Making Kids Money Masters


When to Buy Cheap (and When to Splurge!)

July 25, 2022

Image From: shironosov from Getty Images/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

I’m sure you have heard the saying by now- “quality over quantity.” Now, this is an excellent sentiment for many things. Buying quality items can end up saving you money in the long run. As you and your child pursue money-mastery, however, you may find yourself feeling hesitant about splurging on your purchases- and for a good reason! Not every item you buy should be a splurge.

So, how can one decide what they should buy cheap and when they should splurge? Walter the Vault is here to help you figure it out! Here are a few things you can consider when deciding penny-pinch or splurge on your next purchase!

Is It Worth the Splurge?

Let’s face it- some items are more expensive just because of the name that is printed on the tag. Not every costly item will automatically mean the item is of better quality. If you are going to make a more significant purchase, you may wish to do some research first.

For example, if we are talking about a clothing item, how good are the fabrics? Is the garment made with care, or has it been quickly thrown together? About how long will the garment be wearable?  These are all great things to consider – and – get your kids’ advice on too?  Ask them to think critically.  They’ll love having their opinion being taken seriously.  Plus, this will teach them to start thinking in this way… “what is REALLY worth SO MUCH of my money?”

How Often Will You Use it?

If you intend to use this item often, you may end up saving money and time in the long run if you splurge on the higher quality product.  When you use something daily, it may make more sense to spend more money on it.  However, there are also many things we use daily that can be bought at extremely low prices.  These debates are important to consider.  You can spend some time researching your options and shopping around.  You’ll feel proud of your choices after buying something at a price you find fair, knowing it was a great decision.

How Important is it to You?

The importance of the product in your routine or life will greatly impact your decision to splurge or buy cheap. We all have different priorities and passions, so different purchases will hold different levels of importance to everyone, so take some time to consider how important the quality of this purchase is to you.

We all want to make sure the purchases we are making add value to our lives, not stress. When deciding whether or not to splurge, considering each of these questions can be a game-changer for your money habits by helping you purchase mindfully and purposefully.

The Benefits of Saving

July 18, 2022

Image From: aleksandradavydovphotos/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

Many parents have encountered that dreaded question “But, why?” at one point or another. Sometimes, these questions can cause you to draw a blank. Trust me; we’ve all been there- done that.

As a matter of fact, your future money master may have asked that “why?” question enough even to have you begin questioning the benefits of saving. You know that building good saving habits is an excellent investment in your future, but have you ever taken the time to consider why that is?

If you have found yourself contemplating just how beneficial saving up your hard-earned cash is,  Walt the Vault is here to help you. There are so many great reasons to save your money, including:

  • It prepares you for an emergency. Life is unpredictable- we all know this. As an adult, you may encounter emergencies that require you to dip into your savings, such as health issues, job loss, or natural disasters. Teaching your child about building a safety net for emergencies will be a great way to help them build a happy, wealthy life.
  • It can allow you to do the things your dreams are made of. Whether you’re dreamy of an island getaway or your little one is dreaming of a magical trip to Disney World, building a vacation savings will be a great way to get there!
  • It can help reduce your debts. Keeping some extra money tucked away will be a great way to prevent over-using your credit cards and falling into a pit of debt that is difficult to climb your way back out of.
  • Financial freedom. Most importantly, a savings account can help reduce some of that stress you may encounter when dealing with finances. When you don’t plan, budget, and save properly, you may find yourself feeling stressed to even peek at your bank account. Get ahead of the ball with your little money master and start a savings plan today!

Another idea you can consider is asking your kid to answer their own questions.  Set up a piece of paper with a line down the middle.  On one side, you can write off the “good” things about saving.  On the other side, you can list off the “bad” things about saving.  This list can be added to at any time in the future.  It’s nice for kids to think about the pros and cons of saving, and some ideas may pop into their heads while they’re out and about later in teh week or year. 

Getting kids to think about money and setting money goals is a great practice for financial literacy.  To become future money masters, they must start practicing good habits and debating their spending options from a young age.

Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money at the Grocery Store

July 11, 2022

Image From: nobligec from Getty Images/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

Grocery shopping with the little ones can be overwhelming and stressful for everyone. However, planning a few activities that make the trip a little bit more fun just might be your saving grace. Planning activities is not always easy, though.  This is why we have developed a few fun activities that will keep your little one occupied while learning valuable money skills in the real world!

