Making Kids Money Masters


Teaching Your Kids About Setting Realistic Expectations

May 2, 2022

Image From: Markus Spiske temporausch/Canva Pro

Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens

As your child is still working on getting a grip on the value of money, they may have expectations for your wallet that are far too difficult to meet. Have you found that your child expects the newest and coolest toy they can see every time you make a grocery run? Does your teenager expect weekly mall trips to make sure they can keep up with the latest trends in school?

Sometimes, our children can build a habit of expecting our money to stretch as far as they wish it to, which can quickly become a problem. Whether your child is younger or older, it is always a great time to teach them about setting realistic expectations for money.

You can teach your child how to set realistic expectations through just a few pieces of advice. Walter the Vault is here to help you do just that.

Be Open About Finances

When you sit down to plan your family budget, you may benefit from including your kids in the discussion. Let them know how much money you have, where it is going, and how much is available to spend on fun things without breaking the bank. They may be very surprised to hear about how quickly money can be spent.  They will likely have a better understanding of your reasonings – and why you can’t buy everything on your “wants” list.  This is a great way to teach your kids about the value of each thing they purchase, helping them be more mindful when it comes to the things they buy.

Let Them Make Their Own Money Decisions

We all learn best from experience. This is why giving your kids their own money to manage may be a great way to teach them about setting realistic expectations for what they can and cannot afford.  Plus, when they spend THEIR money (versus YOURS) they may realize that the random toy they *sorta-kinda* wanted may not be worth it after all.

Know That it is Okay to Say No

Setting boundaries with your child around spending habits can help them learn how to realistically manage their expectations of money. While I know that you don’t want to be the cause of turning that adorable smile upside down, setting boundaries can be a great learning experience for your child that will benefit them in the long run!  The alternative would be saying “yes” to everything, which is extremely unrealistic for their experience outside of your home.  It’s good for kids to learn what it is like to hear “no” and learn to work for themselves to get things they really want.  

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