Budgeting Guide for Kids and Teens

It is never too early for kids and teens to learn how to budget. Creating a budget and understanding the process of budgeting helps kids and teens learn the value of money and create a plan for spending and saving their money wisely. Helping with and talking about the household budget can help them understand the decisions parents make and why they cannot have the latest video game system or buy a new outfit every time they head to the store. As a result of talking about budgeting, kids and teens become more aware of their own financial resources and develop the skills to help them make sound financial decisions when they get older.


Creating a Budget

Creating a budget may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually fairly easy. Kids and teens do not have to have large incomes to create a budget. Even getting a few dollars a week as part of an allowance is enough to start a budget. Kids and teens simply have to figure out where they want to spend their money and how much they can afford to allot to each category.

Zero-based Budget Tool – Create a simple zero-based budget with this online tool from Dave Ramsey.

Hands on Banking: Budgeting – This interactive video lesson helps teens learn the basics of budgeting.

Teen Budget Worksheet – Print out the budget worksheet for an easy way to create a budget for teens.

Managing Money: Create a Budget – Use the step-by-step guide and printable worksheet to put your budget down on paper.

Setting Up a Personal Budget – Get the basics of budgeting, from what a budget does to how to create your own.

Budgeting Your Financial Resources – Learn everything you need to know to develop a successful budget.

Budget Simple – Budgeting does not have to be difficult.


Budgeting Games

Budgeting games give kids and teens a chance to practice budgeting with pretend money. Many of these games take players through real-life scenarios, such as budgeting to take a trip or save enough to buy a new car. Before they put their own money into the equation, kids and teens can build the skills they need to make sure the first budget they create will be successful.

Road Trip to Savings – Budget your money or risk losing your wheels.

The Bean Game – Get some beans and play this game to learn how to live on a 20 bean salary.

Plan Your Dream Prom – Use your budgeting skills to plan every aspect of your dream prom.

Bank It or Bust – Can you budget wisely and save your summer earnings so you can buy a car?

Budget Odyssey – Categorize expenses and learn how far your money goes in this budgeting game.

Reality Check – Find out what it will really cost to live the life of your dreams.


Managing Money

Creating a budget involves more than simply writing down expenses on paper. Budgeting is just one small part of the larger goal of teaching kids and teens to manage their money. To fully understand budgeting, they also have to learn how to set money goals, determine their wants and needs and figure out where the money they want to budget is going to come from.

Balance Track: Teens and Money – Learn about all aspects of managing money, from setting goals to budgeting to meet those goals.

Schwab Moneywise: Budgeting – Budgeting involves considering wants vs. needs, setting goals and determining money sources.

It All Adds Up – Discover how to make the most of your money with interactive lessons, games and activities.

Young Spender’s Profile – Kids and teens can learn whether they are good spenders by going through the Young Spender’s Profile.


Teaching Kids to Budget

Most schools do not teach kids and teens to budget; that responsibility often falls on the parents. These lessons and guides help parents brush up on their knowledge of budgeting and suggest creative ways to introduce the process of budgeting. Making kids and teens sit down and budget is not always fun, but it is necessary to help kids and teens learn to use their money wisely.

Getting Your Kids Involved in Creating a Budget – Use these simple activities to get kids and teens to understand the importance of budgeting and learn their worth.

How to Teach Teenagers about Money – Parents and teens can learn how to budget and handle money from debt-free guru Dave Ramsey.

Budgeting for Kids – Find step-by-step instructions and quick activities designed to help kids learn to budget.

NEFE: High School Financial Planning Program – Free lessons and worksheets are available for parents and teens who want to learn to manage their money.

Budget Planning and Budgeting Lessons – Find free lessons on all aspects of budgeting to use with kids and teens.