April is Credit Union Youth Month, and Carolina Trust is celebrating in full swing like we do every year. This year's official youth month theme is "Save Small. Dream Big. at your credit union™, and one day you may have enough to fulfill a financial dream!" This theme makes saving for the future fun and encourages younger members to create financial dreams and work hard to see them through.
Youth Month is a great annual opportunity to engage with our young members and teach them about important financial topics. Taking topics like credit, investing, and budgeting and putting them into terms that kids can understand can be tricky, so I'm here to help!
In this blog post, I will show you how you can teach the kids in your life about budgeting by having them assist with grocery shopping.
I loved going to the grocery store with my parents as a kid. I would always try to sneak treats into the buggy and collect as many coupons from the aisle coupon machines as possible. Although going to the grocery store was a fun trip for me, I'm sure all of my shenanigans made it quite stressful for my parents. If you're in the same boat when it comes to grocery shopping with kids, try letting them assist with shopping. Having them help gives them something to do, and it's also an excellent opportunity to teach them about budgeting.
Set a budget
Before going to the grocery store, set a budget for how much you plan to spend. Hopefully, you're already doing this anyway, but if not, now is a great time to start. Once you've set a budget, share it with your child. Swing by your local credit union and withdraw the budgeted amount in cash if possible. Not only will this help you stick to your goal, but it will allow your child to familiarize themselves with money.
Make a list
Sit down with your child and create a shopping list before heading to the store. If you can, make your list on pen and paper so that your child can cross the items off as you go along in the store. Make sure to add everything you need and maybe a few wants if you have room in your budget. Once you arrive at the grocery store, try your best to only buy items on your list. Remember, little eyes are watching you, and setting an excellent example for willpower is essential.
Weigh the Option
Grocery stores have many different brands for the same product, which gives us options as we shop. Point out the price difference between the brands to your child, and allow them to help you make decisions. Let them decide which items are worth the name brand prices and which item they're willing to substitute store brand to stay under budget.
Try to find coupons for the items on your list before going to the store. Taking the time to find coupons is a great way to show your child the benefit of pre-planning and how it can save you money in the long run. Be sure to let them hand over the coupons when it's time to check out, and then show them their savings on the receipt when you're done.
Having your kids assist you while grocery shopping keeps them preoccupied and teaches them about budgeting. It may take a little more time and work, but the effort you put in will help them become more educated shoppers in the future.