Teaching children about budgeting can be done painlessly. Instead of just sitting them down for an abstract lesson (or worse, a long sermon that has them rolling their eyes), get them involved in your household budgeting. Show them how much the family is spending on various items and what your goals are. Explain the cost of familiar things such as cable TV and lawn-care services.
You and your kids can work together to decrease spending -- or at least to keep expenses within your budget. They may even be more understanding when you have to say no to a plea for a new toy. It can be a great lesson for them to learn that the family's monthly electric bill costs as much as 50 comic books, and perhaps it will motivate them to turn the lights off when they leave a room.
To get your kids interested in saving and investing their money, invite them to drop by our online area for teens. Also, consider giving them a copy of our book The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens: 8 Steps to Having More Money Than Your Parents Ever Dreamed Of.
To learn more about budgeting, read Dayana Yochim's amusing article, Lazy Girl's Guide to Budgeting.