North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension Service

Kids & Money:  a newsletter for young people


Kids and Money Goals

Money Goals

Webster's dictionary defines a goal as: the end to which an effort is directed. In money matters it means having the money you need, when you need it, to purchase the things you want and need.

A money goal may be as simple as having enough change to buy a favorite candy bar, or it may be as hard as saving for college in eight years.

It is important to write down your goals so that you will remember them. Post them somewhere so you can see them often. It will keep you working toward your goals.

Examples of Money Goals

You want new jeans. A parent will give you $25 for new ones. The jeans you want are $40, plus tax. You set a goal to buy the jeans you want. You must plan how you will earn the extra money you will need in order to purchase the jeans you want.

Other Examples of Money Goals

Read the story below. What goal did Zachary set and how did he reach his goal?

Someone took Zachary's bicycle while he was at the swimming pool last summer. He did not lock it with a chain and padlock like his parents told him. So his parents told him that he must pay for a new bicycle himself. Zach found a new bicycle on sale for $80. He had $40 saved from his allowance and his parents loaned him the remaining $40. He wanted to pay them back in six weeks. He mowed lawn every week for an elderly person for $5, he weeded the garden for $2 a week, carried in the groceries at home and helped put them away for $1 a week.

What was Zachary's goal?

What plans did he make to reach his goal?

How long did it take him to reach his goal?

Do you set goals?

What plans do you make to reach your goals?



Money and Your Kids

a newsletter for parents


Money Goals

Welcome to the newsletter "Kids and Money." This award-winning newsletter was developed by the home economics extension agents of the North Dakota State University Extension Service in the Northwestern area of the state. Kids and Money aims to help you, as parents of fifth graders, develop money concepts and skills with your child.

Why target fifth grade? Between the ages of 7 and 10, children begin to understand the abstract concepts required to manage money. Until age 10, kids take financial direction primarily from their parents. After that, peers become the primary influence. This newsletter is also aimed at you, the parent. By receiving information related to the information your child is receiving, you can feel more prepared to help your child develop money skills.

In this issue we will look at goals in relation to family finances. One side of the newsletter contains information for you, the other information for your child. Take a few minutes to read the parent side, and then look at the other side with your child.

Money is a touchy subject in many homes. When children do not understand money and other family matters, they fill in the blanks with worry and imagination regarding what will happen to the family.

Letting children become part of the money planning and spending process in your home may benefit the whole family. Children tend to be creative and wiser about things than we give them credit for. They may think of ways to help improve finances if given the opportunity to be part of the family financial goal-setting process. You may choose to let them help with a small portion of family spending, and help you set goals and plan to make the goals succeed.

A goal is a means to an end. Conscious goal setting is often successful. You then have control over many of the circumstances in the plan you make to carry out goals.

A family conference is one way you can teach your children about goals and planning. One family may involve the children in planning the yearly vacation. They decide when and where to go and for how long. Then they choose how to get there and how to finance the trip. Each family member must choose how to accomplish his or her assigned goals. For example, someone can do research on attractions to see once they get there and how much it costs to do these things. Someone can call toll-free phone numbers to ask questions regarding the chosen activities. Another person may want to look at transportation costs. Together the family can decide the best way to reach their destination. Even the very young child can have a small part in the plan so the end goal is his or her's too. It is a good way to teach by example.

Another way to teach children about money goals is to have a cooperative arrangement with them. For instance, you may be willing to pay for a basic pair of jeans but if your child wants a popular, more expensive brand, then he or she will have to set goals and make a plan to earn the remaining money.

It may be a good idea to have goals posted where everyone involved may see them and be reminded of his or her job. It is also a good way to keep everyone involved and participating towards the goal.

You may also help your children by offering suggestions of ways to earn extra money. Make a list of activities and how much will be paid for them. Be sure to match your child's abilities with jobs that need to be done. Shoveling snow, planting and weeding the garden, raking leaves, sewing on buttons and mowing lawns are all ways to earn extra money. Not every household chore should be paid for, however. There are some things children should do just because they are part of a family. Children shouldn't expect to be paid for everything.

Upon attaining goals, help your child see if goal-setting was successful or unsuccessful and why. The child will build self-confidence each time he or she sets a goal and carries it out.


For more information the following publications are available at your county office of the NDSU Extension Service.

HE-222, "Family Money Manager"
FS-522, "Family Communications and Meetings"


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


September, 1995.


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 upon request (701) 231-7881.


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North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension Service