Kids and Budgeting

I think the whole concept of giving my kids a budget kind of took me by surprise.  I thought we would go out and shop for good deals, save lots of money and end of story.  BUT NO!  Girls like to have new clothes and apparently need a lot of them.  Well, it wasn’t in our budget, so unless I made one for her, it wasn’t going to be in her budget either.

Let me quickly explain the difference between my budget and allowance.
My kids need things all year long, they are both teenagers in sports.
I have set a clothing budget so I can buy them things throughout the year within boundaries. My daughter will ask for something every day if I don’t have a budget.  This teaches them the value of money and how far it goes.

The allowance is money they earn to spend on whatever they want.  For my daughter it is often more clothes.

I started off by giving Jenna a budget for the beginning of the school year for clothes.  When she was in 8th grade she decided she wanted all her clothes to be from Hollister.  My husband told me I had to support her decision, so we did.  She gathered the $100 I gave her and managed to earn $100 of her own money and we went to Hollister. She came home with 7 things for $200.  I kept my mouth shut the whole time.  After about 2 weeks she realized that she didn’t have enough clothes.  I didn’t rescue her, I told her that she had used all her money and she would just have to wait.  She has never shopped like that again.

Things are different now.  I have instead given my kids (mostly my daughter)  a budget for the year.  If you do this you need to take into consideration how many different sports they are in, what kinds of music ensembles or any activity that requires special clothing.  It stops the nagging of wanting certain shoes or new workout clothes on top of all the other items you have to provide for them.

I have just implemented this  year long budget and I am still trying to figure it out.  If you remember earlier we had the discussion about her Prom dress.  This was not part of the budget and with the end of the school year approaching we were done buying things, or so I thought.

As I continue to work it out, the one thing I have been consistent with is not giving my kids money, and giving them a sense of Entitlement.  Also remember my kids do weekly chores all year long.  So even though, as a parent, I have to provide them with clothing they are also pitching in as part of this family.

The easiest way I have found to track their budget with a program called FamZoo.  I have been pretty impressed with it and I am excited to say I get to give away a FREE membership to one lucky reader.  So if tracking your kids’ chores and trying to remember to pay them and keep them within certain spending limits is important to you, check this out.  This is a program I wish I would have had years ago.

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday and Your Life Your Blog


  1. Found your blog on Real Life. I started staying home less than a year ago and still find that I need guidance in this department! I am looking forward to reading more!

  2. Good for you! I will need to remember this post when my children get a little older…

    Right now we talk about how we need to sell our toys at a yard sale to earn money to buy new toys. 🙂 That’s about as deep into finances you can get with a 4 year old.

    (Stopping by from your life, your blog)

  3. Ann Marie I remember those days. Whatever works right???


  1. […] Finally I just told her how much she had to spend.  She took her money and my money and walked into Hollister with $200.  Then walked out happy as a clam an hour later with 7 things.  Want to see how this played out? […]

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