Grocery Scavenger Hunt

What’s more fun than a scavenger hunt? There are tons of grocery store scavenger hunt PDFs online that you can print at home and bring into the store. You can even create a scavenger list of prices! This list can include treasures like finding a buy one, get one free coupon, or finding something that costs less than a dollar. Scavenger hunts are a great way to keep your kids excited and occupied as you check off each item on your grocery list.

Talking About the Costs of Food

You can ask your little one many questions to keep their little minds learning as you work your way through the grocery aisles. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • Which costs more- the generic brands or the name brands?
  • How much does your favorite food cost to make?
  • What is more expensive, the whole foods or the processed foods?

Comparing Generic Brands to Name Brands

Generic brands tend to be the cheaper option in the grocery store. However, this doesn’t always make them the better choice. Show your child the ingredients lists on both the generic and name brands. Talk with your child about which ingredients you are looking for and discuss when the generic brands are the better options and when they are not.

Guessing Game

One valuable skill to have is knowing the value of certain products. As you stroll through the grocery store, ask your little one how much they think each item costs.  As they learn more about the value of their groceries, their money mastering skills will be getting stronger and stronger every trip!  You can even invite your kid to bring a calculator to the grocery store, and keep track of how much you’re spending with each decision.  They can compare that to the budget you prepared ahead of time, and they can be in charge of staying within budget.

The grocery store is the perfect place to learn about the value of money. Planning some activities beforehand will be a great way to teach your little money master about the value of their meals (and make the trip run a little smoother).

Kids Spending Your Money vs. Their Own

July 4, 2022

Image From: Nastia11  from Getty Images/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

There is no denying that kids are much more mindful of spending their own money than they are with spending yours. It can be tempting to micromanage every step of your child’s spending habits, but there is no denying the benefits of letting your little one learn about money through trial and error. However, the value of money can seem less real when that money is coming from mom or dad’s wallet.

This is simply because the child cannot build a visual about the value of each dollar they are spending. When money seems to “grow on trees,” why would a child even think about being mindful about their purchases? There are a few great ways to teach your child the value of money by allowing them to earn their own in ways you see fit.

The benefits of granting your child the opportunity to have their own money can be endless. However, giving them free rein in handling that cash can be intimidating. Many parents worry that allowing their kid to spend their money freely will cause them to pick up bad money habits.

No, worries! Walter the Vault is here to give you some tips on helping your child build healthy money habits while letting them spend their own money!

Tip #1: Have them earn their money. When your child works for the money they have, each dollar will seem all the more valuable to them.

Tip #2: Include them in family finance discussions. We are our child’s best teachers. At first, including your little one in money talks may seem taboo, but it can benefit them greatly! As they watch you navigate your finances, they will learn how to navigate their own, as well.

Tip #3: Help them set their own money goals and build a budget. If your child has been dreaming of seeing the newest superhero movie in theatres or of purchasing that toy dog they can walk themselves, help them set goals to afford it! Ask them to consider how much it costs, how much money they need to save each allowance day, and how long it will take to save up for their goal.

No matter what you decide to do, giving your child the chance to make their own money decisions will help them learn to master their money!

Saving Money in the Summer

June 27, 2022

Image From: chrisbrignell from Getty Images/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

Do you struggle with saving money once the weather warms up and the kids are out of school? Trust me when I say this- you are not alone in that struggle. That is why Walter the Vault has developed three tips and tricks to help you save some money this summer!

Save on Your Electricity Bills

It can be tempting to sit in the cool AC, streaming your favorite TV show, and blasting a cooling fan in your face during the hot summer months. However, this can certainly run those electricity bills through the roof.

Take small steps to reduce your electricity use, like turning the air conditioning up a few degrees (or using no air conditioner at all, just open the windows and let Mother Nature be your fan!).  You can also opt to air dry your clothes in the warm sunshine rather than using the dryer, this can save you a decent amount of money this summer!

Find Free Fun in Your Area

Just because you and your kids want to fill your summer days with exciting activities doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on summer fun. There are tons of activities you can enjoy for cheap or free in your area, like:

  • Taking a hike
  • Hanging out at the park
  • Taking a swim at the beach, a lake, or the community pool
  • Joining in on community fun
  • And so much more!

