Let your kids fail safely with money | Kids Can Budget (And So Can You) EP #2

Hi, my name is Vianna, I help parents start teaching their kids about money and savings from a very young age. I recorded an interview series where I chat with parents about three main money questions that I was curious about:

1) What did they learn about money as a kid

2) What do they wish they had learned

3) What is the biggest money lesson that they are teaching their kids.

This week I chat with Katie Kimball (Kids Cook Real Food eCourse and #LifeSkills Now Virtual Summer Camp), I’m so excited to share Katie’s story with you!

To get started teaching your kids about money and savings today grab my FREE Kid’s Budget Jars Printables: https://www.viannasummer.com/sl-kidsbudgetjars/

To sign up for #LifeSkillsNow Free Virtual Summer Camp: ⁠https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/LSN2/Vianna/


[00:00:00] Vianna: Hi everyone. Welcome. I’m so excited for you today to meet Katie Kimball. Um, she is the host and creator of Life Skills Now summer camp, and we will definitely be talking more about that cuz it’s coming up soon.

And then also the founder of the Kids Cook Real Food e-course. Um, Katie, welcome. Would you like to tell everyone a little bit about yourself before we

[00:00:19] Katie: get started?

Oh, thank you, VIanna. It’s so good to talk to families. Always. I’m a former teacher myself. I have always loved kids. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I always knew I couldn’t do both at the same time, full-time. Well, that’s the perfectionist in me. So I do have four kids. They range currently from second grade to just graduated high school. So we’re just like feeling all the feels in the Kimball household this month.

Um, But yeah, I, I was just a teacher for a couple years and when it, you know, you talk about money, when I finally sort of redid the family budget, it was red at the end and red is bad. So I thought I have to make just a little bit like maybe a few thousand a year. How do I do that? Do I wanna tutor? Do I sell Pampered Chef?

I was, I was loving, um, kind of being a new mom and working in the kitchen and learning how to sort of be that real adult quote unquote. And, And I thought maybe I would write a book. I did not know at the time a book is a terrible way to actually make money. Like it’s a great way to spend a lot of time working on a big project over a number of years, but to, you know, make up that bottom line.

It was not the right thing. So luckily I contacted, um, an editor at a really small niche magazine that I read and asked him his advice. I have no idea why I did that. I have no clue how he found the five minutes to email back Vianna it’s crazy. But he said, I, why don’t you start a blog? And see if there’s any audience for this idea you have of this kitchen stewardship, who’s stewarding all of all, all of God’s gifts, including our finances and our time and our family’s health.

And I did not know what a blog was. This was late 2008, but three months later I started my blog and within a year I was realizing I could actually make money writing this blog. And I loved it to boot, which was cool. Um, and so that it ended up growing into our families’ primary income and this huge mission that I’m now on to teach kids to cook through kids, cook for food all around the world.

So I still have kitchen stewardship. That’s where I teach families to stay healthy without going crazy. But the, the bigger focus is the kids now, and kind of getting that young generation to have the skills they need so that they’re not kind of needing people like me. You know, I had too many moms in our generation saying, oh my gosh, I don’t even know how to cook.

I wasn’t even taught to cook. So the healthy food was like two steps down the road. So I thought, all right, we gotta, we gotta back up the train here. Make sure the kids know how to cook. Have some of those habits of healthy foods so their adulthoods are are easier and have that foundation of health. Yeah.

[00:02:27] Vianna: Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I loved meeting you for the first time and we got to have our little chat because I found so many things in common with you. I had the same thing, like as a CPA I, I knew kind of I soon after having my first kid that this was not gonna be the work-life balance that I was striving for. I don’t think I could achieve it as an accountant working in a firm. And that was what got the ball rolling into me venturing into the online business world. But I love that our businesses is aligned too, cuz it’s all about teaching these amazing skills that aren’t always taught in school or not taught in depth, and it’s so important. And like you said, like learning how to cook as a kid and knowing how to have these skills as an adult and just knowing how to take care of yourself is so, so important. And I love what you do. I think it’s

[00:03:12] Katie: so great.

