Budgeting: An Ultimate Life Skill
BELLE GLADE, Fla. – Budgeting can be defined as the process of calculating how much of something you must earn or save during a particular period of time, and planning how you will spend it. Together, we will discuss the importance of budgeting, and additional resources to ensure that the youth of today are best prepared for all facets of life.
The goal of the 4-H Youth Development Program is to assist youth in learning critical life skills. As 4-H professionals, it is our privilege and responsibility to bridge the gap between the need for life skills, and making sure the youth of our community are receiving the care and attention they deserve.
“Having healthy financial skills is necessary to navigate through life. Parents can make learning about budgeting fun, by playing games with their children, engaging them in their budgeting process, and soliciting their input. It is never too early!” – Cyndi Longley, UF/IFAS Extension Palm Beach County Family & Consumer Science Extension Agent
Budgeting can exist with the concept of:
- Time: Youth today have countless factors competing for their attention. Factors such as school, socialization, chores, family, and self-care all require time. Then, when you add in additional factors such as leisure time, hobbies, non-class school involvement, and non-school involvement, there are simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything! Budgeting how much time to spend on what (Otherwise known as Time Management) prepares youth for success.
- Effort and Energy: According to reputable resources such as Psychology Today, young people today are feeling stress like never before. All emotions whether positive or negative are normal and part of life. It is important youth know that their emotions are valid, and can be managed for their good. How much effort to put on a certain project, and decided when you have done your best, is a form of budgeting your effort and energy.
- Money: To Cyndi’s point, although all youth may not have the finances needed to fiscally budget now, they one day will. Teaching youth the value of the dollar, and what it can become if handled properly, will be a tool youth will use through all stages of life!
Above are simply a few concepts in which teaching youth proper budgeting can equip them to be happy, productive global citizens. In reality, when you combine all the concepts together and sprinkle in some more, you get the life most humans live!
If you are in adulthood, I encourage you to think back to your childhood and all of the things that were calling for your attention. Thinking back to my childhood, I was a member of my High School Band, served in my church, had a leadership role with my Boy Scout Troop, was a member of a High School Club, and maintained the usual high school academic course load. Much like myself, I had friends that were in several of the same activities while also taking part in sports at the school AND recreational level. Several of us were fortunate to have tremendous support systems that taught us how to budget all of our resources, meanwhile reminding us that every budget has a limit. Many youth today are unaware of that knowledge, with the same if not increased societal expectations.
Below you will find several resources of youth can actively be engaged in learning how to budget. Much like the resources below, there are many other convenient resources that can be found online!
Here are a few resources with fun, hands-on learning activities that relate to budgeting:
- The Budgeting Basics workbook, created by educators at Rutgers University, is a great hands-on resource to mentally and physically engage youth in the act of budgeting.
- Basics in Building a Budget lesson by Scholastic can be done by teachers in the classroom or parents at home!
- The Age-by-Age Guide to Teaching Kids Time Management is again an awesome resource created by scholastic to help teach youth how to take care of their time.
The Palm Beach County 4-H Program believes in meeting the community needs wherever that may be. Please do not hesitate to contact your Palm Beach County UF/IFAS Extension Office with any additional questions!