discuss what budgeting is, the steps to create a workable budget, and how to succeed at budgeting. I’m also going to talk about common budgeting questions and answers.

Budgeting is so important to your financial success because when you get control of your spending by creating and then following a monthly budget, you gain control of what one financial expert calls your largest wealth-building tool: your income.

 

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How I Learned the Importance of Budgeting

Fifteen years ago, before I was interested in or knew very much at all about personal finance, I think that budgeting to me, if it meant anything at all, meant to not spend more than I had in my checking account. (And all things considered, that really is not a horrible place to start. :))

About a year after I graduated from college my husband had just started college, and we were taking an extracurricular class together that had nothing to do with personal finance overall. But as part of the class discussion that day we talked about compound interest, and that conversation changed the whole trajectory of my life.

From that time I became very interested in and then passionate about personal finance, and I read countless books and articles to learn all that I could about the topic.

I have now taught community personal finance classes (Ieading Dave Ramsey’s Personal Finance University), and my husband and I have also been able to use the knowledge we have about personal finance to pay off over $260,000 of debt in less than 10 years (including our mortgage!).

 

Why Budgeting Is Essential to Save Money

One of the most important foundational principles of personal finance is budgeting. By creating a budget, or a spending plan as it is also called, you are able to determine how you want to spend, or not spend, your money in order to accomplish the goals with money that you want to.

Personal finance in general and budgeting in particular are so important because money really touches every aspect of our lives. There is not much that we can do in this life that is not connected to or dependent upon money in some way. What we spend our money on indicates what is important to us. And how we spend our money really does determine not only our own financial future and influences some of the things that we are able to achieve but potentially also influences the financial futures of our future posterity, as well.

That is why understanding first what budgeting is and why it is important is so necessary to our financial well-being.

 

What Is Budgeting?

The first question I want to discuss in this beginner’s guide to budgeting is this: what is budgeting?

The word budgeting, unfortunately, has some pretty negative connotations associated with it for some people. Some people treat it as if it is the dreaded B word. Some individuals feel that a budget is constraining, that it takes all of the fun out of life. And because of that misconception, they choose not to budget, and so they are robbed of the power that comes from truly making your money work for you.

The reality is that a budget is nothing more than, as I mentioned above, a plan for the way that you  choose to spend your money. You get to create the budget and decide how much you are going to spend in each budget category.

How to Get Started with Budgeting

In this beginner’s guide to budgeting I am going to share 9 simple steps to make a budget that will actually work to help you save money and reach your short- and long-term financial goals.

1. Track what you spend as you work to make your budget.

Track what you spend for a couple of weeks or a month to really get a good feel for where your money has been going. This doesn’t have to be perfect; just do your best. Use a debit card to make purchases and pay bills as much as possible during this time so that you can go to your bank or credit union website to see what you have spent. 

Sign up below (after step 2) to receive a free spending tracker form to help you with this step! Easy peasy!

2. Start with a simple, hard-copy budget.

When you very first start budgeting, I recommend using a paper budget. This gives you a simple way to create your first budget by helping you to get a rough idea of what you would like to spend where.

Sign up below for a simple budget and spending tracker forms that will help you get started!

 

Once you get the hang of budgeting and have done it for a few months, go ahead and switch to a digital system if you prefer. Or if you really can’t stand paper and you prefer to do everything electronically, you can build a budget in Excel or use a program such as You Need a Budget (YNAB.com). It’s a great, user-friendly budgeting tool with a lot of awesome features.

 

Check out these related articles:

17 Must-Know Tips to Rock Your First Budget!
Budgeting Fail? Try This Simple Alternative to Budgeting
13 Surefire Steps to Help You Stick to Your Budget
9 Must-Know Tips to Help You Finally Start Saving!

 

3. List all income sources as you work to make your budget.

If you have a job where you receive regular paychecks, this step shouldn’t take too long. Simply add up all income (for you and your spouse), and write that number at the top of the page. Don’t forget to include freelance income and any money earned from second jobs, overtime, or side hustles.

4. List all of your expenses.

Then begin to list your expenses. Don’t forget to include tithing and charitable giving in this category.

Do a zero-based budget so that every dollar you have goes to a designated place. If you don’t, it’s almost certain that the unallocated money will get blown in one area or another. Be intentional with all of your money so that your money really works for you.

First list your regular, fixed expenses. Gather your regular bills, such as mortgage or rent payment, car payment, public transportation pass, utilities, health insurance premium (if not deducted automatically by your employer), cell phone bill, internet bill, car insurance bill, and so on.

Here is an easy list for reference of common fixed expenses you can use when creating your budget:

  • Tithing
  • Charitable giving
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Renters insurance
  • Homeowners insurance and property taxes (if not paid with the mortgage)
  • Car payment
  • Automobile insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Internet
  • Cell phones
  • Cable/satellite TV
  • Home phone
  • Gym or rec center membership
  • Retirement savings

Then list your variable expenses. After you add up all of your fixed expenses, figure out your variable monthly expenses such as groceries, gasoline, household expenses, clothing, entertainment and eating out, pet food and supplies, and toiletries.

Here is an easy list for reference of common variable expenses you can use when creating your budget:

  • Groceries
  • Household items (cleaners, towels, and related items)
  • Eating out
  • Gasoline/fuel
  • Public transportation
  • Clothing
  • Utilities (electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, garbage)
  • Toiletries, makeup, and related items
  • Child care
  • Pet food and supplies
  • House maintenance
  • Home furnishings and appliances
  • Car maintenance
  • Education/tuition
  • Kids’ school or sports/music expenses
  • Entertainment
  • Electronics/toys
  • Recreation/sports and vacations
  • Hair care (stylist/barber)
  • Christmas and gift giving

 

5. Decide how much money you will budget toward savings.

It’s likely when you first start budgeting that you won’t have a lot of money left over to put toward savings. It’s OK to start small, but as quickly as you can, start increasing the amount that you save toward specific categories. And no matter how little your income, start saving something right from the beginning if you possibly can, to get yourself into the habit of saving.

