Real Life. Real People.
Teaching Kids Finance At Target

What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!
From Chapter 16: I Have Three Children If You Count My Husband

Now that things have started to settle down, Red decides she wants to teach her children about the basics of finance, but realizes it must be age appropriate. And when the opportunity presents itself, although a little contrived, she takes advantage of it.

Hey. Glad I caught you. Natasha and I are in Target, and she wants a new Barbie doll and clothing. I told her I'd give you a call and see what you think.
Why are you getting me in the middle of this? Is this some kind of setup?
You're right. I'd love to buy the girls all the things they want, but I don't have endless supplies of money. I know I hand them a card at the checkout counter, but then the card company sends me a bill in the mail, and I have to send them money. It's not a magic card. What do you think?
Let me guess … she is listening to your side of this conversation.
Does she get an allowance?
Do you have enough money in your household budget for the doll but not the clothing? Do you know for sure, or do you have to go home and check? Explain your answers to me.
That's true. Every month I know I'll want to buy the girls things, and so I put money in my budget. It's late in the month, and I'm not sure how much money is left. I know there's enough for the Barbie doll, but I don't think there's enough for the clothing.
Budget is not a word she probably understands. Make it sound special.
I don't think Natasha knows what a budget is. That's a very big-girl thing. I was much older than Natasha when I first learned about money and budgets.
No kidding … it was only a few months ago. I dare you to tell her the truth about that!
Really? So you think she is old enough?
Chicken! Budgets may be a little confusing, but an allowance might be a great way to start teaching her the value of money.
So you think Natasha is old enough to learn about budgets? And maybe even get her own money? Are you sure?
Anything else you want to say to Natasha while you are using me as a foil?
No, that was a really good idea. I'm so glad we called you. Thanks.