Travel on a Budget

Your summer vacation doesn’t have to leave you in a pile of debt! Do your research before you travel to find the best deals on your hotels, flights, and more. A few other tips for saving some money on your summer vacation include:

  • Responsibly using credit cards that offer cashback or rewards for traveling
  • Finding accommodations with complimentary breakfast
  • Buying a few groceries, so you don’t have to eat out for every meal
  • Finding fun and free activities to do at your travel destination

Making your kids’ summer vacation one to remember doesn’t have to break the bank! Use these tips to have a fun, budget-friendly summer and create happy, stress-free memories with the whole family!

Building a Budgeting and Shopping Routine

June 20, 2022

Image From: zimmytws from Getty Images/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

There are quite a few little pieces to the financial literacy puzzle. One of these complex pieces is budgeting. Budgeting is not a skill that comes naturally for any of us. It takes some time and (let’s face it) a few mistakes before you can fully hone your skills.

Budgeting is definitely worth the effort, though. The whole point of a budget is to organize your finances, so you aren’t overspending. A budget helps you and your family understand how much money you have coming in and how much money you have going out.

Budgets will help you and your family make more mindful decisions on what you are spending your money on and how much of your money you are willing to pay in certain areas. It also allows you to set money goals and build a plan to achieve them.

So, how do you even begin to build a family budgeting routine? Walter the Vault is here to help you create a budgeting routine that works the best for you and your family.

  1. Pick a time the whole family is available to sit down for a discussion. Getting the kids involved is a great learning experience that will help them hone their budgeting skills!
  2. Take a peek at last month’s expenses. You can write them out, add them up, and compare them to the previous month’s earnings!
  3. Talk about your family money goals. How much do you want to be putting away for your children? Do you have any big purchases you’ve been dreaming about? Writing down these goals with a set number will help you create a clear plan to achieve them!
  4. Create your budget! Now that you have seen the things you are spending your money on, you can make informed decisions about which areas you can and cannot cut back.
  5. Plan your shopping lists. After creating your budget, you know how much money you have available for shopping. Having a plan will help you stay under budget, whether you’re shopping for groceries, clothes, or household items.

Budgeting and shopping are some critical pieces in the financial literacy puzzle. And, as the saying goes: “Practice makes perfect.” Getting your kids started with building good budgeting and shopping habits today will help them in the money mastery journey!  


June 13, 2022

Image From: spangles from Getty Images/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

We’ve all dreaded our household chores at one point or another. Alas, they are a necessary evil to keep our homes livable and our items in good shape. Of course, the adults will be doing chores, but many parents are conflicted about whether they should rope their children into doing chores, too. If you feel conflicted about introducing chores into your child’s daily routine, Walter the Vault is here to give you three reasons they could be a great addition to your child’s life.

 They Help Your Child Learn Important Life Skills

Once your little one is not so little anymore, they will have to start taking care of themselves. (Have you heard about the kids who go off to college without and knowledge of how to make their beds or do laundry – the struggle is real!)  Chores are an essential part of self-care in adulthood. This is why learning how to do them properly from an early age can be so beneficial for your child! Chores are an excellent opportunity to help your child learn essential life skills like cooking, cleaning, and managing their finances.

They Encourage Independence and Confidence

As your little one develops the critical life skills that chores teach, they will create a sense of responsibility and confidence in themselves. This sense of responsibility and self-confidence will encourage your child to develop their problem-solving skills. Chores are a great way to gently foster independence in your little ones, giving them the self-assurance necessary to properly take care of themselves when the time comes for them to spread their wings.

They Can Be a Great Chance to Bond

Let’s be honest here; anything is more fun when you do it with someone you love. Cooking together, folding the clothes, or washing the dishes can be an excellent opportunity to take a moment to truly be with your little one. You can make the experience more fun as the two of you learn, laugh, and take care of your home together.  With a positive attitude, you may even look forward to spending this time together and organizing your home.  

A huge part of becoming a money master is taking care of the things you spend your money on. Chores are an essential part of doing this. They don’t always have to be a piece of your day you dread, though. Make it fun for both yourself and your mini-me. Chores are a great chance to create memories and take care of the place you call home.


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