My wife went out of town with friends for the weekend so I have our 4 kids for the day. I took them to play at their favorite park. When lunch time came around they all wanted to eat at McDonalds.
Rather than eating at McDonalds I thought it would be fun to have a little budgeting lesson. I suggested we go to Wal-Mart instead and find lunch. I gave them a budget of $5 each, or $25 for all of us.
The kids decided they all wanted Lunchables. They were $3 each. I got a $5 meal of my own. The kids realized they had $8 left to spend. They picked out a $5 movie. Then they all wanted treats to watch the move they each picked out a treat that was between $1-$2. I then told them they were over budget and had to put something back. I gave them the choice of getting a cheaper lunch, no treats, or put the movie back. Ultimately they put the movie back and stuck with the Lunchables and treats.
I don’t know if they learned anything but I hope they learned a few things such as:
- How to keep a running total in their heads as they shop.
- Money is finite. They had to stay within their limit.
- They had sacrifice and make choices. Putting the movie back was definitely the hardest on my daughter.
We talked about other options on the way home. I told them it if it were me I would have chosen mac & cheese or ramen noodles and got a couple of DVDs. It got them thinking any way.
I’ll save the lesson on eating healthy for when Mom gets back in town! 😀