Learning Money Management with Kidbudget

Money is a big deal to me as  a mom. Well, let me rephrase that. Money management is a big deal to me as a mom.

Managing a household of 8 and making sure that there’s enough bread to go around is a weighty responsibility. And one I no longer take as lightly as I once did. FishPapa and I have seen good times, bad times, and in-between times. And we’ve learned a lot about money management over the years, oftentimes through some big mistakes.

Four years ago we realized that we were in deep debt and that we needed to do something about it. You’ve probably read our get-out-of-debt story before. It’s an amazing testimony of God’s mercy on my life. Short story: we paid off $18,000 in about 18 months and now carry no debts except for a rental property mortgage.

One of the keys to teaching us better money management was moving to an all-cash system in which we paid our regular bills first and then pulled out a budgeted amount of cash for groceries and “blow” money. We could spend until the cash was gone, and then we had to make do until the next budget cycle.

In some circles this is referred to as “the envelope system.” Nowadays we often use a debit card instead of cash; we’re simply in a season where the debit card works best for tracking our purchases. Me and Quicken, we’re tight.

However, I am a strong believer in the value of an envelope or cash system. And I love this money management system for kids called Kidbudget.

Kidbudget is a cash management system designed with children in mind. With colorful pouches, a reminder wristband, and a full-color booklet that teaches the basics of money management, your kids can learn about money and how to be wise with it in a fun and age-appropriate way.

Our boys have walked through debt with us. Most of them are old enough to remember my selling things right and left on ebay or hawking whatever wasn’t nailed down at garage sales. They understand that money matters.

But, I do often wonder if I’m really equipping them for the future. This is what Kim Daley, mom of 7 and the creator of Kidbudget realized herself:

From the time my kids were little I thought I was teaching them financial skills. I took them to the bank when they got cash for their birthday and opened a savings account. They were so excited to deposit money. I had them take a percentage of all their income and put it towards charity.

It wasn’t until my older children left home that I realized it wasn’t enough. They had a few basic skills, but lacked a sound financial background. I did not give them financial ownership at a young age. I did not want to repeat that same mistake with my younger children. My search was on – find a system designed to teach and empower children in making financial decisions independently.

My search was to no avail. Not finding what I wanted, I decided to create my own system. After a year in the making, Kidbudget was born. With my design skills and my husband’s business acumen, we designed a kid centric personalized budgeting and finance system.

Based on the time-proven envelope system, Kidbudget is designed to help children set goals for long and short term saving, giving, and spending. The system can be tailored to each individual child. It teaches the importance of tracking where money comes from and where it is going.

The system includes a full-color graphic workbook with jokes, activities, and interactive lessons; the Vault (a storage bag for money); four colorful pouches (envelopes); and a reminder band to help kids remember the promise they make to spend wisely. This system is truly designed to be kid friendly and engaging.

It has been an incredible journey. My younger children now understand these important lessons. There are no longer pleas for this and begging for that. They have learned to save, give, and spend. They track their money and know exactly how much money they have earned from the beginning of the year. As my fourth daughter prepares to graduate from high school, she is much better prepared for the adventure ahead.

As a mom, I’m excited about this system and recently gave the review set to my 9 year old for his birthday. Kids love it when we stop babying them, and I think giving them tools to manage their own money is a great way to do just that. Not only do they feel more grown up and confident, but they develop skills to serve them for a lifetime.

Kidbudget also provides a few free printable pages designed for kids to track their spending and earning.

(This giveaway is now closed.)

Congrats to the winners: aztess@, tanzer1326@, jlmjohns@

This weekend, three LifeasMOM readers will win the complete Kidbudget set.

To Enter:

Leave a comment, telling us how you learned to manage money.

For extra entries:

“Like” KidBudget and LifeasMOM on Facebook and leave another comment, telling us you did so.

Follow KidBudget and FishMama on twitter and leave another comment, telling us you did so.

This giveaway will be open until Sunday, June 12th at 8pm PST. Winners will be chosen randomly, notified via email and have 48 hours to respond in order to claim the prize.

(This giveaway is now closed.)

Congrats to the winners: aztess@, tanzer1326@, jlmjohns@


Disclosure: I received a review set of Kidbudget as well as compensation for my time spent writing. However, I was not compensated to publish positive comments. Any opinions are solely my own.

