Are You Teaching Financial Literacy In Your Homeschool?
All of us have a wish list of things we need, people or organizations we want to help, and items we want. There are always easy ways to spend our money. It can slip through our fingers without even noticing, can’t it? Helping teens and tweens understand the concept of budgeting and the more broad topic of financial literacy in your homeschool will certainly be well worth the investment.
Where do you begin? Financially literacy is such a challenging topic. Sometimes it’s best to start out with a free financial literacy for homeschoolers quiz to just see where things are at.
Another easy way to start is to make a list. That’s right, take the time to make a list of things needed, wanted, and ways to help others financially. Let the whole family have input into making and finalizing this list. Your list should include answers to these questions:
- What is wanted most?
- What is needed most?
- What organizations or people to be included in the ‘helping others’ part of the list?
Besides each item/goal, write how much it will cost. If you need to, split things into goals with ongoing costs and the cost per month, and goals with a one-time cost and list the actual total cost (including all hidden fees, taxes, shipping, and or other charges that might apply. Now, start to prioritize these goals.
Help your homeschoolers learn by asking them to be a part of the discussion and process of prioritizing things. Which goal comes first? You need to decide which goal on your list should come first. Talk this over with the other members of your family. Try to list your top four goals and decide what you can fit into your budget.
Helping Homeschoolers Spot a ‘Good’ Budget
A ‘good’ budget is in the eyes of the creator or beholder alike! Here are some suggested, but by no means comprehensive suggestions of a ‘good budget.
- Budget is both process and product
- Collaborative, engaged, hands-on effort
- Characterized by communication and mutual agreement
- It advocates involvement and exchange
- It is real-time and reality-based
- A financial check-up and check-in on the family finances, household dollars, situations, behaviors, and resources.
- An action-plan, future-oriented
- Offers a peek into the past, scrutinizes and enlightens the present, while planning and promising a future
- Goal and results-oriented
Even with some or all of these components, budgeting can end in failure. Help your homeschoolers identify challenges in budgeting to help promote success and a positive attitude toward how to use money.
Top Three Causes Of Budget Failure
To help your homeschoolers make an honest attempt at budgeting, help them not become discouraged and give up before they are able to accomplish any significant financial gain. The top three causes of budget failure come into play before you even begin to set up your budget. Your needs need to be aware of these budget busters. They are the first line of defense in the ‘Battle of the Budget’.
Budget Buster #1 – Negative Attitude
It cannot be emphasized enough–a positive attitude about budgeting is essential to success. If you think of budgeting in negative terms (such as a financial diet, financial handcuffs, restrictive, penny-pinching, a sacrifice, etc.), you are more likely to fail. A positive attitude, on the other hand, means you think of a budget as a means to an end–a way to achieve dreams and goals–and that postponing the instant gratification of spending all the money you earn is worth the rewards you will earn in the end. Help promote a positive experience for your homeschooler by having a positive attitude.
Budget Buster #2 – Lack of Motivation
Helping teens identify their motivation for budgeting is important to achieving their goals. Choosing and being motivated by positive goals makes all the difference in long-term success. The best motivations are internally generated. And then, honestly believing that budgeting can help you meet your goals. What motivates your teen?
Budget Buster # 3 – Unrealistic Expectations
Help your kids succeed in budgeting by helping them avoid unrealistic expectations. How would your teens answer these questions?
- What do you expect to gain from creating and following a budget?
- Do you think that setting up a budget will reveal large caches of hidden cash?
- Will the budget fairy will sprinkle fairy dust over your budget and magically transform your spending habits after a month or two of tracking expenses?
The reality is that budgeting is an endurance event–those who stick with it, through thick and thin, will come out ahead. Those that stick with it, will likely see steady, measurable progress towards the most important goals.
Starting a budget without having a positive attitude, internal motivation, and realistic expectations will probably set you up for failure. You can greatly increase your chances of success by ruling out the three biggest budget busters before you even begin.
Financial Literacy is more than just budgeting
Budgeting is the first step in financial literacy for your homeschool, but there really is so much more. Practical, hands-on experiences are excellent ways to learn. Learning how to spend, save and use money wisely is so important. Cash management, savings, planning for retirement, setting financial goals, etc. active and hands-on, are becoming increasingly important. Learning to navigate it all in a digital world is the next layer of learning to consider.
Game-Based Financial Literacy For Your Homeschool
To help your homeschooler achieve financial literacy (and gain school credit) consider a personal finance course. Read more about MoneyTime, a 30-week personal finance course for homeschoolers. Your teens and tweens will love this 30-week game-based financial literacy course!
MoneyTime will teach teens & tweens how to save money, budget better and spend less! The course includes 15+ family-based activities to reinforce family financial goals and values.
Grab your FREE Quiz!
More Financial Literacy & Budgeting Resources:
- Ways to Help Kids Learn Good Budgeting Skills
- Simple Tips for Living on One Income – How to Budget and Plan
Shannan is a wife, mum, and saved by grace child of The King. Her home base is in Scotland, where she homeschools her two kids (ages 12 & 15) and learns on location throughout Europe as much as possible. She is a classical/Charlotte Mason style home educator living out her God-breathed dream of raising her family in Europe. She’s passionate about many things, especially helping others learn on location using the world as their classroom. She encourages you to pursue your God-breathed dream, no matter what it is! You can join her at Captivating Compass for homeschool and family travel inspiration.