As long as you make a little more than your fixed expenses each month, then determine a realistic amount to save, and save that portion of your income before you do anything else—known as “paying yourself first.” If you plan to just “save what’s left over,” the chances that you’ll have anything left to save are slim.

If you crunch the numbers and you really just don’t have anything left over to put toward saving (and then paying off debt once your starter emergency fund is funded—see the next section for more information) after paying all of your bills, then you should look at ways to earn additional income.

6. Fund your starter emergency fund (EF) first.

The first thing you should start saving toward when you make your budget is a starter emergency fund. This is a crucial next step because an emergency fund gets you out of the mode of relying on credit cards and it really does virtually stop emergencies from happening. It’s not that your car’s transmission never goes out or your roof never springs a leak, but those things are no longer emergencies—they are inconveniences because you have the money saved up to pay for them.

You should put all extra money above bare-bones expenses (that means zero or very minimal spending on eating out, entertainment, and so on) into your emergency fund until it is fully funded. Treat building up a starter emergency fund like an emergency!

If you have consumer debt, start with a small emergency fund of $1,000 to one month’s worth of expenses (depending on how likely you are to need the money—for example, scale upward if you have an older car or home), and pay off your consumer debt before you build your full emergency fund of three to six months of expenses.

Try to build up your $1,000 starter emergency fund in a month or less by slashing expenses such as your grocery bill and entertainment spending, by selling stuff, and by earning extra money through overtime or a doing a side hustle or second job.

Learn more about how to fund your emergency fund as quickly as possible.

After you have funded your starter emergency fund and have paid off all of your nonmortgage debt (discussed in the next step), start working toward your fully funded emergency fund and toward saving for large purchases.

7. Start working to pay off your debts.

Once you a starter emergency fund of at least $1,000, begin working to pay off your debts.

After you start budgeting and have all of your expenses written down on paper, you will start to see areas where you can reduce your spending (see this article for more than 20 areas where you can cut your spending!) in order to start paying off your debt.

Once you have a good handle on doing your monthly budget, try to set up your budget so that you can pay extra payments on your debt in order to have all of your nonmortgage debt paid off within 18 to 24 months—or faster, if you can! (You may want to find ways to increase your income or find things to sell in order to help you reach this goal.)

In order to pay off your debts, use either the snowball debt payment method or the avalanche debt payment method.

Briefly, the snowball method is where you list all of your debts smallest to largest and you pay just minimum payments on all of your debts except for the smallest one and then throw all of the money that you can toward that smallest debt until it is paid off.

Then once that first debt is paid off, you use the all of the money from your budget that you were spending on paying off that smallest debt to attack your next smallest debt. And then work to pay off the next smallest debt, and so on.

With the avalanche method, you similarly pay minimum payments on all but one debt, but the debt that you attack first is the one with the highest interest rate.

You will save on interest if you use the avalanche method, but I recommend that you follow the snowball method because of the motivation that comes from paying off the smaller debts first and getting the emotional boost from those relatively quick wins. The snowball method is the method we used to pay off more than $60,000 in nonmortgage debt.

However, choose the method that will be most motivational for you, and just get after that debt!

8. Adjust your budget categories if you overspend in an area.

Because you’re going to go off of a zero-based budget, if you decide you have to spend more in one area than you planned for, then you need to pull the money from another spending category.

So if something comes up where you need to spend more on your gifts category, for example, because you receive a wedding invitation, then the amount in your entertainment category or fun money or clothing category or eating out or somewhere else will need to be adjusted. Your budget needs to balance out.

9. Continue tracking your spending each month, and adapt your budget as needed over time.

It will probably take about three months to work out the major kinks in your budget, but then it will really start to work.

You should create a specific budget for every month because no two months are exactly the same, but once you’ve been budgeting for a while, your budget will be mostly set and you’ll only have to make minor tweaks from month to month.

However, when major events happen in life that cause big changes in your finances, be sure to adapt your budget accordingly.

How to Succeed at Budgeting

Another important thing to discuss in this beginner’s guide to budgeting is how to be successful at budgeting. To succeed at budgeting, here are 4 more important things you can do.

Automate Your Finances to Succeed at Budgeting

To avoid getting overwhelmed with budgeting and managing your money, automate as much of your finances as possible. I don’t have any bills that I regularly pay with a check—we use bill pay for all of our expenses, including tithing and charitable donations. Automating our financial transactions saves time and makes life much simpler (and helps me avoid forgetting to pay my bills!).

If you want to learn more about how to automate your finances such as bill paying, saving, and investing to simplify your life and start to build wealth, I recommend The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. It’s one of my favorite personal finance books because it gives simple, actionable steps you can follow. And check out this article for more information on automating your finances.

Use Cash for Budget Categories You Tend to Overspend On

Some areas that you’ll probably want to use cash for in your budget include food, entertainment, clothing, and personal and family fun money. You can use envelopes to keep your cash for the week or month or a wallet with different compartments, or set up separate savings accounts for (most of) these budget categories, like we have. You can learn how to stop overspending here.

Budget to Save for Large Purchases and Expenses as Soon as Possible

If you do not have any debt and you have already created your fully funded emergency fund, then start to save toward other financial priorities. In order to stay out of debt and build wealth, you’ve got to be able to cover your expenses without borrowing money. This means you need to have the money saved to cover these costs with cash. For financial well-being, all families should have the following savings accounts in place and be regularly funding them.