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  1. Dana Parmer says:

    I liked Kid Budget.

  2. Dana Parmer says:

    I learned budgeting from my Dad, but could learn a bit more!!!

  3. I learned how to manage money the hard way – racked up incredible debt and found myself in a world of hurt. It’s been 6 years, and I am still digging myself out. The end is near, but it has been a huge struggle. We now budget everything – 10% immediately goes to our tithe, 20% to savings, and the rest is living expense.

    • Melissa McKay says:

      @Jayme, I’m still learning to manage money. I go through periods where I’m better at budgeting than others, but I definitely believe in it. I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan, and I believe in honoring God with my finances.

  4. We’re *still* learning how to manage our money. We were doing okay, until we moved to Hawaii and everything was more expensive than where we were living. We’ve added expenses and bitten off more than we can chew. We’re working right now on completely revamping our budget. We’re even in the process of moving onto the military post to save us some money (in rent and utilities AND gas).

    It’s a work in progress, as I think it always is…I want to bring my children up to understand and handle their money well. My 5 year old is more than ready to understand the responsibilities of money.

  5. I also ‘liked’ LifeAsMOM and Kidbudget on Facebook! 🙂

  6. Joanna M says:

    We are still learning to manage our money. Starting with the baby steps.

  7. Joanna M says:

    I like LifeAsMOM and Kidbudget on FB

  8. I’m still learning how to manage money, to be honest. My parents gave me a solid example to follow, but as usual I needed to try things my way when I was younger. Funny as we get older we see the wisdom they tried so hard to instill in us. Dave Ramsey has said so many of the same things my parents did go figure, but at least I listen to him. 🙂

  9. I like LifeasMOM

  10. Liked KidBudget on FB

  11. Genevieve W. says:

    Still learning!

  12. My parents gave me $75/month allowance from jr high into high school, but that paid for everything that I needed including clothes. It was hard because they did not teach me the aspects of giving, saving, and spending and I got into trouble…they bailed me out….I got into trouble….they bailed me out…until one day they said no (I was 23 with a great job). Then I worked hard to get out of debt. Still didn’t learn my lesson and my husband and I are on a journey of coming together financially. Hoping to do FPU at some point just need to get him on board:)

  13. Angela Shrader says:

    Still learning to budget. :/ But would love for my kids to not make the same mistakes as me. I have always “liked” you 😉 (we so need a love button for Life as MOM) now I “like” Kidbudget as well. 🙂

  14. Already liking Life as Mom and just added Kid Budget on FB

  15. Kristiana says:

    My husband and I have learned a lot about money from each other. I am more frugal, tending to buy things because they are cheap, and he tends to spend more money on items of high quality. It has been good to learn a balance by buying things that are the best value and of good quality. We’ve used the Giving Bank system by Larry Burkett to help teach our kids about managing their money.

  16. I think I inherited my dad’s ways with money. I’m really not sure how my parents taught us (it worked well for me, but not my brother). But I’ve always been a penny-pincher from birth! I remember mom using coupons and buying stuff on sale… I guess somehow I managed to pick up on it.

  17. Following Life as mom on twitter and couldn’t find kid budget on twitter.

  18. Following both on FB
    Sarah WG

  19. Follow both on Twitter


  20. With six kids, I’ve tried lots of ways to teach them to budget their money. But the most helpful for me, was when they started the “gimme’s'” at the store, I would remind them they had their own money at home and if they wanted to spend it on whatever, it was their choice. 9 times out of 10 they didn’t want to use their own money!

  21. I already ‘like’ life as Mom on facebook, but just ‘liked’ KidBudget! GREAT idea!!

  22. Following BOTH on twitter! Thanks!!

  23. Hmmm….Budgeting our money….yeah, I know we’ve missed the boat on this a lot. Really, really need to do it and mean it! Great Give-away! Even if I don’t win, will be looking into getting it for my kids anyway!

