This is the Best, Smallest Action You Can Take to Get Your Kid to Care about Money

Goal setting for kids is the best and smallest of activities you can do to get your kid(dos) to care about money. It's the start of their money education! #goalsettingforkids #activities #ideas |

Why goal setting for kids is your best bet to get them to care about money. And caring about money? That’s how a money education starts.

I’ve got a goal-setting exercise for you to do with your kid(dos).

You might be thinking, wait, what? What does goal setting for kids have to do with getting my child to care about money, or maybe even value it?

A whole lot.

At some point in your own money journey, you figured out that most things in life take money. And not just most things. The things that YOU wanted in life were going to cost money.

Money that someone else wasn’t going to pay for you, or that you didn’t want someone else to be responsible for because you wanted to do it on your own.

It could’ve been a trip you wanted to take. Or a bicycle you had to have. Or a video game. Or any number of things.

For me? It was to study abroad in Spain for a summer in high school. I wanted it desperately. I could taste the Tortilla Espanola, and – as an overworked farm girl – could barely imagine the luxury of taking a siesta each day.

I lived it. I breathed it. I dreamt about it.

And I earned money for it.

Not just once or twice, forgetting about it after realizing the amount of work it was going to take. But for 3 years.

My money sources I found:

  • Yours truly was the Chester County Dairy Princess in PA, where I grew up. After realizing I could earn $1,200 in incentives for completing a slew of promotions, I got to work. And I MET that goal.
  • Applied for, and won, a travel scholarship for $1,000 at my high school.
  • Mucked horse stalls, every day, after school on someone else’s horse farm for a job. Paid me up to $98/week at its height (meaning after I got a few raises).

And you know what? I got there. No only did I spend 6 weeks abroad in Spain at the age of 16, but I learned an uncountable amount of money lessons + life lessons in the process.

You’ve got to dig down deep into your child’s motivations, then tie it to money.

What Does Your Kiddo Want to Do/Be/Have?

Perhaps you’ve never actually asked this to question your kiddo.

I mean, you’re not alone in that. You’re going about your day, you’ve got a bazillion things + one to get done, and you’re keeping things together.

By the way, you’re doing great, Mama Bear.

But let me show you the one small, best action you can take right now to get your child to actually care about not only learning money, but also valuing it.

Tonight over dinner, tomorrow in the car ride to school, or in the evening when the television is normally on, use this money conversation starter to open up the conversation:

  • Mama Bear: Hey [Kiddo’s first Name]! Have you ever had something that you wanted to do? To Be? To Have? I mean, outside of what we provide for you. Something that you can work on getting yourself?
  • Kiddo: Kiddo either answers with something that’s been immediately on their mind, or, more likely, blankly stares back at you for a few awkward seconds.
  • Mama Bear: Prod them on a bit with questions like, “it could be a new toy that you’ve been wanting, or something that you want to take a class for outside of school, or new equipment to play with, or [XXX].” Be careful here with your suggestions, as it’s not likely your child is ready to flex their delayed gratification muscles while goal setting for kids and dive into a longer-term savings goal. It’s best to start with something they can reach within a few weeks or months.
  • Kiddo: Kiddo gives you an idea. Latch onto it.
  • Mama Bear: “Great! Now, do you know how you would actually be able to do/be/have the specific thing that you want? Besides asking your parent(s) for it?”
  • Kiddo: Kiddo either does or does not know that money is how things are purchased, and that saving up money is how you buy more expensive items.
  • Mama Bear: “It’s by saving your money for it. I’m so excited that you have a goal for something that you want to do/be/have, that I’m going to help talk you through how to save money and reach that goal. How does that sound?”

Why Goal Setting for Kids Makes them Care about Money

Every other part of money ties back to your goals in life. And it’s the same with a child.

If you want to teach your child about saving money, then you tie it back to their goal. And if some (irritating) situations arise where your child needs a little learning? You can tie it back to their goal. Let me give you some examples:

  • Wasting Money on Toys that Will Break Easily: If you want to teach a child to not waste their allowance on another toy they’ll just stop playing with next week, then you tie it back to how it’ll take longer for them to be able to purchase their goal.
  • Finding Money Crumpled Up in the Corner of their Room: This is money you can tell them can go into their piggy bank or savings account towards their goal, and is wasting away when it’s on the ground.
  • Sticking to a Savings Goal for More than a Week: Once they get the sweet taste of victory – by actually saving up for a small goal that they reach – their confidence will be boosted to the point where they’ll feel like they can save money beyond a week because it’ll be WORTH it.

It works for any age, so is completely age-appropriate (ever try to navigate what’s considered “age appropriate” with money? We’re bypassing that for now, because every child has a goal. Whether it’s to buy a new Cabbage Patch Doll, or to get to college).

Where to Go from Here with Your Kid(dos) Money Education

So, your kid now has a savings goal. Amazing! That’s literally the best, smallest action step you could take in helping them to start to understand the world of money.

Literally, any money conversation you have with them stemming from whatever questions they throw your way, you can tie back to this one goal.