  • Create a vehicle maintenance and replacement fund as soon as possible. Shorter term, funding your vehicle savings account prevents regular car maintenance and unexpected repair costs from becoming financial emergencies. And longer term, this fund helps you save thousands of dollars in interest by paying a car payment to yourself instead of to a bank or other lender.
    Learn how to buy a car with cash and how to get out of an upside down car loan. Learn how to save money on car repairs here and find more than 30 tips for how to save money on your vehicle here.
  • Create a house maintenance or down payment fund. If you are a homeowner (or plan to be a homeowner in the future), then this fund is a must. Eventually virtually everything in your home will need to be repaired or replaced. And some of those items are really expensive. Yes, homeowners insurance will take care of many things, but whenever you can, you should be your own insurance plan—you should self-insure by having savings to cover those inevitable expenses that will crop up. This will help to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible—so raise those deductibles! And there are some things that homeowners insurance simply won’t pay for (generally), such as burst water pipes, collapsed sewer lines, and damage caue by earthquakes, mold, floods, and more.
    Learn how to save money on housing here.
  • Create other savings funds. Here are some examples of other savings funds that we have and that I recommend you set up as soon as possible:
    • Save for vacations, Christmas, gift giving, larger household items (such as appliances and furnishings), and more. Once you have the essential items covered in your budget (food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and utilities, for example), begin saving for things like vacations, Christmas, household furnishings and appliances, and so on. The easiest way that I’ve found to do this is by having separate savings accounts for each category. Shortly after I got my first job I signed up for an ING checking account. What I loved about ING is that I could add as many different savings accounts as I want, and see them all together (and the sum total of the money in our various accounts). ING has since been bought out by Capital One, and even though I don’t generally recommend really big banks, I have to say that I’ve never had a problem with my Capital One 360 account. In fact, the one time I did have a problem (which was completely my fault—user error), they fixed it in about a minute. Their customer service was great. I know it’s going to sound a little crazy, but we have over 10 savings accounts for different things—for me, I just like to know we won’t accidentally spend money we have designated for one thing on something else.
    • Create a dream fund. When you are out of debt and have begun to save for all of the above items, begin funding your dreams. Doing so is helpful because learning to be financially savvy isn’t just so you can pay all your bills and retire with dignity and give to the causes you support—though all of those things are extremely important. It’s also so that you can really enjoy the many things money can buy, guilt free and without debt. This might mean saving for a motorcycle, a nice car, an RV, a boat, an exotic vacation—whatever you want. If you’re young or have a lot of debt it may be years before you can fully fund or maybe even start these savings funds, but if you keep it in the back of your mind, it will help you stay on track financially and help you reach important financial goals along the way.

Budget Money to Save for Retirement and Save for Kids’ College

There’s a saying in the personal finance industry that the best time to start investing was yesterday—and the next best time is now. So as soon as you can, start investing for retirement in a 401(k) or Roth IRA (or both!), and start saving for your children’s college expenses in an educational savings account (ESA) or college 529.

Related: Learn how to become a millionaire by investing just $200 a month!

Even if you start with just $100 a month, the savings begins to grow quickly, and by seeing the progress you make, you’ll be motivated to save even more. We have investment accounts with both Schwab and Vanguard. Both are inexpensive, excellent options to help you start investing for retirement and saving for college today.

Find more information about how to succeed at budgeting here.

Common Questions about Budgeting

I also want to discuss in this beginner’s guide to budgeting a handful of commonly asked questions and answers about budgeting.

How Do I Budget for Irregular Expenses?

As mentioned above, it is also important to include irregular expenses in your budget. So, if you pay for your life insurance once a year, for example, then you should divide the annual premium by 12 and then save that amount each year in a specific savings account just for life insurance (so that you won’t inadvertently spend the money on something else). You can save for your auto insurance, automobile registration, and other such expenses in the same way.

How Do I Budget If I Have an Irregular Income?

If you have an irregular income, then base your budget on your earned income for the lowest month from the last 12 months. Then make sure that you also write a list of the priorities for the additional income that could come in. Put any extra money that does come in toward those priorities, in order from most important to least important (such as paying off your smallest debt) until the money runs out.

What If I Regularly Overspend the Budgeted Amount in a Particular Category or Categories?

If you are regularly spending more than the allocated amount in a budget category or categories, then this may mean that you are not being realistic about the budget category. For example, if you regularly budget $500 a month for groceries but you always spend closer to $600, then you may want to decrease another budget category or categories to have more money available for groceries. Or, alternatively, you can find ways to save money on groceries (find more that 70 tips here!).

That is true for whatever budget category you are overspending on. Chances are very good that you can lower the amount of money you spend if you really want to. You may need to find the motivation to save the money by finding meaningful long-term financial goals to work toward.

You can find more than 20 ideas for how to reduce your spending (for virtually every budget category) here. You can also find information on how to stop overspending here.

The issue could also be a lower than average income. If you make a low income, then one of your long-term financial goals needs to be to increase your income.

What If I Have Expenses That Do Not Seem to Fit in Any Budget Category?

It’s OK to have a small amount of money budgeted each month toward a “Miscellaneous” or similar category. We budget about $50 per month toward miscellaneous expenses (we don’t spend that much on miscellaneous items every month, but some months we spend more than that, so it balances out). This is basically like an “other household expenses” category for us. If you are budgeting much more than $100 a month, you probably need to take a look at what the money is going toward and make another budget category for that item or those items.

What Is the Best Budgeting Tool or Best BudgetingApp?

