North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension Service

Kids & Money

a newsletter for young people


Keeping Track Of Your Money

Money sometimes passes in and out of your hands so quickly that it's hard to keep track of it. To keep track of your money means knowing where it is and how much you have.

Stashing Cash

Where do you keep your money? Do you put it in a "bank" on top of your dresser? Do you stash it in an envelope in your drawer or put it in a savings account in the bank?

Larger sums of money are probably the safest in a savings account and these will earn some interest to help your total grow. Smaller amounts of money still need to be kept safe in your home. Keep money out of sight. Keep your money in something that's not easily opened to prevent it from spilling or getting lost.

Recording

Even though your money may be in a safe place, you won't know what you have unless you have some record of it. Use a notebook to write down your income and your expenses. Under the income column list the amount you received and where you got it. Under the expense column list the item and its cost. Putting a date by each is a good idea.

Watching the dollars add up as you write down money under income is fun. It's also a good way to keep saving for an item you really want. It's just as important to write down your expenses. Otherwise, you may have a lot less money than you thought.

You can practice your recording skills by doing the activity to the right. Then work with your parents to set up a spending plan that will help you have money when you need it.

Lending

One way money can slip through your fingers is by lending it to brothers and sisters or friends. You will need to decide if you want to loan out any of your money. Think about how you will feel if it doesn't get paid back. Always keep a record of how much, when and to whom the money was given. Then you can cross off the debt when it is paid back.

ACTIVITY

Tracking Your Money

  1. Keep track of your spending for two weeks. Be sure to write down ALL of the money you spend, regardless of where the money comes from.
  2. Keep track of your income for two weeks. Be sure to include any money given to you by your parents, friends, relatives, as well as money earned from a job (housework, mowing lawns, etc.) Make a chart like the example below to record your income, saving and spending.
    ---------------------------------------------
                      Amount   Income   Where You
    Date   Item       Spent    Amount     Got It
    ---------------------------------------------
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------
    

Money and Your Kids

a newsletter for parents


Keeping Track Of Your Money

Spending Plan

A spending plan is actually another word for budget. It allows a person to plan for upcoming expenses and ensure that money is available to meet those expenses. Helping your child set up a simple plan now can lead the way to more detailed spending plans in the future.

Children learn most money management concepts by observing parents' behavior. Your attitude towards record keeping, balancing your checkbook, or following a plan for saving and spending will strongly influence your child's involvement in setting up a recordkeeping and spending plan.

Using the two-week record of income and expenses that your child has completed, break down items into income sources, fixed expenses and variable expenses, as shown at right. If expenses are greater than income, discuss ways to increase income or decrease expenses. Savings should never be eliminated from fixed expenses. During the discussion, guidance can come from you as a parent, but the final decisions on how to balance the income and expenses should rest with the child.

Borrowing

Even with an established spending plan, there may be times when your child will need to borrow money. Use this opportunity to write up a loan agreement that includes a repayment plan. Set up a regular payment schedule and assess a late fee if payment is not received by the designated date. You may even want to charge a small amount of interest.

Suggested Activity

Involve children in family finance chores, such as making out checks, mailing envelopes, filing receipts and comparing charge slips to billing statements. Working with your child, estimate income and expenses for a two week period on the form below. Adjust figures to balance the income and expenses.

---------------------------------------------------
INCOME:
allowance (two weeks)................... __________
earnings (two weeks).................... __________
gifts (birthday/Christmas).............. __________
loans (friends, etc.)................... __________
parents................................. __________
other................................... __________

FIXED EXPENSES:
lunch ticket............................ __________
transportation (bus tickets)............ __________
club dues............................... __________
savings................................. __________
other................................... __________

VARIABLE EXPENSES:
recreation (movies, video rental)....... __________
food, snacks............................ __________
personal grooming (deodorant, hairspray) __________
bicycle repairs......................... __________
hobbies................................. __________
gifts................................... __________
contributions........................... __________
sporting goods.......................... __________
books and magazines..................... __________
other................................... __________

                               SUBTOTAL: __________
                         EXPENSES TOTAL: __________
         INCOME TOTAL - EXPENSES TOTAL=: __________
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For more information the following publications are available at your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.

HE-445, "Family Records - What to Keep, Where and How Long"
HE-446, "Inventory of Important Family Records"
HE-223, "Household Inventory Sheet
HE-510, "Family Account Book"
HE-470, "Check Register Tracking System"
HE-471, "Check Register"


Brought to you by the NDSU Extension Service.
See your county extension agent for more money management information and other family economics programs.


February, 1996.


NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Sharon D. Anderson, Director, Fargo, North Dakota. Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. We offer our programs and facilities to all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, Vietnam era veterans status, or sexual orientation; and are an equal opportunity employer.
This publication will be made available in alternative format to people with disabilities upon request (701) 231-7881.


North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension Service