“No” is just a part of life. It’s not the fun part and can be a hard lesson for our little (or big) kiddos to learn. As a parent, it can be hard to be the one teaching this lesson.
But we want the best for our kids and our family, sometimes that can mean we have to say no. I’m not sure anyone likes to tell their kids no. It’s definitely not my favorite.
But here’s the thing. If we want to be teaching kids about money then we need to teach them about self-control, especially when it comes to your budget.
In the month of October I am participating in Living Well Spending Zero challenge where my family and I are spending as close to ZERO DOLLARS as possible.
You can still sign up for the challenge by visiting LivingWellSpendingLess.com. Which you totally should because it will help get your budget jump started! You can read more about Why I am Doing a Savings Challenge and find out why YOU should do it with me!
Back to the kids… this challenge got me thinking about how much more I am going to be telling my kids no in the next 30 days. I’m thinking that might be the hardest part for me.
In an effort to help you and myself at the same time, here are three tips on telling your kids no to assist in teaching kids about money.
3 Tips for Teaching Kids About Money By Saying “No”
1. Include them in the conversation
Those little guys will understand more than we give them credit for. Obviously this conversation is going to be different depending on your kid’s age. In our house right now we only have little ones. Really little. Like 4 and 2 year olds.
Usually when we are teaching kids about money the conversation is kept very simple. I don’t want to give my kids a complex about things costing too much or us not having enough money. But what I do want is for them to understand that we need to be responsible with our money.
No matter what their ages may be, just keeping the entire family involved in the conversation is going to help. It provide them with a little more understanding as to why you are saying no. The line “because I said so” never does anyone any good.
2. Provide an alternative
I’m not suggesting that every time you say no that you need to have a back up plan. But sometimes it will be helpful to have an alternative for when the budget doesn’t have so much wiggle room.
Just this morning we had to do this exact thing. As a family we usually go to a local pumpkin patch where the kids not only get to pick out pumpkins but there are a crazy amount of fun activities for them to do. I’m actually getting a little watery eyed thinking about not taking them this year.
Because we are doing the no spend month on top of being extremely strict with our budget (in plans to buy a house!) as a couple we decided that this was one activity we would for-go this year. It may sound silly but we are very dedicated to our plans to buy a house in two years.
The alternative that we came up with… We are going to have a “pumpkin” decorating party. We are going to have the family come over and decorate paper jack-o-lanterns, create some cute fabric pumpkins, or maybe wood pumpkins and eat some yummy fall treats. All using craft supplies and left over wood that we already have laying around the house. Still super fun and we won’t be spending any money!
3. Don’t set up the expectation or break the bad habit
If you can, avoid starting the bad habit of creating an expectation of buying something. An example of this might be that every time you go to a certain store your kids get to pick out a toy.
I’m not saying that an occasional reward isn’t great! I’m just trying to help us avoid the mistake of creating an entitled attitude in our children. If you already have this mentality set up, you gotta cut it out! There will be crying, maybe a melt down in the middle of Target. Stick with it! After one or maybe two trips without feeding their expectations, it will get better! You can do it!
Are you ready?
Okay mama! You got this! Sometimes being a parent is tough work. But if you stick with this method of teaching kids about money, your kids will grow to be better prepared to manage their own finances.
Want to learn more? You might also like these articles:
Why I’m Doing a ZERO $pend Challenge
Our Plan to Buy a House in Two Years
FREE Budget Meal Planner and How it’s Going to Save You Money