Aw, thank you. It’s gonna be kind of fun today to talk about money instead of food. I’ve been thinking how way weave in like the food and the money cause they’re so intertwined anyway, but

[00:03:21] Vianna: Oh yeah, totally intertwined. A big thing that I do with in our family is we try to work on a weekly budget in terms of our grocery shop. And I find like meal planning is so important because if we don’t do a meal plan then we just end up going out to eat all the time and then the budget goes through the roof. So I feel like everything is intertwined with money.

So if you wanna dive right in, we could start with those three questions and then we can kind of venture off from there. But, um, the big question, the first one is, what did you learn about budgeting as a kid? If you, um, had any background at all with your family, um, was it even taught or

[00:03:54] Katie: talked about?

I feel like I had a bit of an old school upbringing. I mean, my dad is, it’s 2023, he’s 84, so like, he was sort of an older dad when I was growing up in the eighties and old fashioned as well. And so for him, again, I, I don’t know if I was ever taught.

How to budget, but I was taught a little bit about money. So some things that my dad used to do included, like when we would go on vacation, he would meticulously write down everything that was spent on like a little scrap of paper in his wallet so that he would then know how much he had spent. Like he always checked the bill at a restaurant, which is funny now cuz it’s so automated, you know?

But you still check it because sometimes they double things, you know, that you didn’t order two of right or they missed things and he would correct it regardless of whose favor. That ended up, like if he ordered a milk, which he always did, he would say, you forgot my milk. And I mean, waitresses would just be so surprised, like, you’re, you wanna pay for something I wasn’t about to charge you for.

So for me, um, just like in a like ethical sense, I thought that was a really good example, right? That your money. And you, you owe people what you owe and you pay them when it’s due. You’re not gonna just like take a freebie if it was an accident, cuz maybe that person has to pay for it later, you know? So, and my dad’s a big tipper as well, so talking about like percentage and tipping and stuff like that.

I don’t remember anything specifically about budgeting. Um, my dad’s the spender. My mom’s the saver, so he’s the spender. He wrote meticulously down everything he spent, but it didn’t change how he spent, if that makes sense. My mom on the other hand was, yeah, so she was the couponer. She would have her grocery list and a single paperclip with all the coupons for that week that she was going to use.

She knew exactly what she was going to buy, and so from her I definitely learned that penny pinching. And so I think as I entered adulthood, Like, I didn’t know how to budget, but I knew how to save. So it was like, how do you spend as little as possible?

[00:05:36] Vianna: Yeah, and I totally relate to all of that because, um, I find it’s nice to have a budget that I usually base it on, like, what was the previous month or what was the previous year, so I can work off of it, but not necessarily be tied to it.

Cuz life changes, things change all the time. And I don’t ever wanna like, pressure myself to feel like I, I’m not doing my budget properly, but I like to know. Very similar to your dad. I like to know all the transactions just so I can have all the data maybe it’s the accountant in me. But I love your story about correcting the, uh, receipts because I have the story of my uncle who visited us last year, um, and we were shopping and he came out and he realized, the bill should have been 117, but instead of charging that, the person at the cash charged a dollar 17.

So we were in the car already. Yeah, we were in the car already and he was like, uh, hang on guys, let me look at this again. And he’s like, okay, no, no, no, no. And then he went back and told her, which is so amazing cause I know, I hope that most people would go back, but not everyone would. And I think that she would’ve maybe even lost her job because of it that’s a huge amount. So really speaks to the character of your dad and my uncle. I

[00:06:49] Katie: love that.

What’s so ironic? Vianna I have to add a, a ps to that because, um, we just, we recently lost my mother, but my father is now learning to do budget and finances for the first time in 84 years, he’s always been taken care of and so this man who used to write down everything I say, dad, you have to look at your credit card bill. Like you, you’re supposed to look at your statement and see if you actually spent all that stuff. And it’s so funny because he doesn’t do that. Isn’t that ironic? It feels like it would be the same sort of like response and like bit in your brain that would want to check, but um, he totally didn’t.

And luckily I did because I found, for example, an online budgeting program that my mom paid for annually and he doesn’t know how to turn on a computer. I was like, dad, I need to call and cancel this for you, honey. Like, yeah, you’re not gonna use it. He’s not gonna use this. So yeah. So in her later years, my mom learned budgeting even more than when I was a kid.