  24. I already like LifeAsaMom on FB and I liked KidBudget there today too! Thanks so much for the give-away!

  25. We learned on our own. Plus, I read many books (including Total Money Makeover!)

  26. I learned a lot about budgeting from my parents who are amazing savers and very frugal. They never drove fancy cars or bought luxury items so that they could save to retire in their early 50s! They would save for years in advance for a new car so they could pay in cash, and they would save up for vacations as well. They never bought anything they couldn’t afford and lived a debt free lifestyle.
    When I was single, my parents helped me with college and I was lucky enough to avoid debt. Once I got married, however, my husband does have school loans. We are still learning together how to manage or money and create a plan that will make us debt free sooner rather than later. Changing jobs and moving to California where it is pretty expensive has slowed our progress, but we are committed to a debt free future and teaching our son healthy money management early on.

    • @Sarah,

      I forgot to mention that we use YNAB (You Need A Budget) as a computerized envelope system in case anyone is interested in doing that instead of literal envelopes. You track all of your money down to the cent and allot a certain amount to your personally designated categories. When the money’s gone from that section, you know you have to stop spending.

  27. I learned to manage money by seeing my parents struggle. We had very little money when I was younger so I saw my mom shop the damaged section at the grocery store (the food tasted the same & was cheaper, awesome!), use coupons and shop the sales. All our clothes came from yard sales and older cousins…they just made the money they had work.

  28. I “like” LifeasMom and KidBudget on Facebook

  29. I’m following FishMama and KidBudget on Twitter

  30. My husband and I learned to save money by being on a tight budget. Always tithing first then paying the bills next.

  31. I “like” you on facebook.

  32. I’m learning the hard way. Money and finances is the one area where my parents say they failed. Like the designer of KidBudget, they thought that we were learning by watching them. My husband was taught not to use a credit card unless you can pay it off, always have money in savings, and tithe 10%. Not exactly a plethora of info in our backgrounds. We have spent the past three years going through the hardest period of our lives. My husband was laid off twice and now works in retail for a great deal less than he used to make because there are no jobs to be had in his industry. And, wow have we grown! We are still figuring out our budget but know without a doubt that it all comes down to honoring God. We are intent on teaching our children that which we feel we weren’t taught. At this point(our kids are 5,2, 1) we are using the Giving Bank for our oldest and looking at Dave Ramsey’s program for kids but I like the way KidBudget looks too.

  33. I like you on FB and just liked Kidbudget as well.

  34. Kristi in CA says:

    We have managed to get out of debt. I think the entire money thing is a hard concept for kids. They think that you just pull out your card to pay for things (debit card) and don’t understand there needs to be money in the bank first.

  35. I have parents that have no idea how to budget … everything I know I learned by doing the opposite of what they were doing (and for the record they are fantastic parents other than that). As parents now, we are working to teach our kids about sound money management. This system sounds great. Hope I can win. (I don’t have a twitter or facebook account).

  36. Natalie Q. says:

    My father was a saver, my mother was a spender, which made for some pretty interesting “discussions” as I was growing up. Fortunately, I took after my father and followed his example of saving. I was able to finish undergraduate and graduate school debt free while saving 20% down to purchase my first home.

  37. I’ve learned about budgeting by mistake and correction and crisis and now we are trying to show our kids a better way while being honest.

  38. Denise C. says:

    I’m still learning how to manage out money/budget it. I was able to get myself out of about $5k worth of debt years ago (before marriage and kiddos). As a family of 4 I thought it would be easy to do, it is a learning curve.

  39. I think I had good examples in my parents, but for many years my (our) income seemed high enough that we didn’t need to worry. 9/11 happened, and although I didn’t lose my job, I realized I could at any moment. We made big changes, and the improvement in our financial position has weathered us through several things since. The Tightwad Gazette, Misery Moms and blogs once they got hot are all things that helped me.

  40. Well, the short answer is… I”m not sure I have. We’re not in major debt, but I know we could do better at budgeting. SO, maybe “still learning” is the more accurate answer.

  41. I learned to manage my finances by getting into huge debt and vowing to never go into debt again if I could control it. I saved, made a budget and tracked everything down to the penny for years until my last debt (student loans) was paid off. Hopefully never again.

  42. I like LifeasMom and KidBudget on FB.

  43. I learned to manage money using a type of envelope system.

  44. my mom used the “cash envelope” system before it was a widely-discussed, “cool” thing to do! she was the BEST money manager!

  45. Abigail says:

    I learned from taking Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.

  46. Abigail says:

    I like Life as Mom and KidBudget on facebook.

  47. I feel like I kind of learned as I went. My husband also helped me a lot. We talk about what we spend.

  48. arianna conti says:

    I learned from Dave Ramsey and I am still learning!

