Budgeting Tips for 2017

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November 29, 2016

We’d be willing to bet that one of your resolutions for the upcoming new year involves money—either spending less, saving more, or some combination of the two. Why? Because 25% of people who responded to a Nielsen poll last year said that one of their top resolutions was to spend less and save more (behind staying fit and losing weight, naturally!)There are lots of good reasons to make personal finance a focus for the new year. You may have debt to pay off, you want to be more diligent about saving for the future, or you feel it’s about time to create a “rainy day” fund. Or perhaps you just want to figure out where your money is going every month!

Whatever the case, involving your family in the budgeting process can create a sense of empowerment for each person, and it could also be a great opportunity to  teach kids about the practical realities of day to day spending and saving.

What can young kids learn from budgeting?

  • How much basic needs cost
  • The various spending categories (housing, food, clothing, entertainment, taxes)
  • How to prioritize the way money gets used
  • The difference between needs and wants
  • The value of waiting for something they want

As you work on your family budget, invite kids, depending on their age, into the conversation. Share only what you are comfortable with! If they are very young, you might encourage them to divide their allowance or any money they received during the holidays or birthdays into Spending, Saving, and Giving jars or envelopes. This will help them see that there is only so much money to go around and that they can decide how much to use for each thing.

If your kids are older and receive an allowance, you can talk to them about the year ahead and ask questions like “Are there any big things you want to save toward?” and discuss what they use their money for. Ask them, “What is important enough to buy?” Helping kids consider this concept will set them up well as their “wants” increase. It’s not a bad idea to introduce and encourage giving as well.

All kids can benefit from budgeting for shared goals, like a family vacation or big-ticket item that benefits the whole family. You can talk together about how much the thing costs and agree on a percentage each of you will contribute from your earnings each week or month to the goal.  You could even create a goal chart with a photo of the thing you are saving toward and a meter that you can color in so everyone can see the progress and celebrate when the goal is reached.

Does your family budget together? Share your favorite resources or tips with fellow readers below!

Article by Dina Shoman

Dina Shoman Dina Shoman is a banking veteran who comes from a long family history in banking. Having built a successful career in the industry while still in her 20s, she became the youngest and first woman Executive Vice President at Arab Bank, holding board seats on the boards of multiple bank and nonprofit entities. By 2012, she was listed as the 3rd most powerful Arab business women in publicly owned companies in 2012 by Forbes Middle East and was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in the same year.

Dina is the founder of inherQuests, a company that creates fun financial education products for kids. The company’s first products (Financial Fun Boxes) are focused on teaching girls as young as 5 years old financial literacy through money games for girls built as a curriculum of educational standards aligned to Common Core and which uses the experiential education and game-based learning models.

Dina served as Executive Vice President and Head of Branding at Arab Bank from 2006 to 2012 and served as a Member of its Board of Arab Bank plc in addition to other related entities such as Arab Bank Switzerland and Arab Bank Australia, as well as several reputable NGOs in Jordan like the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, the Jordan River Foundation and INJAZ. She currently holds advisory positions to startups, and volunteers with nonprofit organizations such Junior Achievement, Global Teacher Prize Award, and the International Youth Foundation.

Dina was born and raised in Jordan and educated in the United States. She holds a BS in Finance, and an MBA from Bentley University, as well as a Professional Certificate from Georgetown University in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership.

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