I think. Oh,

[00:07:37] Vianna: that’s great. It’s never too late. I always, that’s like my motto, it’s never too late, but it’s always great to start as early as possible. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your mom recently. Um, that must have been hard, but it’s great that your dad has you to kind of help him through this stage.

[00:07:50] Katie: Oh, thank you.

[00:07:51] Vianna: Leading to the next question then, what, is there something that you wish you had learned about budgeting as a kid before entering adulthood

[00:07:59] Katie: on your own? Yeah. Luckily, I mean, we did, okay. My husband and I with money, we got married pretty young, right outta college, and, uh, so we were figuring everything out, right?

Mm-hmm. I, I had that stability of how do you spend as little as possible, which was good because we were making as little as possible, right? We had like entry level jobs and, um, And we definitely did what I think of as reverse budgeting, right? We spent the money, then we looked at what we spent. And so yes, that works until the number’s in the red and then you’re like, oh no, how do I, how do I spend even less?

You know? So I think a lot of people look at budgeting like, you set your budget and you stick to your budget. So I do think my parents prepared me fairly well, um, until, until that number was in the red that it was like, oh no, I’m not really sure what else do, and it was right at that time. Yeah, it was kind of right at that time I was having my real food conversion, so to speak, and that was that real, the tension of if I want to eat better, Either both and usually my budget has to increase, or my time budget has to increase, right? I have to make more from scratch. Mm-hmm. And I have to buy higher quality ingredients. And so there, like, that’s kind of what my blog was based on, was with figuring out what techniques are in the middle that didn’t cause a ton more time and a ton more money in order to achieve a better sort of level of health coming in.

And, um, it was, it was very interesting to, to navigate that and figure out where that additional money it might come from, right? So I might have to cut something here or make something from scratch that I used to buy process to save so that I could spend more on like protein being organic or something.

Um, so that was, that was something, I don’t know if anyone can really be prepared for that. I do think my mom taught me to be a critical thinker, and honestly, when it comes to figuring things out, that’s the best gift that she could have given me. Whether it was with, like we said, food or, or finances.

[00:09:43] Vianna: Yes, absolutely.

I love that you mentioned your mom about that, because I think as a parent, whether you realize it or not, I’m sure you do um, role modeling is so important and whether you’re teaching these skills or not, um, your kids are watching you and kind of mirroring what you do.

So, It’s really great to be a bit more intentional about what you’re actually showing them, and it seems like your mom showed you really good skills, even if she didn’t actively do it at the time. And that was something in terms of being adaptable too, like, um, I was really grateful to my mom cuz she was always pushing me to be independent like even from a very young child, she would always push me to like, oh, you can do that. Uh, this is something you can do yourself. And that’s something I definitely applied to my kid as well. Hmm. Yeah. So, okay. So leading into question three then, what do you hope to teach your four kids? Like the age range is quite high. Like have you learned, um, over the years what you would like to apply even to your youngest now? Um, or what have you already started teaching

[00:10:46] Katie: them? Yeah, my kids are so different. Um, money, personality is, Is a thing like nature versus nurture, right? Yeah. Like they’re all growing up in the same family. But my oldest two for sure, so Paul is 18, Leah is just about to turn 15.

They’re a senior and a freshman, you know, exiting, moving on. And both of them are misers. I mean, they hate spending money. So people in my community will often ask, oh my gosh, Katie, like what do I do? I want my kids to eat healthy. But the moment they get their own money, they’re walking off down to the gas station and buying the blue slushy.

I’m like, you know, I, I have answers for that, but I don’t have experience with it because my kids are so cheap, they would never spend money on food because they know they have it in our house. Like, they’re hilarious. That’s great. But they’re, they’re like ex Yeah, they’re extremely, um, penny pinchers and then my youngest Gabe, he’s eight.

He’s just leaving second grade. He will give away his money. As soon as he gets it, like he, he’ll spend it, but even more he’s super generous, you know, and kind of like, and it’s, it’s one of those things where you go as a parent, well, okay, like, I want him to be generous. I want him to want to serve with, you know, his time, talents and treasures, treasures your money.