Because we started budgeting so long ago, we have always used a simple Excel spreadsheet that my husband created years and years ago that we just updated as we needed to with different categories (such as when the kiddos came along). However, after researching the different apps out there, if I were going to use an inexpensive but paid app, I would go with You Need a Budget (YNAB.com). They use a zero-based budget and even encourage you to get to the point where you are budgeting off of last month’s income, both of which I strongly encourage. They have really good reviews, and their app seems both robust and user friendly.

 

Conclusion

If you want to be able to have financial peace and stability and eventually reach financial freedom, you have to be able to have money left over after your spending to save and to invest. And in order to do that, you have to master a budget or spending plan. If you want to win financially, as with any area of your life, you have to make a plan and stick to it. You can find information on how to stick to your budget here.

What questions do you have about how to make a budget or how to start budgeting? Have you tried to budget before and not been able to stick with it? Leave a comment below and let me know how I can help!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.

7 Best Tips to Save Money on Car Maintenance and Repairs

save money on car repairs

Save Money on Car Repairs and Maintenance

Learn 7 top tips for how to save money on car repairs and maintenance. Whether you need to get regularly scheduled vehicle maintenance done, have repairs needed from general wear and tear on your vehicle, or need repair work done after an accident, these tips will help you save money on your vehicle.

 

Tip: Pin the image above so that you can refer later to this article on how to save money on car maintenance and repairs!

7 Best Tips to Save Money on Car Repairs and Maintenance

If you have been driving for a while, you know how expensive taking your vehicle to the shop can be. It really makes me have a love-hate relationship with my car sometimes! (In all fairness, it has been a great car, so I really shouldn’t complain. But I just hate how much money it costs to have vehicle repairs and maintenance done!) Fortunately, we have literally been able to save thousands of dollars over the years by following the five tips below.

1. Get regular maintenance done to save money on car repairs and maintenance.

You have the potential to save thousands of dollars over the years on your transportation costs by getting regular maintenance done. This can help prolong the life of your car. And the longer you are able to drive your car, the more bang you got for your purchasing buck. Get your oil changed regularly, have the tires rotated and aligned, replace filters, get recommended or needed tune-ups, and so on.

Follow the guidelines in your vehicle owner’s manual so that you are getting needed maintenance done on the recommended schedule. Though this costs money, it costs a lot less money than a blown transmission or engine from vehicle neglect! 🙂

 

2. Save money on car repairs by shopping around.

Another one of the main ways that you can save money on vehicle repairs and maintenance is by choosing carefully where to have your mechanical work done. Call around to do price comparisons so that you know where to get the best deal for the work that needs to be done.

When we have vehicle maintenance or repair work that needs to be done, I will generally call at least a half a dozen places to see who is currently offering the best price for the needed work, both auto parts stores and auto mechanics.

If you are mechanically inclined, or have a family member or friend who is, search for the needed repair on YouTube, and see if you can do the work yourself. Especially for relatively simple repairs, this could be a great option to save your family money.

And if you have children who are old enough, have them do the repairs with you (or at least watch as you do the repairs). Passing on mechanical knowledge is an invaluable skill that could save your children literally hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout their lives!

Check out these related articles:

 

3. Be very wary of car mechanics.

Related to the point just above, another way to potentially save a ton of money on vehicle maintenance and repairs is to shop around for good car mechanics. I generally call half a dozen places or more when I’m looking at repair work that needs to be done. And I also look at the price of just the cost of the part, separate from the labor.

So, when they tell me it’s going to be “$842 for parts and labor,” I ask them to break that apart for me, parts separate from the labor. I’ve had mechanics straight-up tell me that the high cost is because of the labor, which is itself very cheap, they claim. And so I ask them for the exact part name and as much info as I can get about it so that I can look it up for myself.

And I’ve looked up the cost of the part online at that very moment and can see that it’s much less than the amount they quoted me. I’ve found that generally the parts costs at least 50 percent less than the number the mechanic quoted me.

So I’ve learned over the years that most of the car mechanic shops, even the honest ones, even the ones with good or great Google or Yelp ratings, greatly inflate the cost of the parts. This is a huge profit margin for them. Please, please do your research and don’t just take what they say at face value.
How can you combat this challenge? Shop at awesome online parts discount stores like RockAuto (I’ll talk more about that below). I love RockAuto! Even the chain auto parts stores like Napa, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and AutoZone have much better prices than the mechanic will quote you—but in my experience RockAuto has always trumped those prices, hands down. Sign up for a free account with them today!

 

4. Look on Craigslist or in your local classifieds ads to find mechanics (but be careful) to save money on car repairs and maintenance.

You can also save money on your vehicle maintenance and repair costs by finding a reliable, trustworthy small-time or independent mechanic from word-of-mouth referrals from your friends (ask for recommendations on Facebook, for example), or check Craigslist. (But as with everything on Craigslist, be cautious!)

We’ve had only good experiences using services from Craigslist, but always do your due diligence. Especially for large projects, ask for references, look for online ratings, and check websites like the Better Business Bureau.

 

5. Don’t use the dealer if you want to save money on car repairs!

I’ve just explained how expensive auto mechanics can be. The dealers are even more expensive. My general rule is simple: avoid them. Instead, look to RockAuto and other online parts stores for amazing deals.

As I mention above, these online sellers generally offer a much better price than buying the part from a mechanic and even much more so than from a dealer.

6. Read the owner’s manual to help you save money on car repairs.

It is a great idea to become familiar with the regular maintenance needs of your car by reading the owner’s manual. When you first purchase your car, whether new or used, take a little time to at least scan the owner’s manual. Then you will have a general idea of needed maintenance. And if (when) something goes wrong with your car in the future, the information could prove invaluable at some point.

