Inspiring good saving habits

When we introduced our new allowance idea to Mr13, I talked about ways you can keep clothing costs down by shopping second-hand at Savers or using sites like Catch of the Day or Kogan to buy brand name sneakers and what-not much cheaper than retail. Using Mr13’s Google docs, Matt magicked up this spreadsheet right before our eyes, so that we could demonstrate the impact spending decisions can make across the year, especially when you have a savings goal in mind.

Sample budget spreadsheet
Sample budget spreadsheet

You can click the image for a bigger version, but to describe the elements: the variables in the top left corner are where your kid can plug in their allowance and any supplementary income. The calculation for the per month allowance is the weekly $amount x 52 weeks / 12 months. Matt provided a place to calculate a loan should we agree to pony up some cash for something Mr13 really wants but can’t afford on his own. This is a 10% interest formula, but that can be easily changed. In this sample, I’ve left the repayments out of the Expenses. There’s no loan in place, but we may have occasion in a future post to go into this some more. At the bottom, of course, is the cumulative savings across the year and this changes automatically with each variable you adjust and each expense that goes out.

After demonstrating how budget forecasting works and playing with some scenarios, Mr13 seemed to get a bit more interested in the possibilities and the process. It was fleeting, though—he is a teenager—but it was good to see him get truly engaged with the mechanics. Download your Teenage Budget template here.

As well as talking through this budget, I read one of the stories out loud from the Barefoot Investor* book I gave Mr13 for Christmas. I wanted to show him how smart thinking can turn a disastrous financial situation around. We suggested he read a chapter a day, but as we so often say, “we can’t force you to do it”. He still hasn’t read it.

Post your questions about the template in the comments below, or let us know how budget forecasts have been inspiring your teenager.

*This affiliate link will take you to Booktopia

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