Teaching Kids The Money Game

Most adults will agree that teaching kids about money is more important than ever. Those of us who didn’t get much financial education before we joined the working world often wish we could go back and do it all over again. But we also remember that financial education was not the most thrilling aspect of our childhood. Even though our parents explained the concept of saving money in order to afford the things we wanted, our eyes glazed over whenever complicated abbreviations and percentages were mentioned, then we just got confused about what it all meant. Financial education is an essential part of adulthood, but it’s not the most engaging topic for some young adults, let alone small children.

There are many tools at hand to help parents teach their children about financial responsibility, especially debt and lending since the next generation is just as likely as the Millennial generation to enter the working world with a huge amount of debt from student loans. Being open about your own finances to set an example, helping them build a budget from their savings, and explaining the difference between good and bad debts are just some of the ways you can teach children about money. However, to make it a little more engaging for young children, you can use games to make finances fun, yet still teach them practical lessons that will serve them well when they reach adulthood. Here are just a few board games that were created specifically to teach children financial responsibility.

Monopoly

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Most parents – and people with siblings – will recognise Monopoly as the game that started off amicably, but would soon descend into chaos and cause family feuds over Christmas or Thanksgiving. The earliest known version of Monopoly, known as The Landlord’s Game, was designed by an American, Elizabeth Magie, and first patented in 1904 but existed as early as 1902. Magie, originally intended The Landlord’s Game to illustrate the economic consequences rent, and the concepts of economic privilege and land value taxation.

When it first appeared in the 1930s, it had been significantly simplified and Monopoly was simply intended to teach children about paying rent, buying property, and how unexpected circumstances could suddenly lead to financial trouble. It even teaches children about some of the real-life options available to them to get out of debt, such as borrowing money from the banker, or mortgaging one of their properties until they next pass Go and collect $200. Monopoly teaches players money management and the impact of financial and investment choices and situations. Most importantly, it teaches children that life is unpredictable and not always fair, but you still have to pay the banker.

The Game Of Life

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For parents looking for a game that can give an accurate representation of life and the effects your decisions have on finances, The Game Of Life is as close as anyone can get. This game teaches children the effect of education and career choices on income, the impact of taxes, the importance of early investing, and even the cost of compound interest and loan payments. It does everything except teach kids about debt consolidation, but more complex explanations can be found at DebtConsolidationUSA.com, or any other financial websites. What sets The Game Of Life apart from Monopoly, is that it stimulates a person’s travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriage, and possible children along the way.

Unlike Monopoly, which starts everyone off on an even footing, The Game Of Life can show children that even the choices they’ve made in their early years can have long-reaching consequences into adulthood. Therefore, it subtly explains why they’re receiving a financial education even though they won’t have to worry about bills and credit for several more years. As a result, they might be more willing to pay attention the next time you sit down with them to discuss the family budget.

Payday

It’s never too early to teach kids about the excitement and anticipation of payday; even most adults celebrate this day with the enthusiasm of a public holiday. As a board game, Payday is not too different from Monopoly and The Game Of Life. The player with the most money wins, kids learn about paying bills and dealing with unexpected expenses, and surviving the game until you get more money. The difference is that the board is set up like a 31 day calendar, and the players move through the month dealing with the new situations that each day brings. It does capture the sensation of feeling financially secure one week, then having to tighten your belt overnight because of an unexpected bill.

The month is full of financial bonuses, such as winning the lottery, and financial pitfalls, such as extra bills or bad investments. While in Game Of Life the players can almost pinpoint the decisions that led to their financial situation, Payday emphasises the random side of financial responsibility – even when you do everything right, sometimes things happen that can either boost your savings or drain them altogether.

Charge Large

Games like Monopoly, Payday, and The Game Of Life are all useful tools for teaching kids about money, but their major flaw is that they were introduced back in the 20th century, when finances were a little different for new graduates. Charge Large was designed in 2007 by two young entrepreneurs, and it was released by Hasbro in 2009, making it the most recent financial-themed board game for children. This is one of the few games out there that specifically teaches children about credit cards and the importance of building good credit. The players start out by receiving a gold credit card and must strive to upgrade to  the elusive black credit card. However, the winner must also have no debt and $2,500 in cash, which challenges players to manage credit responsibly while they navigate the board and build wealth.

Not all credit is bad; children will soon learn that they need good credit to qualify for a mortgage, to pay for a car, or just to get a good rate on a loan if they need funds to further their career. But they will also learn that bad credit can leave them in difficult positions. By playing Charge Large, children can learn that responsible credit use builds your credit rating, giving access to higher credit limits, but that racking up credit debt without saving and investing can create a financial disaster. It’s more engaging than looking up a Bankrate.com article about building good credit. The sooner they accept that a credit card is an essential tool for building credit, and to use it wisely, the better their chances for starting their adult lives with a good credit history. There is a great article at Creditcards.com which explores how children can benefit from being taught about money from an early age.

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The Allowance Game

No matter how mature your children are, not all of them are old enough to be thinking about credit cards and decision-making. Their only appeal for playing Monopoly or The Game Of Life is to crush all their opponents and win the most money – they’re probably the cause of most of the feuds. To get them to really think about money as a tangible thing, instead of just a toy in a game, start them off with The Allowance Game. This is a perfect game for younger children, or those with short attention spans. The goal is smaller – only $20 – but it does get kids thinking about the value of $1. It also teaches them about budgeting, and that, although money can buy a lot of things, money eventually runs out. Most importantly, it will make them think about where they want to spend their money; is it better to spend it all in one place, or to save as much as possible?