Did you misplace your owner’s manual? Look online! Chances are you can find an electronic copy. 

7. Don’t ignore the dashboard malfunction indicator light (check engine light).

Checking out potential issues early is another important way to save money on car repairs. Even though you may be tempted to ignore the malfunction indicator or check engine light, that is not a good idea. Even if nothing seems out of the ordinary with your vehicle, there could be a potentially big problem caused if needed maintenance work is delayed.

All of the auto parts stores that I know of do a free reading of the malfunction indicator light report and it only takes a few minutes, so at least looking into the issue won’t cost you anything and won’t take very long out of your day.

You could save a lot of money on car repairs by not putting this off!

Conclusion

 You can save a ton of money on car repairs and maintenance if you follow the tips listed above. Take care of needed regular vehicle maintenance. Save money on needed vehicle repairs by shopping around for parts and labor and by doing the work yourself if you can. Research auto mechanics before you decide to use one. And again, price compare!

 

What are your best tips for how to save money on car repairs and maintenance? Leave a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear your money-saving tips!

 

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Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help a family member or friend or people in general? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being with others. Thank you!

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12 Must-Know Tips to Teach Kids How to Work Hard

how to teach kids to work hard

How to Teach Kids to Work Hard

In this article I am going to share my best tips for how to teach kids to work hard. This is such an important principle, perhaps more important now than it ever has been in the past, when the world is so competitive and yet there are so many distractions that vie for our children’s attention and might make it more difficult for many children to put in as much effort as they could (and probably should :)).

 

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12 Important Tips on How to Teach Your Kids to Work Hard

One of the main ways that you can set your children up for success in life is to teach your kids how to work hard. When we teach kids how to work hard, we prepare them to be more successful at school, in sports and music and other extracurricular activities, and in future jobs and long-term careers.

Something that I’ve been interested in for the last several years and that I have studied some is what the factors or ingredients are for success. And different experts on the subject have different ideas on this, but one thing that many of them mention is the importance of hard work.

One of my all-time favorite books is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. In that book he talks about the correlation between hard work and success in life. If you want your children to be productive and really successful adults, then teach them as they grow up to be hard workers. Below I’ll share 9 things you can do to teach your kids how to work hard.

 

1. Teach your kids how to work hard by being a good example.

Three simple words: Lead by example. If you want to teach your kids to learn to work hard, you need to show them the value of hard work by working hard yourself. That doesn’t mean that you should be a workaholic. Not at all. But it means that when there’s a job to be done in the yard or in the garage or around the house, everyone rolls up their sleeves and works on it till it is done. Of course you can also take breaks if needed, but when possible, work till the work is done. That will also teach your children the importance of following things through to the end.

 

 

2. Talk often about the importance of hard work and its relationship to success.

Teach your children that they can do difficult things by saying things like “It’s true that picking up all of your toys can feel hard to do, but you can do hard things” or “I know that practicing the piano every day might seem difficult, but you can do hard things.” or “I know that doing your homework is hard sometimes, but you can do hard things.” or “I know this hike might seem long, but you can do hard things.” And then also let them know that being willing to stick with difficult tasks and see them through till they’re completed is one thing that leads to success in different areas of life.

Doing well in high school can lead to scholarships that save thousands of dollars in college tuition. Doing well in college can lead to knowledge that helps you gain better-paying job prospects. Doing well at your job can lead to opportunities on higher-profile or more interesting, challenging, and rewarding projects and ultimately can lead to more frequent raises and promotions or bonuses. Working hard at your marriage or at being a better parent can lead to more happiness in the home and stronger, closer family relationships.

Teach your kids to work hard. Teach them that in many, many aspects of life, you are proportionately rewarded for working hard and giving the best effort that you can.

 

3. Teach your children the importance of diligent practice in music and sports.

Another way you can help to instill a strong work ethic in your children is to encourage them so that they are diligent in practicing for their team sports that they are involved in and that they also diligently practice any musical instruments you or they have decided they will learn. As they consistently practice, they will get better, and their being able to play effectively will be its own reward.

One of the things that Malcom Gladwell talks about in his book Outlers is the 10,000-hour rule and how it takes about 10,000 hours—research has shown—to truly master a skill. And he gives as examples The Beatles and Bill Gates and other household names to make his point.

Though your children may never give that many hours to the sports they play or maybe even the instruments they learn, that’s OK—the point is that they will get better as they practice, and practicing their sport or instrument is another way to strengthen their hard-work muscle.

 

4. Require your children to do chores, keep their rooms clean, and clean up after themselves.

Another way to teach your kids to work hard is by giving them chores. Of course you have to make sure they are old enough to reasonably do what you ask of them, but you can start assigning simple chores to your children at a pretty young age, such as helping to pick up their own toys after play as early as two years old.

As they get older, allow them the opportunity to take on more of the responsibility of helping to keep the home clean (and especially their bedrooms) and well maintained (such as helping to do yard work). This is pretty easy to do if you tie it to the opportunities they want to have. For example, you can make a rule that they have to tidy up their room and do their assigned chores every evening before bed if they want to play at their friends’ house the next day or use any electronics.

5. Don’t do everything for your children.

As you strive to teach your kids to work hard, be sure to not do everything for them. It surprises me sometimes how much some parents are willing to do for their kids. I mean, not the good sacrifices that you willingly make as a parent (so then are they even sacrifices?), but the over-the-top or perhaps even unethical things, like doing the bulk of their homework for their children or just going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that their children never have any challenges or difficulties.

