Teach Your Child How to Make and Manage a Budget with FamZoo

Have you taught your child know how to make a budget and stick to it? Budgeting is a fundamental personal finance skill that every child should practice and master before graduating to the real world. I suggested a simple 3 step plan for teaching your child to budget in a recent guest post over at BetterParenting.com.

Monday night, we rolled out a new budgeting feature on FamZoo that makes implementing that 3 step plan with your child even easier. Here’s what it looks like (you can click on each image to get a full-size view):

  • Your Overview page now includes a Budgets section. By default, it appears just beneath the Accounts section. (Remember, you can rearrange the sections by placing your mouse over a section heading and dragging it to a new position.) Initially, it will be empty except for a Create Budget link. It looks like this:
    Initial Budgets Section
  • There’s also a new page for creating, editing and viewing budgets under the Bank tab. To get to it from the Overview page, just click on the Goto Budgets link at the bottom of the Budgets summary section. When you don’t have any budgets yet, it looks like this:
  • If you click on a Create Budget link, you’ll see the Create New Budget form where you can supply a name and a description:
    Create New Budget Form
  • After giving the budget a name and description (optional), you can start adding line items. Just fill in the description, cost, quantity, and frequency fields at the top of the page and click the Add Line button (or hit the Enter key):
  • To edit, delete, or move line items around, hover over the item and click on the appropriate icon:
  • It’s often helpful to edit a line item and add some explanatory text in the memo field, like this:
  • You can add comments to your budget — perhaps to capture the inevitable negotiation process between parent and child and to capture any fine points of your agreement for future reference. Just use the field at the bottom of the budget page shown here:
  • To edit or delete a comment, hover over it and select the appropriate icon like this:
  • Once you’ve created a budget or two, they’ll appear in your Budgets summary section on your Overview page:
    Budgets Overview

Check out the new budgeting capability in FamZoo, and let us know what you think.

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.


Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

My child and I created a budget, but it lists it as an IOU account, not part of her actual money. This is so confusing for teaching a child generalized budgeting. (We are trying to teach a general topic budget, not a per specific item budget.)

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Budgets are simply standalone worksheets (distinct from IOU accounts and prepaid card accounts) that are used to collaboratively agree on a budget for a collection of items. Families typically use them to agree on (or adjust) an allowance amount (like a clothing allowance) and keep an ongoing record of that agreement. IOU accounts, prepaid card accounts, and allowances are created separately from budgets. Contact us if you are having difficulty setting up what you need.

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

We created a budget, but I'm not sure what the best way is for my daughter to keep track of her actual purchases (ie. not going over budget), unless we create a separate "IOU" that tracks the actual purchases and then subtract that from what she started out with? What do you recommend for helping kids keep track of the actual purchases in a way that they can see how much they have left to spend?

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

People typically use the budget worksheet to drive the calculation of an allowance amount to be delivered to weekly or monthly to a spending card (or IOU account). That way, the balance remaining on the card (or IOU account) represents what they have left in their budget for that week/month until the next allowance cycle hits. We do not support granular tracking of expenses WITHIN a given card account at this time.

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

the budget is worthless. budgets dont typically drive the calc of allowance. they keep track of set number determined by the family and expenses against that allocation should be deducted to see where you are in the spending for the month

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

I found the budgeting worksheet capability to be useful (and educational) when determining how much to put in my daughter's clothing expense account as described here: https://blog.famzoo.com/2010/07/whats-your-teens-clothing-budget-and.html Your mileage may vary.

Post a Comment