Middle Schoolers and Budgeting Lessons - By Abby Smith

Jennifer Hester |

By the time kids reach middle school, they are likely earning and spending a bit of their own money. Kids this age may even have the basics down of Sharing, Spending, and Saving. So it may be time to introduce new ideas, like budgeting. Challenge your children with buying ingredients for dinner for your family of 4 for $20. Let them pick the menu, include dessert, and allow them to shop for the ingredients on budget. Another lesson in budgeting can come during the holidays when there are many family members to shop for and your student only has so much money to spend. This challenge is a little more complex. Help your children make a list of everyone to receive a gift, family and friends included. Then help them understand how much money they have to spend and let them shop for their own gifts. This is a great challenge for them to decide how much to spend on whom and how far their money can go. For any Money Challenge, let them spend only cash, so there is not a credit or debit card to help them out if they miss the mark. Let them make a plan and stick to it. Practicing with a budget your kids will learn to strategize how they choose to spend their cash.