Sunday, 1 June 2014

Learning to budget

My children have never had just what they want bought when they want it, yet recently they seem to think nothing of asking for this or that when in the supermarket and sometimes I have given in a bought it other times I say no. They seem to be worse at the moment and then teenager sulks when he is told no! My gosh he never reacted like that as a toddler he'd just shrug it off and move on to the next thing.

So I have decided for their own good (and mine!) it's time to stand firm. So last night I called them to a room with me armed with this little lot

An inventory of items in the freezer and all the cash I had. That is £28.00. I asked them what they would like to have for dinners this week- the only catch was it has to use what is in the freezer. This is the menu they came up with

Sunday- Quorn curry
Monday- trout and pasta
Tuesday- meatballs in tomato sauce
Wednesday- Bolognese/ jacket potatoes
Thursday- tuna pasta
Friday- home made pizza
Saturday- lasagne/ jacket potato

We then looked at the extra ingredients we would need- what do we already have in stock. What do we need for lunches etc. We wrote the shopping list, worked out a rough costing and decided we could afford what the children had chosen.

So this morning armed with just the cash- I left my main purse with cards in it at home, and a shopping list we did a weekly shop. I had a can I get a new pair of play shoes from Stephanie,  and I'd really like some more cartoon socks from Dylan as we started to head in the door. Can you afford your food and those items? I asked. harrumph from the big one and off they set with the shopping list. Stephanie seemed to  enjoy the challenge of finding the best deal, Dylan was dead against as we wandered around. I used the calculator on my phone to add up the total as each new item was added to the basket, with the intention of telling them if we got close so that they could make a choice if needed. As it happened the shopping came to £20.76 so a fair bit under the £28 I had given them.

So we bought a £1.50 bunch of flowers to pop on my Mum's grave after we had had a bit of a tidy up there.

I plan on doing this with the children for the rest of the month, I am hoping by them having to make the choices and see how much of our money goes on 'just this little thing' it might stop impulse buying and the I want's as we do our shopping. Friday night is going to be the set the menu and work to the budget evening for the next few weeks at least.


  1. Really great idea - I think it is time for me to dust that one off with Cg!

    1. I am hoping it will help them to understand why I have to say no sometimes. I definitely think it is worth a try- I figured it won't make the I wants ay worse, but hopefully will bring about some understanding of why they get the answers they do sometimes.