Like baby birds in a nest who have to break out of their shell and are strengthened because of that experience, children need regular opportunities to grow, as well. And they can’t grow if everything is taken care of for them. If they face a dilemma, let them work through it themselves instead of always jumping in to fix it.

When they have a big or difficult project to complete, let them do it themselves. Even if it doesn’t go as they had hoped or they don’t do as well as they (or you) would have liked, don’t bail them out. Let them learn from the experience. That is what helps them prepare for even bigger challenges and tasks and opportunities later in life.

 

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6. Let your children make mistakes and fail sometimes.

Going along with what I said above, as long as they are not in any physical danger and there won’t be catastrophic consequences, just let your kids do things their own way, and if something goes wrong or even flops completely, just support them and encourage them and tell them to try again. Fortunately, the things they are working on and the problems they are solving aren’t (probably :)) world-changing, so if something goes awry, they can learn from the experience and do better next time.

 

7. Consider paying your children for some of their efforts so that they can see the connection between work and monetary rewards.

Another way that you can encourage your kids to work hard, if you choose to, is by paying them a modest wage for the chores that they do. I know that the topic of paying your children for doing chores or getting good grades is one of considerable debate. We haven’t started paying commissions (the term we like to use instead of allowance—taken from Dave Ramsey) yet, but I think there’s a good chance that we will once our children are a little older.

I definitely like the idea of teaching the correlation between work and monetary compensation, and I don’t want our children to think they’re on the family dole by just getting money for toys and things because they breathe, so it feels like a good approach. But we’ll see how it goes when we get to that bridge. And same with paying children for earning good grades.

My parents did do that some of the time with us, and I think for some of my siblings it probably did encourage them to put in more effort than they otherwise would have. I’m the type that worked to get straight A’s regardless, so for me I don’t know that it made much of a difference—but the extra money was nice. 🙂

If you’re on the fence, maybe give it a try and see how it goes. You can always change your mind or adjust your approach later—nothing is set in stone. But whether you do or don’t pay commissions, do teach your children the very real connection between hard work and dedicated effort and financial compensation.

If you do pay your children for their work, make sure you teach them how to budget (well, either way, you need to teach them how to budget!) so that they will learn how to spend their money wisely and save up for larger purchases and just overall manage their money well.

 

8. Work together with your children on bigger projects that require a lot of effort to complete.

When they are old enough, another great effort you can make to teach your kids to work hard is to find projects that you can work on together that will take several hours or even days or weeks to complete.

Maybe that’s cleaning and reorganizing the garage. Maybe it’s building a clubhouse in the backyard. Maybe it’s finishing or remodeling the basement. Maybe it’s working on a fixer-upper car or boat or motorcycle. Maybe it’s cleaning out Grandma and Grandpa’s house, or remodeling it. It could be planting and harvesting a garden. It doesn’t really matter what it is—what matters is that it takes dedicated, consistent effort for long periods of time.

 

9. Work together on service projects as another way to teach your kids to work hard.

Similarly, teach your children the importance of working hard not only for themselves and for more perhaps self-serving reasons but also teach your kids to work hard as they help other people and give back to the community in small and even big ways.

Especially as your children get older, consider volunteering as a family once a week or once a month at a soup kitchen or in a community garden or at a hospital or care facility for the elderly. If you have the ability, consider volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and helping to build homes, or volunteer at a local pet shelter. The opportunities to serve are endless.

 

10. Find ways to make work fun.

As you are doing all of these wonderful things to help grow your children’s character, don’t forget that kids are still kids, and especially when they are younger (though aren’t most of us still kids at heart?), find ways to make work fun.

It could mean singing as you work, if your family enjoys doing that—or telling each other stories. It might mean finding ways to play little games or do little competitions while you work, with a possible reward at the end. So it might be offering a reward to whoever fills up the most bags with trash or grows the biggest pile of clutter.

So you could reward everyone by going to ice cream after the activity, but then the winner of the competition might get a shake instead of an ice cream cone or sundae, for example. Or maybe after finishing a project that takes several hours you go out for dessert or an inexpensive movie together. Or maybe you go to the park and have a picnic or go to a splash pad after a Saturday morning of hard work.

 

11. Praise and appropriately reward their efforts to encourage more diligence in the future.

If you want to teach your kids to work hard, then praise them when they do! Children (and adults too!) love honest, sincere praise and encouragement. I regularly tell my children how amazing they are for just being them—but I also slather on compliments for the things they are able to accomplish. I don’t think this will cause an ego problem at all or hurt them in the least.

There are enough things in the world that try to drag our children down that we need to consistently work to build them up. As long as you teach them the importance of being humble through example and through coaching them and guiding them during teachable moments, you won’t have to worry that that praise will give them a big head when they’re older. And by giving them praise, they will have the incentive to continue to try and to do their best to succeed and to act in the ways that you would like them to.

 

12. Limit the amount of media time that your children have.

Another important aspect of teaching kids to work hard is to limit their screen time (both TV screens and phone screens). You’ve probably heard the scary statistic that most people watch seven or more hours of TV a day. And maybe you’ve heard the correlation between time spent watching TV and violent behavior in children.  The same goes for playing video games—especially violent ones.

Our general rule is that if our children pick up their toys and help straighten up and get their preschool work done, then they can watch one animated move or group of shows (since we often get the DVDs we watch from the library, they generally have a set of four or five short episodes together on the same disc) a day. And every once in a while we let them watch two. But I can’t really imagine letting your children consistently watch four or six or more hours of TV a day. There are so many better things to do in life—even in their young lives! 🙂

 

Conclusion

Teaching children to work hard is so important. It’s one of our most important tasks as parents if we want our children to really be successful in life and not just kind of drift through life or, worse yet, be a drag on society.