  49. We are on our get out of debt journey! But…what a great gift for our kiddos! We’d love to share this product with our kids! Thanks!

  50. Great idea this thing is. I’ll retweet it on my thing so my members can check it out.

  51. Michelle O says:

    I follow you on google reader and fb. Great giveaway!

  52. misty gorman says:

    my parents used an envelope system and my husband and i learned a lot from financial peace university.

  53. Pamela J says:

    I learned money management by having to earn all of it myself…no allowances because my parents just couldn’t afford them. I’m grateful now.

  54. I learned a little from my parents and most of it from magazines growing up!
    I hope to do a better job being intentional about teaching my kiddos.

  55. I learned how to manage my own money through trial & a lot of error! To help my daughter learn to manage money when she was young {she’s now 21}, I gave her $1 per week in quarters.

    This helped calm the wanting {ok, begging!!} to ride the quarter operated horse & other ride-on toys at the grocery store.

    She had to decide whether she really wanted to ride today, once or twice or save her coins for another day.

  56. Unfortunately I did not really learn to manage money as a child. I really had a crash course the first year of marriage and now almost 6 years later am still learning a lot along the way.

  57. I like both on facebook

  58. I follow both on Twitter

  59. Rebekah says:

    I’m still trying to learn to budget my money, and as a single mom I hope to help my girls avoid the same mistakes I’ve made.

    Already liked LifeAsMom on FB, just liked Kidbudget.

  60. Allison Roland says:

    I was not taught to properly manage money as a child. As a result, I learned the hard way. That’s not a bad thing entirely. Now I know WHY to properly manage money-first hand! It is a constant learning process. LOL I would love to try this kidbudget program with my kids. Thanks!

  61. I think we’re still learning! We have a budget now though and we are paying off debt a little each month. We are hoping to be debt free except for our house within a year!

  62. I like lifeasmom on Facebook!

  63. We had two piggy banks to learn management. One for savings and one for spending. Our tithe money went in our “purse” for the next day (we got our allowance on Saturday).

  64. Liked both pages.

  65. I follow fishmama on twitter!

  66. I, like many others I’m sure, was never taught how to manage money. Even as a young adult I never really learned how to manage my money, just floated from paycheck to paycheck. Now, as a single mother of a now 9 year old boy, I certainly have been forced to learn how to better manage my money. Funny thing is, until recently, when I’ve been trying to teach my son the value of money & wise spending, I realize that I still could use some help. I am thrilled to learn of your product & cannot wait to incorporate it’s lessons for my son…and myself. =)

  67. Liked your kidbudget facebook site.

  68. ‘Liked’ your life as a mom site a few weeks ago…hence how I found this wonderful tool.

  69. My parents allowed me to open my own savings account (with my own money) when I was ten. They also used the envelope system. This looks like a great system. Thanks for the giveaway!

  70. We are atill learning to manage money and trying to get out of debt after years of living beyond our means. I am trying to teach my children good money habits from the start so that they never end up here!

  71. I learned to manage money from observing my frugal parents and grandparents, but the real education came when I was in college and had to manage my very limited money, primarily earned in the summer, and pay large bills for tuition and room/board year-round.

  72. Alycia M says:

    We are still digging out of the debt hole! However, we are commited to debt free living and honoring God with our finances! 🙂

  73. Alycia M says:

    I was already a Life as Mom FB follower but I just became a Kidbudget follower too!

  74. Tristen says:

    I am still learning how to budget effectively but stick to an envelope system and it seems to work. I follow Dave Ramsey’s suggestions and advice and try to honor god. We have our ups and downs but keep preasing forward and discussing our next move.

  75. Tristen says:

    I “liked” on Facebook.

  76. I did not learn how to manage money until I was in my midtwenties when I met my husband. After having accumulated much debt. I do not want my daughter to learn the hard way as I did.

  77. I want my kid to be “financially savvy,” what a great idea to get her started

  78. I liked kidbudget and lifeasmom on facebook

  79. Following kidbudget and lifeasmom on Twitter

  80. Marissa says:

    I learned the hard way by watching my parents live in debt. I knew it was hard way to live and vowed that I would not do what they were doing. I was doing ok until I met my husband who is fantastic with finances and budgets! I have learned alot from from my husband.

