How to teach kids about Money & Budgeting (Simple Game)

You want your kids to be good with money. Maybe you’re great with money, or maybe you’re feeling totally inadequate because if you’re being totally honest, you’ve never kept a budget yourself.

Either way, we’ve got you covered!

The ‘Don’t Bust Your Budget’ Game

We’ve got an awesome FREE Download for you that will help teach budgeting, even if you’ve never kept a budget.

This fast-paced game lets kids try out keeping a budget as if they’ve just started living on their own for the first time. Their objective? Don’t bust their budget! If they can make wise enough decisions through each round, they might be able to stay in budget! It only takes about 20 minutes to play and can be played as a family, co-op, classroom, or youth group. No prep needed. Each player or group just needs one game board and 20 counters. (We like to use jelly beans!)

I was first introduced to a version of this game when as youth leaders, we were trying to teach a group of kids between 13 and 17 about money management and budgeting.

The kids learned a ton, we learned a lot about where there we gaps in their understanding, and everyone had fun! Which, if you’re talking about a lesson on money management + teenagers and you can use the word FUN in that scenario… Means things went really well.

In fact, I instantly knew I wanted to help more families, classrooms, and youth groups have the experience we’d had.

So I created ‘Don’t Bust Your Budget’ an adaptation from the original game we played that Wednesday night.

You can download it for yourself right here!

What I love about this game.

  • It only takes about 20 minutes to play!
  • No planning or prep is needed! (My favorite kind of activities!!)
  • It can be played as a family, co-op, classroom, or youth group. 
  • All you need is to print the “game board” and then grab something to be counters. (We prefer jelly-beans, but even dried beans will work.)
  • It helps illustrate Steven Covey’s “first things first” principle beautifully. You know, the one about how we should prioritize the most important things ahead of everything else. (In this scenario, think rent and food, before fun and entertainment.)


3 Tips for Teaching Kids about Budgeting & Money Management

  1. Start simple! Why do so many people bury their heads in the sand when it comes to money management? It certainly not because they’ve heard it’s a good strategy. It’s because all of this money stuff can feel so dang intimidating. Let your main objective when playing ‘Don’t Bust Your Budget’ be to help kids feel empowered, not defeated.
  2. Talk about money in a positive way! You might enjoy this video about how the ultra-wealthy talk about money with their kids.
  3. Look at your own money mindset. As parents and leaders, we are modeling money habits and mindsets for our kids. If you don’t love your own feelings of money, read a book or find a podcast that can help you change them and as you go through the process, keep talking to your kids about money, wealth, and what you’re learning!

Use Code: INTHISTOGETHER

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