I had mentioned this in a post on introducing finances to children, but realized that it needed its own. This may be simplified for younger children or made more challenging for older children. You may use a very limited budget with very small amounts, for those who are just beginning to work on a budget. Or even have a budget with very specialized items, like what I did for T below. It all depends on the challenge the child desires and what their focus is on.
(You may already have a doll house or you and your child may be interested in creating one. The girls and I have enjoyed reading this book, and I can’t wait to make one with them in a few years.)
This may not be an activity that will be enjoyed by all. It’s just something I came up with when T showed interest in wanting to do the budget with me. He didn’t want to just assist me with mine, he wanted his own and he really enjoyed doing this, with a superhero twist.
T loved to do this budget activity, with Batman’s cave–electricity is needed for all those high-tech machines and the Batmobile needs is gasoline, amirite?! It was trying to marry his love of superheroes and wanting to learn a simple household budget that inspired this activity.
First, what is a budget? A budget is a plan for your money. Our family has a zero-based budget. This means that we give a job to every dollar, whether that is towards bills or savings.
Having children participate in preparing a budget is a great way to include them in the families finances. But there are times we don’t want to be so open about household finances (like not wanting them to share certain information with family, friends, or strangers…it could make things a little awkward, haha). Or, like with T, they want something completely their own and not just to assist in ours. This is when I came up with budgeting for a doll house. Arbitrary numbers, but a fun activity.
So lets go over an example.
This is the Fry family. They earn $2,500 a months.
Their expenses are the following:
- $900 rent
- $200 grocery (they have a large garden)
- $200 utilities
- $150 entertainment
- $100 vacation
How much do we have left over after we put money aside for necessities?
How much should we put into savings?
What expenses may change? (The grocery budget may need to be increased when the season for a garden is over and different seasons require different utilities.)
An example of increasing the challenge.
The Fry family earns $30,000 a year.
Their bills are the following:
- $54.78 electrical
- $866.98 rent
- $78.12 phone
- $200 groceries
- $65 subscription boxes
This may give us the opportunity to use a basic ledger and potentially talk about income, expenses, liabilities, and assets with a second plane child. I love how this activity can be adjust and expanded upon.
Do you think a dollhouse budget would be something your child would enjoy?
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