  81. I am still learning. It is definitely a process. Would love for my son not to struggle like we have.

  82. I “like” KidBudget on FB.

  83. I could always budget – but really learned how to live it from my husband.

  84. I “Like” Life as Mom on Facebook. 🙂

  85. I learned about money a little from my parents, but I also read a Dave Ramsey book when I got my first “real” job after college.

  86. I learned Money management with Dave Ramsey. We are doing the debt snowball now. I would like our 11 yr old son to learn too and this sounds like the perfect tool!

  87. Katrina Klauer says:

    my parents gave me a set amount I needed to make last for a month and taught me to manage where it all went.

  88. I am learning the hard way as well. We’ve been on babystep #2 for a long time, and will prob. be here for a couple more years, so we are hoping to teach our children much better than we were!

  89. Faith Dossett says:

    Thank you so much for this incredible offer! My husband and I (married 36 years) have also learned the hard way — at one time much debt, then dug out of it, both went back to college while our son was also in college. Husband and I earned two master’s degrees each in 1998 and son got his degree in 1997. Still no debt except for home mortgage, which we project to be paid for by the time I’m 65 (I’m currently 62). I am trying to teach my grandsons(ages 12 & 8) about money — earning, tithing, saving for a long-term goal, short-term goal, etc. This would be a wonderful teaching aid for them. Love your blog and have learned so much from it! Keep up the good work.

  90. I learned by watching my mom pay bills and budget…and then bugging her with incessant questions. 😉

  91. Faith Dossett says:

    I just “liked” Kid Budget on Facebook! Thank you.

  92. Faith Dossett says:

    I just “liked” Life as Mom on Facebook. Thank you!

  93. I learned to manage by totally screwing everything up and finding ourselves in an overwhelming amount of debt. Then found Dave Ramsey. We’re working on paying off that last huge amount and we’ll be home free! God Bless Dave Ramsey!

  94. I follow both of you and FB!

  95. now I follow both of you on twitter too!

  96. I learned how to handle money & budget from my husband. Lucky for me I married someone who was an Economics & Business finance major in college and who is a whiz with money. He also had a lot of patience with me, who already had debt when we married.

  97. I learned from my dad and from Dave Ramsey 🙂 We are very far from being out of debt and with very little wiggle room, it may be awhile. Luckily we do not have any consumer debt, but a lot of student loans!

  98. I liked Life as Mom on FB

  99. I liked Kid Budget on FB

  100. we were never really taught anythingabout money . It was something in our family that was not discussed so now as an adult I am trying to teach myself and my kids. , I liked kid budget and Life as MOm on facebook

  101. I am following kid budget nd fish mama on twitter

  102. I learned to budget by growing up with a very frugal grandmother!

  103. I’m still learning to manage money. Unfortunately, this is much harder to do when there are two people involved who don’t agree on the best way to use our income. I hope to show my children a better way.

  104. Unfortunately I never “learned” how to budget, and now, at age 36, I am fortunate enough to have met a mentor who is showing me the ropes! I want to teach my children how to manage their money so they (hopefully) won’t make the same mistakes that I did!

  105. I just “liked” you on Facebook!!

  106. I learned to manage money a little too late! Don’t want the same for my kids. I did start when I had my first job at 16 and then more regular part time jobs through high school. But it wasn’t until 2 years after marriage when I quit my job and we switched to one income that I started to really learn how to do with little and stop spending.

  107. I like both on FB as Anastasia Borisyuk

  108. I learned about budgeting when my parents got divorced and we had half the money we did before. I did the couponing!

  109. I learned to manage money the hard way – by making some bad decisions. I am always looking to improve my financial skills and would love to win this for my kids!

  110. My dad taught me how to manage money and save. We do a monthly budget every month!

  111. Lynda C says:

    Are you kidding, I am still learning to budget, lol. Seriously, I learned budgeting from my mother who raised two children as a single mother.

  112. Lynda C says:

    I Liked KidBudget and LifeasMOM on Facebook as Lynda Clark

  113. Lynda C says:

    I am following Kid Budget and Fish Mama on Twitter @lyndacooks

  114. I learned about finances from observing my mother pinch every penny. This system works if you never spend/have money, but it didn’t teach me how to manage money or set & meet goals. 🙁

    I’d love to have the help of kidbudget to help break the cycle of financial frustration.