And there are so many ways that we can teach our children the importance of hard work—through being good examples to them of hard work, giving them chores and projects to do at home, teaching them to be diligent in their studies and practice hard at sports or with musical instruments, helping them to serve others, and more.

Don’t let them be lazy and don’t let them give up. Don’t let them just play video games or watch TV all day. Life is so much better than that and there are so many more meaningful things that they could be doing with their precious time. So help them do them!

 

What have you tried to do to teach your children how to work hard? What methods or motivations or rewards have worked best for you? Leave a comment below and let me know! I would love to hear your ideas!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

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12 Best Tips for How to Teach Your Kids about Money

how to teach kids about money

How to Teach Kids about Money

In this article I am going to share my best advice for how to teach kids about money. Financial literacy for kids is such an important lesson for them to learn!

 

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12 Important Tips for How to Teach Your Kids about Money

Teaching kids about money is one of the most important things we can do as parents to help them to be successful in life. Money touches nearly every aspect of our lives, and learning to manage money well is an essential life skill.

Being a parent is awesome—for a lot of reasons. But one of the reasons that being a parent is awesome is that you have these wonderful little sponges. (At least until they become teenagers, or so I’ve heard—but even then I think they listen to and take in a lot more than most parents probably think they do.) And you can influence and teach and raise these wonderful children to be the amazing people you know they can be. And that is your responsibility as a parent!

It is your job to be an influencer while you have the ability to influence—before it (potentially) becomes too late! So here are 12 principles of financial literacy for kids that will help your children to be successful with money.

1. Teach your children the financial values that you want to pass on to them.

If you have strong financial values that have helped you to begin to be successful financially, pass them on to your kids! If you don’t yet, first study and identify your own core financial values, and then teach them to your children. Here are several that we plan to teach to our children (by word and example) as they grow up (click the links below for information on each topic):

 

2. Teach your kids sound money principles by example.

A second important way to promote financial literacy for kids is to teach by example. Even more than talking about your financial values with your children, you need to teach them good financial principles by example. As you teach your children about money, practice what you teach. For instance, don’t talk to them about the dangers of credit card debt, and then cave in and buy a new living room set (on credit that you didn’t budget for to go with the new carpet that you had saved up for.

Kids are smart, and not only will they generally notice the inconsistency between what you teach and what you do, but they’ll often call you on it! Like my kids call me out when I do something wrong—and they’re kindergarten and preschool age!

 

3. Be as transparent as you can about money.

Of course you don’t want to worry your children unnecessarily if you are currently in financial dire straits or anything like that, but don’t be afraid to talk about money often. If things are financially tight, explain the situation to your older children—in a way that won’t freak them out—so that they understand the situation and have realistic expectations.

Tell your children how much you can afford or are willing to contribute to their college ESAs or 529 plans or to their college tuition and other expenses. Let them know if you’re willing to help pay for a car for them, and why or why not. All of these things are excellent insights or lessons for them for later in life.

 

4. Teach your children the value of money.

As you teach principles of financial literacy for your kids, help them to understand the value of money and how much things really cost—appropriate to their age, of course. Show your children your monthly budge when they are old enough to understand it. Take them grocery shopping and clothes shopping with you sometimes so that they get a feel for how much things cost. (My sweet five-year-old thinks we can buy a new-to-us van with the money in the coin cubby in the car. :))

Explain the amazing power of compound interest when they are old enough to understand the concept, and also explain the idea of delayed gratification. Help them to understand why it’s often good to pass on something now in order to get something even better later. Instill in them a to-the-core understanding of what it means to be content with what you have and not always want more.

 

5. Teach your children how to do a simple budget.

Another crucial skill to teach your kids about money is how to budget. Teach your children the importance of a spending plan, and explain to them how to use one. Help them to understand that a budget is simply a document where you decide how you are going to spend your money each month.

When creating your spending plan, make it a zero-based budget. That means that you figure out what you income is going to be for the month, and then before that month begins, you plan how every dollar will be spent so that there is no money left over. You don’t want money left over in your budget because it will fly away like feathers in the wind.

As part of teaching your children to budget, also teach them the importance of comparison shopping (doing price as well as product comparisons) to find not only good deals but good value. For example, they might find a toy at the dollar store for $1, but it might break after a few hours of use. Or they could spend $10 for a new toy at Target that could last a year or more. Or, they could spend $2 at a thrift store or on eBay for the same toy, gently used, that was $10 new at Target, and get the best value of all.

Learn more about creating a budget.

 

6. Teach your children the connection between work and rewards.

I know it is a sometimes hotly debated topic, but consider giving your children the opportunity to do chores to earn money. We haven’t started paying commissions (the term we like to use instead of allowance—taken from Dave Ramsey) yet, but I there’s a good chance that we will once our children are a little older. I definitely like the idea of teaching the correlation between work and monetary compensation, and I don’t want our children to think they’re on the family dole by just getting money for toys and things because they breathe, so it feels like a good approach. But we’ll see how it goes when we get to that bridge.

And same with paying children for earning good grades. My parents did do that some of the time with us, and I think for some of my siblings it probably did encourage them to put in more effort than they otherwise would have. I’m the type that strived for straight A’s regardless, so for me I don’t know that it made much of a difference—but the extra money was nice. 🙂

If you’re on the fence, maybe give it a try and see how it goes. You can always change your mind or adjust your approach later—nothing has to be set in stone. But whether you do or don’t pay commissions, do teach your children the very really connection between hard work and dedicated effort and financial compensation.

If you do pay your children for their work, make sure you teach them how to budget (well, either way, you need to teach them how to budget) so that they will learn how to spend their money wisely and save up for larger purchases and just overall manage their money well (and ideally not be still living in your basement when they’re 30 :)).