I’ve got a few resources for you to continue the conversations, and give you a little guidance with things:

  • Get Clear on What You Want: Instead of getting bogged down with how to teach kids about money, answer these questions and come up with a Money Mission Statement for your child of WHAT you want to teach them about money. It’s the first step!
  • Make Learning about Money Fun: Come on over and grab your FREE Dessert Breakout Box printable that will have kids not only begging to sit down to dinner tonight, but also working through a few money puzzles to up their knowledge about how to save money.
  • Keep the Conversation Going: If nothing else, then print out these 50 money conversation starters for kids and have some FUN around answering some silly + interesting money “what if’s.”

Remember, as money conversations and questions start to trickle out of your kiddo’s mouth – now that you’ve opened their eyes to the role money plays in life – you can always tie it back to their current goal they’re saving for.

Makes the whole process less intimidating, right?

Looking for Fun Things to Do in the Winter? Host a Winter Beverage Outdoor Taste Testing Competition

Family winter activities that teach the kid(dos) something too? Wow! I was looking for family winter activities....and this idea is awesome for children (and us adults!). Definitely adding this to my fun things to do in the winter. #familywinteractivities #children #ideas #familiy activities #kidpreneurideas |

Looking for fun things to do in the winter with your family? Teach your kid(dos) profit margins with this awesome winter family event you’ll create in your own backyard.

It’s soooooo easy to sit inside all winter long and slowly accumulate cabin fever (plus a few pounds).

Well today? We’re going to switch things up. I’ve created a family date night for you that has both an indoor AND an outdoor component.

But don’t worry – we’ll keep things toasty throughout.

So, what’s the game plan? Each of your kid(dos) will create a warm winter beverage recipe indoors. Then here’s the twist: you’re going to host a family taste testing contest around your fire pit in the backyard.

Not only will this create a fun family memory, but your kid(dos) will actually walk away with more money knowledge in the process centered around the all-important lesson of how to make a profit!

Pssst: Now that’s a money lesson I could have used as a kid, specifically as I’ve gone into biz for myself as an adult.

Let’s get started.

Host a Winter Beverage Outdoor Taste Testing

There’s nothing better to keep you warm outdoors in the wintertime than a toasty drink. Well, a toasty drink around a roaring fire.

Here’s how it’s going down:

Psst: you’ll want to grab your free printable to really bring this activity to life.

Step #1: Choose an Event Date

Build the anticipation for your family by choosing a date 1 to 2 weeks out (so that there’s time for you guys to complete the rest of the prep work).

Fill out the invitation on Page 1 of the free printable, and display prominently on your family’s bulletin board/gathering center in the kitchen so everyone knows the date of the big event.

Set the stage for the competition by having your family read their mission out loud. Other cool factors you can add in: make it a Friday or Saturday family date night, under the stars. Let the kids stay up a little past bedtime to complete.

Step #2: Your Kid(dos) Research Hot Drink Ideas to Enter into the Competition

Your kids are the ones entering the competition. They’ll be in the driver seat of actually creating their own recipe from scratch (with some inspiration from below).

There are lots of toasty, kid-friendly drink recipe ideas to get them started:

They’ll get lots of help not only from looking up recipe examples on sites like Pinterest, but also from the worksheet in the free printable (Page 2).

Step #3: Shop for the Ingredients

Once your budding restaurant consultant has determined possible ingredients they’ll need for their signature drink, they’ll need you, Mama Bear, to purchase them.

Take the list your kid(dos) have created and go to the store (solo, or with them) to make the purchases.

Having trouble coming up with a pool of possible ingredients to buy? Use the lists below for inspiration of what to pick up (a few of these ingredients you probably already have at home) and let your kids create what they can from it:

  • Bases: hot cocoa, apple cider, chai tea, milk
  • Flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, flavor syrups
  • Sweeteners: sugar, brown sugar, caramel
  • Creamers: milk, half & half, almond milk, heavy cream, etc.
  • Top-offs: whipped cream, caramel sauce, orange peels for zesting

Save your store receipt, as your kid(dos) will need this information to price their drinks later on.

Step #4: Your Kid(dos) Tinker + Perfect their Drink

Using the purchased ingredients as well as anything in your home they can find, host a kitchen lab session where your kid(dos) tinker with ingredients and perfect their super-secret, signature recipes.

They’ll write down the exact portion sizes to each ingredient that they use as they go along, which is important for the next step.

Step #5: Your Kid(dos) Figure Out the Profit Margin of their Signature Drink

Remember, the goal is to create a new drink for this restaurant that not only costs less than $5, but has at least a 60% profit margin for the owner.

Ahem: between you and me, that means their cost needs to come in under $2.00.

So, as your kid tinkers with ingredients, they need to keep price in mind.

Note: this step can seem a bit unwieldy, but is SO important for the whole process. Just know – I’m outlining both how to do this all by hand, as well as giving you shortcuts to online calculators where your kid(dos) will still learn the process by setting up the inputs and thinking through how it all fits together.