Um, on the other hand, should he give all his money to, to church all the time? Like, it’s such a, it’s very difficult to navigate teaching him that balance. Without sounding like we’re saying, don’t be generous. You know, don’t give all your money. So, yeah. Yeah. I’m actually pretty excited about, uh, one of the summer camp workshops is actually four little kids, about being generous, having fun, being generous with your money.

And, um, Paul, my oldest, who’s our lead editor, said it’s really, really good. I haven’t seen it yet, but he said it’s excellent. Done. So I’m excited about that one. I’ll have Gabe watch it for sure. Yes, my little guy. Um, But we, I know we try to teach our kids through experience so that they, you know, we try to give them opportunities. It’s awesome being an entrepreneur. I can actually hire my kids, you know, so they have like a real paycheck. They’re not getting paid for their household duties. They’re getting paid for like actual contributions to the family business, and that way they have some money to spend. You know, so we’ve had a few opportunities where kids have wanted a big item that’s the best.

Like if they actually want a big item, you can say, okay, like what do you need to do to save up for that? Making sure that they have some time, at least weeks during which they still want that big item, I think is a good lesson because sometimes you realize you don’t need it so much after all. Yeah. Um, I’m thinking back to one thing.

Oh my gosh. It was like a BBB eight from Star Wars, it’s this little toy with like a remote control and it just kind of drove around and it made its little noises and it was $150. Oh wow. Thing because it’s very techy. The text’s really cool. The toy is not that cool after you’ve played with it for about 10 minutes and Paul bought that.

He was probably in middle school and I think, I’m guessing if we were to grab him and pull him on, he would have that as one of his touch points in his head where like buyer’s remorse. Oh yes. You know, because he spent a lot of money on it. And then, oh wait, he’s literally looking through the window, shaking his head.

Yeah, he’s nodding because, because he thinks back to that and goes, oh, that was a big chunk of change. Right. And I didn’t play with it very long because there wasn’t that much you could actually do with it, you know? Yeah. And so I think those opportunities are awesome to let them fail safely. You know, it wasn’t so much money that.

It’s hurting anyone at this point, although it’s, it’s bothering him still. I can see it in his space like years later. That’s why he’s miser now. But I think too, like we like to talk about things too. So if we as a family, if we as the adults, make a big purchase, we might, we might share some of those numbers with our kids and why we made that choice.

I know one thing we say all the time is, oh my goodness, that trampoline in the backyard is like the best purchase we’ve ever made. Yeah. Because even though it’s a big chunk of change, they use it all the time. And so that’s kind of an example of how we think about money. Um, I know my, my eight year old asked me the other day, it was such and such expensive, I don’t even remember what the thing was, but I was able to pause and say, you know, It’s hard to say if something’s expensive or not because it depends what that thing is, right?

Is it? Mm-hmm. It’s a lot of money, but is it a lot of money compared to other things that you might purchase in that kind of category, right? Absolutely. So like, is that loaf of bread expensive? Is a swimming pool expensive? Like you the word expensive kind of loses meaning unless it’s in context. So we sort of had a conversation about that, how, how we have to think about money in these like different kinds of categories.

And so I thought that was a good conversation for him. I don’t know. He might be hopeless. He is such a spender. We’ll see, he’s only eight, so we’ll see, like give him 10 years. Um, but I, I do think just those natural conversations are some of my best opportunities and then, and then summer camp, to be honest, cause Paul just turned 18 last year in season one we had, one of the workshops was on investing. And I don’t know if that’s what sunk in or not, but he came up to my husband and I, he goes, so now that I’m 18, how should I invest my money? Oh great. And we were like, whoa, not prepared for this. We dunno what the answer is. Um, but I was so impressed that he was even thinking about it.

[00:15:22] Vianna: Yes. That’s amazing. Imagine if everyone started thinking about investing at 18, how far ahead they would be. Right. Even younger. Even trying it out as a kid. As just anytime really just learning the concept of saving and how your money compounds and grows it’s such a good skill to have. Mm-hmm. So that’s great.

