But there’s an easy way to get around that confusion and frustration, and that is to pay attention to money as a family. A few quick ways to make this happen would be to watch stocks together, go over bills as a group, involve everyone in making budgets, creating a visible savings far, and giving individual family members some leeway with their own spending.
Watch Stocks Together
Just to give some concrete data to the abstract concept of money, if you want to have a family lesson in finance, get everyone together and watch a few stocks. Go to a financial webpage. Click a few links. Learn the language. Even middle schoolers can appreciate the ups and downs of the stock market, and it’s a good place to start opening minds about the flow of money.
Go Over Bills As a Group
If your family doesn’t understand how much gas, electricity, water and garbage cost, they may not understand that they’re wasting money simply by leaving the water running or leaving lights on. Showing them these numbers will be a good way to introduce them into the idea of conserving money and power on a household level as well. Even a short conversation about these matters can make a huge difference in how everyone acts toward the house budget as a whole.
Involve Everyone In Making Budgets
And there are classic budgets that everyone can get involved in as well. A good place to start is by making a food budget. Once all family members understand how much basic supplies cost, then they’ll see how it’s necessary to balance out luxuries in the food category, as well as how often it’s feasible to eat out at restaurants. You can even make it a group effort to try and find the best coupons, like those on websites like Raise, to help save you extra money on food whilst you are shopping at places like Walmart or Target.
Have a Visible Savings Jar
And a silly but effective way to teach the whole family about money is to have a visible savings jar of some sort. It might be that everyone contributes until there’s enough to go out for ice cream, or maybe to go out for a movie. It’s just one more way to put physical availability to an idea.
Giving Members Individual Freedom
And it’s hard to learn about money when you’re not in charge of any yourself. So, rather than control what each person spends, give everyone enough for a bit of an extended period of time, and see how they learn how to budget for themselves off of that cash.