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Dr. Phil’s lesson on money with kids

Former Dr. Phil logo

Former Dr. Phil logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a 2009 episode that was aired, Dr. Phil tries to teach a few 4th and 5th graders about money. He had down the average family in America earns about $5,000 or more a month, and that after paying the main bills, you have $2,000 left over. However, let’s look at reality here.

Reality  VS Dr. Phil 

  • Depending on where you live- average household rent $950.00 – $1,400 month (he had $1,400)
  • Car payment-$300-500 (which he had right)
  • Fuel for vehicle- $100-$140 week (didn’t have this)
  • Electricity- $150-$200 (which he had right)
  • Water/Trash- $50-80 month (he did not have this)
  • Groceries (depends on family size average) $500-800 a month (he had $300-500)

Dr. Phil had $2,000 left for extra’s after paying all these bills above. Extra’s included eating out, and spending $175 a month in clothing. When he was done with that, he had $500 left over to save each month.

Although let’s look at reality here.

Reality VS Dr. Phil

The average family makes between $3,000 and $4,000 a month (includes taxes). What about childcare, insurance for vehicle, cable, cell phone?

  • Rent/Mortgage- $950-$1,400 month
  • Car Payment- $300-$500
  • Fuel- $100-$140 week
  • Electricity- $150-$200
  • Water/Trash- $50-80 month
  • Groceries- $500-800 month

We are going to add what an average bill is, including cable, skipping car payment since the car is owned.

  • Rent- $950 month
  • Insurance for Vehicle- $80 month
  • Fuel- $320 month ($80 weekly)
  • Electricity for family of 5 (2300sqft)- $156 month
  • Water/trash- $79 month
  • Groceries- $650 month or more (living with Celiacs)
  • Cable which includes home phone/internet- $179 month
  • One cell phone- $50.00

We are already at $2454, and we haven’t included household items such as dog food/toilet paper/toiletries/children’s items/school functions/and all this with only earning the average $2900 monthly income. Teaching our children to budget might seem like a difficult task, however there is one way to explain the budgeting, and that’s using play money so children understand what it’s like to budget and only one a small income.

It’s so imperative that children learn how to budget, and the value of money. The real world comes hard and fast, when it does, it’s best that they are prepared for living by their means.

How do you teach your children about money?



About Amanda Brown

Amanda Brown, a Certified Fertility Instructor, has been a fertility advocate for over four years. As a Certified Herbal Counselor, Amanda continues to advocate with resolve.org and educate about infertility, health, and well being. Amanda is a columnist for Woman’s Essence Magazine, and has helped many women with her columns on health and nutrition. Amanda has also created a large educational fertility website, which has achieved much success.


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