I love, um, your story about Paul, um, regretting that purchase of B B A, because that’s something I talk about a lot with my parents is let them learn these lessons while they’re young because the hurt that they feel is so much smaller than what they would feel as an adult when it’s like 10 times the cost and 10 times the impact.

Right? So having learned that lesson at a younger age and him still holding onto it, like that’s, I think that’s what we want. Not to like scare them, but it’s like this little thing in the back of your mind, like just to think a little bit more about these big purchases.

[00:16:11] Katie: Right. Mm-hmm. It’s like when the opportunity presents itself, obviously to let them fail.

[00:16:15] Vianna: Yeah, that’s exactly what I love to talk about, letting them fail now while the experience is still financially, monetarily, small and I love that. Feels big to them. Which is big to them. Exactly. Exactly. And I also love, you talked about, um, having your kids involved in your business and, and that’s a big topic that I love to talk about building little entrepreneurs and it’s so great. I, I’ve seen you talk about, um, him helping you edit the videos and I’ve seen your kids in all the, um, the summer camp videos. It’s so great that they’re so involved and earning some money. I think that’s amazing. That’s exactly what I like to talk about. Instead of like, sometimes allowances work in a family and things that go well, and if it’s working, that’s great, but I always encourage trying to help them.

Um, Earn their money and connect that the money comes from work.

[00:17:05] Katie: So that’s really great.

I have to give a shout out to one more summer camp workshop it’s in the entrepreneurship track. Oh. And, uh, Justin Reman talks about how his kids started a neighborhood business cleaning out the garbage cans.

Oh. Like the ones that go out by the curb that are so gross. Yeah. So it was a super dirty job. I won’t, I won’t spoil the numbers, but they made amazing for being kids and he walks the summer, our summer campers through everything that they did and then how they can sort of brainstorm their own service based. How do you sell your time right in your neighborhood? Really safe, really small, um, and make some pretty good money over the summer. So that’s one I’m very excited about. That’s so

[00:17:37] Vianna: amazing. That would be really good. Like if my kids were old enough, like that would be such an easy summer job cuz everyone has dirty garbage cans and I know some garbage facilities, they’ll come around and do it for you. But not everyone does that. So here, yeah, not every, no, they don’t all do it. So that’s a really, really great service to have. And I would totally pay a neighborhood kid to help clean our garbages.

[00:18:03] Katie: Mm-hmm. My daughter, who’s a freshman, she has joined our quality control team for summer camp. So Paul will edit the videos and then she’ll jump in and watch them and kind of help create a worksheet and catch any mistakes and she watched that one. So she’s super inspired. For this summer to just replicate it in our neighborhood. Oh.

[00:18:17] Vianna: So is is she gonna go ahead and do it? That sounds

[00:18:19] Katie: amazing. This is what she says.

Yeah. Will, will. The words match the actions time will tell. We don’t know yet.

[00:18:25] Vianna: Well, I look forward to hearing more at the end of the summer to see if that

[00:18:28] Katie: happen. Cool.

[00:18:31] Vianna: Well, speaking of summer camp, I’m very excited to be a part of it this year. Thanks so much for including me. Um, I have two tracks this year, one with the preschool parents and one, um, called Needs versus Wants, where I talk through about knowing the difference and having an activity between the two.

Um, but it’s just, it’s so, it’s called life skills now and it’s just about building those life skills and there’s so many categories and so many things, but since it’s my first year being, I think it would be great if you could talk more about it and share it with our audience.

[00:19:02] Katie: Yeah. Thank you. So life skills, now Summer camp is totally free. So for your budget, it’s a zero line item. Amazing. That’s awesome. Yeah. Um, we serve kids ages five to 18. And then as Vianna mentioned, we do have a little track for our preschool parents. We don’t really want our little ones on the screens, but we would love to teach the parents some activities that they can then do with their two and three and four year olds, um, offscreen, you know, outside, inside all sorts of stuff for the summer.

So basically if you have kids, summer camp is for you. It’s pretty heavily weighted this year toward the teens, and I’m not sure how that happened. Um, I have two teenagers and we filmed a lot of stuff. We got to go to a local auto shop, local florist shop, a hairdresser, a credit union, and we filmed a and a restaurant with a Italian pasta chef. So we actually filmed a whole bunch of stuff with experts. Um, and that’s super cool cuz then they’re professionally done. They’re two camera shots. And you know, we, I was like, I wanna be in control of more of the content this year. But that also means that it’s like it’s really big kids’ skills.

