Do you balance your checkbook every month? Actions speak louder than words. It may be trite, but it’s true. Your kids are watching what you do, and they’re much more likely to make good choices if you’re modeling those good choices for them.
How often do you balance your checkbook? What’s your attitude when you’re balancing your checkbook?
We ask our kids to keep their accounts in balance every month. They track all of their spending, and then enter those expenses in a register (at first on paper, now online at Goodbudget.com) to see how their spending lines up with their budget, and to see how much money remains in each budget category. Guess what – we’re asking them to balance their checkbook! If we’re modeling behavior that says this is a horrible task, or that it’s not really necessary, kids will quickly pick up on this, and will be unenthusiastic as well.
In short, if you want your kids to succeed at maintaining a budget, you might have to start keeping one, as well.
In other words, it’s all about putting your money where your mouth is.