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Money Tracker For Kids

There is a famous saying which goes:

What gets monitored, gets managed!

When it comes to money, this statement is incredibly important. To really have a sense of how much money you have, spend and save, you need to track it. We have been tracking our family finances every month since the start of 2009! I wish we had started earlier.


Whilst there are plenty of great money tracking apps, I've been using a spreadsheet (as I'm an Actuary so I love Excel 😄 but also it allows me to personalise it any way I want).


Last month, my eldest daughter (11) and I set up her very own spreadsheet so she can start tracking her money each month. She is loving it!


I thought I'd share this spreadsheet with you all so you can help your kids start tracking their money over time.



How Does the Money Tracker Work?


I like to keep things simple. The key inputs to the spreadsheet are the amounts my daughter has in each of her different accounts (bank account, savings account, investment account plus any cash she has) at the end of the month and how much money she received during the month (pocket money, savings we give her and any money she receives on special occasions)


Therefore, the spreadsheet works off two formulas:


(A) 'Savings' each month = Total amount in all accounts this month minus total amount in all accounts last month


Money Tracker for Kids - savings

Hopefully each month this is a positive number, i.e., she has more money each month as she spends less than she receives.



(B) Amount 'Spent' each month = Amount of Savings (A from above) minus the amount of Income (money received over the month)

Money Tracker for kids - expenses

This is a really important part of the spreadsheet. I want my daughters to understand how much they are spending each month. I have put the 'Spent' as a negative number as it is money that has now gone.


As your kids get older, the amount of expenses (money 'Spent') will increase and I want them to be aware of this so they can manage it. There are so many people who don't realise just how much they have 'Spent' each month (the small amounts really do add up!) and this leads them to go into debt and financial stress.



With these two formulas above, my daughter can track how much money she has, where it is, how much she is 'Saving' and how much she has 'Spent' each month.


After setting up the spreadsheet, my daughter started asking questions about how she can increase the amount of money she earns (receives).



Download the 'Money Tracker For Kids'


You can download the Money Tracker here. It has two tabs/worksheets. I have added some instructions on the first. I strongly suggest that you help set this up with your kids. Over time, as they get used to it and their spreadsheet skills improve, I hope they add different sheets and formulas (the one I use for my family has many sheets, charts and formulas).


If you have any questions, please let me know (will@bluetreesavings.com)




[Note: the download means the spreadsheet will be on your computer so I won't have access to any of your personal information if you decide to use it (your personal data is safe from me).]



Tracking their Investments


We invest money for my daughters each month and they can also put some of their pocket money into their investments when they want to.


In the Money Tracker, we only track the amount we have invested rather than update the value of the investments over time. As you know, the value of the investments goes up and down all the time as the stock market moves. I don't like looking at my investments that often (it's too emotional as one month you might feel rich and then the next month poor and vice versa).


Therefore, we only change the value of our investments in the Money Tracker if we invest more, sell any of our investments (very infrequently) or if we receive any income from our investments (dividends). This works for us as we believe that you only really make money from investments when you buy or sell them (the ups and downs each month is just a distraction).


This is our personal way of doing it. Other people update their spreadsheets based on the value of their investments each month as the stock market goes up and down.


If you aren't investing for your kids, then please check out my blog 'How to teach your kids about the Stock Market' to learn more.


Summary


Money flows from those that don't manage their money, to those that do!

Regardless of whether you download my spreadsheet, use a pocket money app or your kids have a pad of paper, the important thing is that you help your kids start to track their money as they grow up.


I'm doing this for my eldest daughter (11) as she is learning about spreadsheets and is starting to spend more. I probably won't start with my youngest (8) for a few more years.


There are so many adults today who are struggling financially as they don't track how much they have and how much they are spending.


Of course, you can also use the spreadsheet to start tracking your own finances if you aren't tracking them already.


Thanks for reading - please don't forget to subscribe below


Will


p.s., If you do download the Money Tracker and believe it is useful for your kids (or yourself), then it would be amazing if you could show your appreciation by ordering a copy or two of Grandpa's Fortune Fables for your kids, the local library or a friend.








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