 

7. Teach them to be generous givers.

Another important thing to teach your kids about money is the importance of giving—not just money, but time and energy and kindness as well. And teach this to them by example. If you attend a church, let them see you paying tithing and giving offerings. When you donate to your favorite causes, tell them that you are doing it and why you are doing it.

If you choose to give directly to those in need in your community (perhaps by giving items they need rather than money), ask your children to go with you when possible. When they start to earn a little money for themselves through chores, lemonade stands, or their first pet-walking or grass-cutting business, show them how to pay tithing themselves and ask them to give a portion of what they earn to a cause that they care about.

Also find opportunities to serve together in the community as a family—by volunteering at care centers, hospitals, soup kitchens, shelters, and so on.

 

8. Make learning fun as you teach your kids about money.

As you teach principles of financial literacy for your kids, make it fun! There are a lot of things about money that are just fun and interesting all on their own—such as the amazing power of compound interest. But even the subjects that you think might be a little dry, such as learning how to do a budget (unless you’re kind of a nerd like me), can be fun if you get a little creative with it.

For example, let’s say you’re working go get out of debt. In addition to teaching your children why they should avoid debt and the challenges that being in debt brings (having to pay interest, potential loss of your possessions, and so on), you could put a big thermometer on the wall that they can color in as you get closer to reaching your goal.

Or you could use construction-paper loops that they could tear off each time you pay money toward your debts. This will help drive home to them and help teach them how important it is to you to get out of debt. And then when you reach your goal of getting out of debt, you could celebrate by going to dinner or going on a vacation or something like that.

Or let’s say you want to teach your children the importance of saving money. You could work with them to choose an appropriate goal to save toward, such as purchasing a new scooter or bike. And you could agree to match them for whatever they earn from doing chores, for example. So if they earn $30 from doing chores (and maybe even do some extra chores around the house that you agree to pay them for), then you could go to the store and buy a $60 bike.

 

9. Use praise and rewards and give lots of encouragement toward desired behaviors.

As you teach your kids about money, give a lot of praise and sincere encouragement. Children (and adults too!) love honest, sincere praise. I regularly tell my children how amazing they are for just being them—but I also slather on compliments for the things they are able to accomplish. I don’t think this will cause an ego problem at all or hurt them in the least.

There are enough things in the world that try to drag our children down that we need to consistently work to build them up. As long as you teach them the importance of being humble through example and through coaching them and guiding them during teachable moments, you won’t have to worry that that praise will give them a big head when they’re older.

And by giving them praise, they will have the incentive to continue to try and to do their best to succeed and to act in the ways that you would like them to.

10. Help your children set financial goals and work toward them as you teach your kids about money.

Setting and working toward goals is an important factor in success. Those who make written goals are far more likely to achieve them. So as another important way to promote financial literacy for your kids, help your children to develop the habit of setting financial goals when they are fairly young (and definitely by high school).

And when it comes to financial goals, you might help them in setting goals to save for a car, college, a mission or service trip, a high school trip, or other worthwhile expenses. And again, you might match them with your own money to support them in these efforts and help them reach their worthy goals. And remember to encourage them along the way to help them stay motivated and on track!

11. Help your children to get their first job and start saving money for college.

Another important aspect of teaching your kids about money is to guide them in getting their first job. Once I started going to high school, I would work after school at my dad’s office that was within a couple of miles of the high school. Until I could drive, I would walk there every day after school.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was an amazing opportunity that I had, because my dad was the owner of the company, to spend additional time with him that most kids don’t get to. And much of the time, I was working on the other side of his very large desk—or later, in an office just down the hall.

I learned a lot of character-defining things from my dad—among them, a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and outlook on life, and a determination to keep trying and not give up. And in addition to that, I was able to earn money to help pay for school, the mission that I later served for my church, my gas and fun money, and more.

Don’t think having a job during high school will hurt your kids and make them miss out on too many opportunities. It won’t. Rather, they will be learning important work and life skills that will benefit them throughout their life. (And as an added benefit, having a job will give your children less time to get into trouble—seriously!)

Teach your children that you expect them to help pay for their college (which I think they should, so that they will appreciate it more)—even if it’s just their housing, food, and vehicle expenses if you’re able and willing to pay for everything else. Go with them to the bank to open a savings account, and decide with them how much of their monthly earnings they should be contributing to that account to help pay for college.

 

12. Teach your kids financial principles often so that they will remember them.

A final important principle of financial literacy for kids is that anything that you really want your children to learn well you are going to have to repeat often. And that is as true for good financial principles as it is for anything else.

Since you will want good money habits to be ingrained in their psyches, be sure to regularly talk with your children about the money values that are important to you and that you want to pass on to them. And if you feel like you have talked about them too much, you might just have talked about them enough.

 

Conclusion

As they say, more is caught than taught. So if you want your children to make good financial decisions and to be successful with their money, then make good financial decisions yourselves so that they will have a model to follow. But then also consciously teach your kids all that you can about money, such as good financial habits—don’t leave it to the schools (if they even teach financial literacy) or to chance that your children will just figure out how to be good with their money. Look around you—chances are, they won’t just figure it out. If you want them to be financially successful in life, you’re going to need to teach your kids how to budget, how to save their money, how to invest, how to work hard, how to spend less than they earn and avoid debt, how to give, and more. It’s a big responsibility—but it’s also an awesome opportunity.

 

What are your best tips for how to teach kids about money? What methods do you use? What have you found works particularly well? I would love to hear your tips and advice! Leave a comment below and share your thoughts so we can all learn together!

 

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

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