There’s a family event of sorts that gives parents mixed feelings of sadness, apprehension and relief — and children a lot of excitement: when a child leaves the proverbial nest.
Now, this can happen early during your child’s teenage years or much later in life. Either way, when your child leaves your home to work or study elsewhere, it’s considered a milestone marking their independence.
But how do you prepare them for the big day? What should you do now to prepare them for the responsibilities of adulthood — specifically, managing their living expenses?
If you want to be helping kids with living expenses, here’s a list of the things you can do now to get your children ready for their day of independence.
1. Play a guessing game.
For this, you might need to offer a prize to capture your children’s interest. Ask them to make a list of how much they believe all the home expenses cost each month.
Check everyone’s answers to see how close (or far) they are from the truth. Do this periodically until you get more accurate results. There’s a definite possibility that their predictions will be accurate after a few tries.
2. Ask them to look for a less expensive energy provider.
Looking for a new energy provider offering cheaper rates might not be the most thrilling task in the world, so make it more interesting for your children
Based on your past spending, you can deposit the coming year’s projected power bill total in their bank account. Then ask them to use comparison shopping sites to find a less expensive energy provider. Their incentive would be that they can keep any money they manage to save by finding a better option.
3. Let them take care of the weekly grocery shopping.
Ask your kids to take charge of the grocery shopping for a couple of weeks. Give them the equivalent of a typical weekly budget and a list to match. Every time they make a saving or find more affordable alternatives without sacrificing quality, they can keep the leftover cash for themselves.
4. Instruct them to find cheaper but still good insurance alternatives.
When your insurance policies are up for renewal, ask your kids to check if they can help you save money by finding a better deal. Again, they can use comparison shopping websites for this task. Since they might not immediately benefit from doing this, you’re teaching your children about the costs of living. You’re also emphasising the importance of finding a better bargain you can all benefit from.
5. Tell them to submit monthly expense reports.
Give them some administrative duties like keeping track of and organising all bills and receipts. Ask them to create a monthly spreadsheet detailing all your expenses. Let your kids know that this is not a simple drill. They’ll actually be helping you budget for the coming months by providing a summary of expenses.
Teaching your kids to become financially responsible early on is something they’ll benefit from greatly in the future. Use the above tips as a starting point and add your own advice along the way.
If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you and your family are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.