All household budgets can be somewhat complicated, but this especially rings true for military families. Planning for added elements such as future PCS moves and trips to see family on the other side of the world makes balancing an already-tight household budget a little tougher.
While this isn’t news to any adult living on a paycheck from the DOD, explaining this to military kids can sometimes prove difficult, especially if they’re attending school with or befriend children from very different backgrounds. Difficult – but necessary.
Teaching your children about budget with age-appropriate lessons throughout their childhood is one of the best gifts you can bestow as a parent. Of course, this begins with good financial know-how as an adult. Don’t be intimidated! Education and good financial practices have to begin somewhere. Military One Source¬† and the DOD have good resources for you to get started. As you learn, you can take your children on your journey with you! If you’re already money-savvy, you’re ahead of the game and are ready to take advantage of the resources below:
How do I get started?
- Make it fun! There are many tools, books and applications at your disposal for teaching your children about household budget. Learnvest has a great list broken down into age-appropriate groups.¬† Even Sesame Street is in on children’s financial education.
- Practice as a family. You can work fun games into family time that practice money management.
- Don’t assume your child cannot understand. Make a point to take your child with you to the bank and present to them a simplified breakdown of the household budget. If they’re old enough, you may consider doing a small allowance and help them practice saving and making informed decisions. These skills will build upon themselves naturally as your child ages.
- Older children will be ready for explanations about credit cards, investing and savings accounts. Additionally, as they learn, allow their level of responsibility to increase.
¬†Ready for more resources?
See the DOD’s Military Families Learning Network for more helpful tools and books:
- AER Scholarships
- Kids and Money video podcasts
- Small Steps to Wealth & Health
Looking to get back into the job market after PCSing?
Need help organizing your move?
Need to pad your bank account? Consider selling a few items.