  115. Christine M says:

    I learned by watching my mom balance a small income to raise 4 kids. She taught me the difference between needs and wants!

  116. Christine M says:

    I liked Kidbudget on FB

  117. I, too, was deep in debt, but I decided I wanted out, so I was incredibly frugal! I still am to this day, even convincing my wonderful hubby to be frugal, too. We try not to buy anything new and we don’t finance ANYTHING! The kiddos clothing is all hand-me-down or bought used. My clothes are bought second hand. Most importantly, we make all our food from scratch and buy in bulk, and rarely eat out.

  118. I learned to manage money by being responsible for myself at a very young age – the equivalent I guess of being thrown into the deep end and learning very quickly how to swim. I’m still learning and hope to be able to teach my four kids in a better way.

  119. I also liked Kidbudget on FB!

  120. Liked Kid Budget and Life as a mom on facebook

  121. following Kid Budget and fishmama on twitter

  122. I learned a lot from my parents, who both grew up with little and worked very hard to get us a good start. I remember thinking I wouldn’t presume to even ASK for prom money, not when they had two and three jobs so we could go to college without loans! I’ve learned on my own too, fortunately without too many mis-steps. Looking forward to teaching my son who is eight and is just getting into consumer culture.

  123. My parents modeled not spending what you don’t have but didn’t spend it well when they had it (Time to blow it before it’s gone!–Yikes.) Early on, on my own, I learned about running out of money and having to live with it (58 degree home in winter and lots of macaroni) but luckily I started reading financial books and learned from there.

  124. kathy w says:

    We are always reworking our budget because things are always changing.

  125. My parents taught me money management at an early age by giving me an allowance, and opening me a checking account. Each week, I would give my tithe to church, save some in the bank, and use some as spending money.

  126. Danielle says:

    My mom taught me some principles at an early age, but most of my learning has been from mistakes! Not how I want my kiddos to learn!!

  127. AllieZirkle says:

    We learned about finances with poker chips 🙂 We had to pay 1 poker chip to watch 30 minutes of TV. We earned poker chips for completing chores, etc. It was a great life lesson…

  128. Annette says:

    My parents were frugal but didn’t teach us a lot about money management. We started out our marriage very frugally and then tried investing in a rental house right as the market crashed. This has really hurt us financially and I wish I would have learned the Dave Ramsey idea to never borrow to make an investment. Now we are learning to be more frugal again and re-position ourselves financially. I really want my kids to grow up being great money managers.

  129. Annette says:

    I already like lifeasmom on Facebook and I liked Kidbudget.

  130. Angela H. says:

    I follow both on FB.

  131. Angela H. says:

    I starting learning to budget by following blogs and listening to Dave Ramsey. I have also taken a Crown Financial class. I would love to teach my children how to handle their finances before they leave the nest.

  132. maureen keim says:

    I learned some money management tips from Dave Ramsey,and I forget the other guys name…….

  133. Donna L says:

    I’ve learned the hard way – by getting into debt! That is a horrible way to learn and I hope to be able to teach my kids so that they don’t have to learn by mistake.

  134. I learned to manage money pretty much through trial and error, after leaving home at 18 years old. I want to better prepare my children at an earlier age and not have to make as many mistakes as I have.

  135. Megan Hughes says:

    Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University rescued us and our marriage. It was very hard- we called it Financial No Peace because it was very very challenging to turn our sinking boat around. But by God’s Grace, we did.

  136. Charity L. says:

    I learned to manage money after I went into cc debt and had to dig myself out. Wish I had one of these when I was a kid! Might have helped!

  137. Charity L. says:

    I like you both on facebook.

  138. Unfortunately, we’re still learning. I’m trying to switch to a cash-based system for groceries and other misc expenses. So far, it seems to be working.

  139. I’m still learning! I never really had to budget until I quit my job to stay home with my kids. I have never had any debt (other than our house), but I’ve been pretty wasteful over the years. I’ve since started couponing, watching for sales, reading lots of books, etc.

  140. I grew up on a farm. We worked a lot. When I was 11 years old my parents took me to the bank and opened a checking account for me. It taught me alot! I am so blessed that they did that!

  141. I am still learning and I liked on Facebook.

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