Oh my goodness. Like how many adults don’t how to give a haircut? Oh my gosh. Yeah. Absolutely. And how much money does that save? Since we’re talking budgeting, like if you can learn simple haircuts. I, I wonder if we’ve saved in the multiple thousands of dollars with our four, you know, four kids’ heads in my husband’s head, not having to ever pay for their hair to be cut.

Yeah. So that’s kind of, that’s just a little peak. The basic format is the workshops. A big batch of them will go up for free on Monday, June 12th, and then those disappear and a new batch comes up on Tuesday. So they’re on demand for 24 hours, which means no matter your time zone, you can you know, you can catch any of the workshops that your kids are interested in.

And there, there is a fee if you wanna keep, you know, start early and keep them without any expiration, but, Free is free June 12th to 17th. We incentivize the kids with fun prizes to win because every camp leader at the end of their workshop gives a mission. And that’s something to like, get off the screen, implement what you’ve learned, be able to check it off.

They’re, they’re all very actionable checkable missions. And then once you complete your mission, you get to enter for a prize. So we had families enter for like hundreds of times last year because they might have six kids, right? Each kid’s doing 12 workshops and it just kind of, Spills on. So, um, that’s, that can be kind of motivating.

For our free campers, we have 90 workshops this year, over 50 experts like you and me to learn from and, uh, we try to keep the workshops nice and short, five to 30 minutes. So what’s not about spending summer camp on the screen, it’s about getting important information from the screen. Leaving, getting out into the real world and you know, cleaning garbage cans, making some money.

[00:21:23] Vianna: Yeah, and I think that’s, that was like my favorite part about it is that like you’re not getting these kids to just sit around on the screen all day long. It’s just about gathering a bit of the information as quickly as possible and then going out and doing those activities. And I think that’s gonna be so great in terms of actually learning the skill. I feel like you can’t just. You can’t just absorb material online. You have to actually do the activities to really, really learn it. So I think the combination of the two is amazing. I’m so excited about this opportunity and to be a part of it. I can’t wait. I was looking through some of the categories and I was like, I think I need to look, watch, and learn some of these things like the hair cutting thing can, can you imagine during the pandemic if everyone knew how to cut their own hair, how amazing that would’ve been.

[00:22:06] Katie: I know, I know. Well, and that’s what I love the most, like this is the sneaky part of me is, yes, I want the kids to have life skills, but even more than that, I want families to have quality time together. Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. So my favorite thing is when the parents are watching the videos with. The kids.

Yeah. Or, and some parents will say, yeah, like, I love that you have parent tracks too. Because now I like, we can kind of be on our own devices. We’re all doing our learning, and then the conversation in the household about summer camp is blossoming because everyone, including mom and dad are learning. And so there’s that like lifelong learner value that a lot of us wanna pass on to our kids.

So lots of, I mean, that’s my favorite part again, is when the families are like, Doing it together, they’re getting in the kitchen and they’re making the homemade pasta or you know, hard boiling eggs. We have, we have all a huge range of food again this year, something for everyone,

[00:22:49] Vianna: And it’s so much more engaging for the kids.

When the parents are involved, they get. I think they get excited about like learning together and doing activities together. And even just the role modeling part back to that, like, um, my course, the Kids Can Budget Parents Academy. It has videos for kids, but majority of it is for parents to learn themselves too and be able to apply those skills and learn with their kids and teach their kids because it’s hard for their kids to just learn all these skills and not be able to talk about it with the parents. So I think it’s wonderful that you try to actively include the parents whenever possible.

[00:23:22] Katie: Mm-hmm. It’s such, I mean, it’s just a, such an important, like family togetherness and I like to call it productive quality time.

[00:23:27] Vianna: Ooh, I like that a lot. Well, Katie, I know that you’re very busy preparing, so I really appreciate you taking the time to come on our podcast today.

And I wanna really thank you and I’m so excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to go through the course with you. Thanks so much. Oh, you’re so welcome.

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