Of course, we’re not talking about the cost of the entire ingredient that you’ve purchased. After all, it’s unlikely they’ll use an entire carton of milk to create one drink. We’re talking about the small portion size that they used of the product.

In other words, they’re not going to get the cost of a single drink they’ve created from your grocery store receipt as it is now. They need to do some calculating based on the measurements of each ingredient that goes into each drink.

You need to know how much it costs to create just ONE of your super-secret signature drinks so that you can calculate the profit margin.

What’s a profit margin? It’s the percentage of what you keep as profit from each $1.00. For example, a 20% profit margin means that we earn $0.20 on every dollar. That means that the other 80% or $0.80 are expenses. Remember that Jack, the man from The Yeti Slide, needs a 60% profit margin, or $0.60 on each dollar in profit after expenses are taken out.

Step #1: Write down your ingredients + quantities.

Step #2: Convert each quantity in your recipe to the quantity on the product label.

Divide your ingredients up by dry ones (like cocoa powder), and wet ones (like heavy cream or vanilla extract).

Then use the appropriate table below to convert the amount in your recipe to the amount that’s found on the ingredient’s product label (front of package).

For example, if you used 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder (dry ingredient), then your conversion is to a ½ ounce (the cocoa powder can is in ounces). Or if you used 2 tablespoons of almond milk, you find on the Wet Conversion table that you used 1 fl. Oz. (the almond milk carton is in Fl. Oz.).

Hint: Can’t find the conversion or a little confused? You can plug the exact quantity of your ingredients into this liquid converter or this dry converter calculator online and convert it into the measurement found on your product label).

Conversion tables:

Dry Conversions

3 teaspoons ½ ounce
2 tablespoons 1 ounce
 1/4 cup  2 ounces
 1/3 cup  2.6 ounces
 1/2 cup  4 ounces
 3/4 cup  6 ounces
 2 cups  16 ounces


Liquid Conversions:

2 tablespoons 1 fl. oz.
1/4 cup 2 fl. oz.
1/2 cup 4 fl. oz.
1 cup 8 fl. oz.
1 1/2 cups 12 fl. oz.
2 cups or 1 pint 16 fl. oz.
4 cups or 1 quart 32 fl. oz.
1 gallon 128 fl. oz.


Step #3: Calculate the cost of each quantity of ingredient used.

Now you need to price each converted quantity of ingredient by figuring out how much each ounce or fluid ounce costs, and then multiplying it by the amount you’ve used.

Hint: A good estimate to use for dashes of spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg is $0.05.

  • Write down the overall price of each ingredient used.
  • Write down the converted amount you used of it.
  • Divide the total amount in the product package by its price to find what each ounce or fluid ounce costs.
  • Then multiply that by the converted amount you used.
  • Write down the cost. Then add all of the individual ingredient costs to get your total expense to create the drink.

Example: I used 1 tablespoon (tbsp.) of heavy cream. One 8 fl. oz. container of heavy cream at the store costs $2.99. That is $0.37/ounce. I look at the conversion chart below, and see that 1 tbsp. converts to ½ ounce. So, I divide $0.37/2 ounces, and see that this ingredient for just one drink costs $0.186 (you can round up to $0.19).

Ingredient Cost:  $2.99_ Converted Amount Used: ½ fl. Oz. Total Product Amount: 8 fl. Oz.  Cost per ounce: _$0.37/fl. Oz. Cost of Ingredient Used: $0.37 X ½ = $0.186.

Looking for a shortcut? Here’s a free online tool for pricing out beverages. You’ll need the converted amounts.

Step #4: Calculate Your Profit Margin

Figure out how high your profit margin is if you sell the drink for $5.00.

Profit on Drink: $5.00 – total drink cost = _$_________.

Profit Per Dollar: Your answer from above \ Cost drink is sold for ($5.00) = $ Profit

Profit Margin: $ Profit X 100 = Profit Margin%

Step #6: Taste Judging Begins

By now you’ve set the scene for some outdoor winter time – think a crackling bonfire out in the backyard (or in your fire pit. Heck, you can de-hibernate the grill for some winter outdoor cooking/heating), plus a table/flat surface where your kids can place their super-secret signature creations.

Bust out some blankets, cover straw bales with table cloths…you get the idea. (And if you’re in Houston like we are? Well, a hoodie should suffice).

Have your kid(dos) place their drinks on the tasting mat, as well as fill in how much their drink costs and what the profit margin is (all calculations they’ll be guided through on the free printable).

Now they get to take a break, while the parents taste + score each one!

Included in the printable are both a tasting mat as well as a score card with specific criteria, such as inventiveness, taste, and profit margin.

Step #7: Declare the Winners

There are winners in a variety of categories, and then an overall drink that is chosen for The Yeti Slide’s Yeti Roasts:

  • Most Inventive
  • Most Tasty
  • Best Money-Maker
  • Newest Yeti Slide Signature Drink

This two-part activity for your child that will leave them understanding profit margins like a pro, plus give your family an awesome family date night under the stars on a winter evening when you might otherwise be watching tv.

What could be better than that? If nothing else, you’ll have created quite the memory.