On a more practical note, The Allowance Game teaches your children the benefits of completing their chores, and the penalties that come with forgetting to complete their assignments. As the kids play, they earn money when they land on spaces that say “mow the lawn” or “walk the dog.” It then teaches responsibility with scenarios such as “I forgot to do my homework,” which causes the player to lose a turn. It even touches slightly on unexpected bills, because they see just how quickly their hard-earned money can go when they’re forced  to spend some of it buying a gift or paying for an overdue library book. Instead of letting them play at being grown-ups, The Allowance Game teaches younger children about money in an environment that relates to them, making the lessons feel more relevant.

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Teaching kids how to handle money doesn’t have to be boring and full of complicated figures. These games are just a few examples of the wide range of educational tools out there that parents can use to simulate real life financial situations. While some games, like Puerto Rico, might feel more like a historical simulation where your children can pretend to be colonists, it still teaches them the basic concepts of setting up a business. Kids learn while they have fun, and money is definitely something they need to learn.

3 Ways To Inspire Your Child To Make Good Financial Decisions Through Life

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Time spent educating children is time that is never wasted. Unfortunately, despite school teachers and the school faculties best intentions, it’s difficult to fit in every lesson at school that it takes to become a responsible, sensible person in later life . Kids have a lot to deal with, not only growing up and coming to terms with their identity, but also increasing levels of responsibility as the years pass on.

Filling your child’s head with knowledge is fantastic, and will surely help them in later life. But giving them guiding principles to live by through inspiration and demonstration is more valuable than anything you can tell your kids. So how do you kindle this burning fire of curiosity that children seem to so naturally emanate? Here is a list of 6 different methods you can use to not only teach your child or pupils positive life lessons, but to bond with them as well.

  1. Take an interest in them.

Kids are naturally attention hungry, especially from those they rely on. If you water them with this special ingredient of available openness, listen to what they’d like to achieve in life, and stimulate a few ideas based off of what they say, you can really open their mind from an incredibly young age.

For example, let’s say your daughter says she’d like to ride horses and play with ponies all day when she’s older. Perhaps you could suggest she’d like to be a vet, and help all animals who are poorly feel better! Or perhaps she’d like to open a sanctuary for horses and donkeys. Sit back and watch as her eyes widen with excitement. Keep this up and she’ll start believing she can do anything, which, of course is absolutely true.

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  1. Help them envision their future life.

Helping a child envision their future life is something that is immensely beneficial to opening up their horizons. Of course there’s no need to come to concrete answers, and this exercise should be fundamentally fun. However, sometimes it’s great to stimulate their imagination. For example, you could ask what sort of pets they’d like as an adult, what countries they’d like to visit, or you could go to a website like Pink Realty to give them an idea of the house he or she would like to throw family parties in one day.

  1. Show them the benefits of saving money.

Kids are impulsive, and most adults are too. It’s a good idea to show them, through subtle, unintrusive ways, the best way to manage money effectively. You don’t have to sit them down and teach them the finer methods of understanding balance sheets, but perhaps giving them a small allowance to earn (if old enough,) and letting them spend it once a month only will teach them the value of saving in order to acquire higher value items, or replacing items they didn’t think they lost. You can also tell them in a way that will make them proud of you how your savings have helped you pay for unexpected bills etc, and they will slowly (hopefully) start emulating your habits in their teenage and young adult years.

These three combined steps will not only help your child begin good habits in a way that will bring you closer together and give them a slight understanding of how you run your family, but they will desire to emulate you. Kids are impressionable, so make sure to use this to their advantage.

This will hopefully provide the correct attitude that will stop them making big mistakes in adulthood. You can be sure then that you’ve covered at least some of the bases your tough job of parenthood requires you to address.

Financial Life Lessons Every Parent Should Teach Their Children

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People say that knowledge is power, but what if you don’t posses the knowledge you need to succeed? The unfortunate answer is that you won’t succeed, at least not to the level that you desire. If that is a scary thought, it gets even scarier when you apply it to your children. Every parent wants their kids to lead a happy and prosperous life, so every parent needs to impart wisdom along the way. There are some things that they don’t teach at school, and that is where you step in and fill in the gaps. Finance is probably the best example, which is why you’ll find the best financial tips to teach your kids below.

Wait For The Right Moment

Kids are impulsive and want everything as soon as possible. Hell, there are a lot of adults that fit into that category too. But, there is a problem with this way of thinking: it leads you to make financial mistakes. Have you ever wondered why some people are in mountains of debt? The easy answer is that they have bitten off more than they can chew. Of course, everyone wants nice things like a car or a house, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of a family’s future. The sooner children learn they have to wait, the better the decisions they will make with in the future.

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Don’t Be Scared Of Big Decisions

The big decisions aren’t ones to fear; they are ones to cherish. The great thing about making big decisions is that they often have the biggest rewards. Take buying a house as an example. To buy one, most people need to take out a mortgage. Since the crash in 2008, the term mortgage isn’t one that fills people with trust. In fact, lots of people think that a mortgage is a bad idea. The truth is that a mortgage is essential as long as you understand it inside and out. Nowadays, that is a lot easier to do when you go online at CalMtg.com and other mortgage professionals. With the right amount of patience and confidence, your children’s finances will never be in doubt.

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Save, Save, And Save Some More

Okay, so it isn’t a great time to save especially now interest rates are lower than before. Still, there will come a time when they will rise, and your children will want to take advantage. Although spending is more fun, saving is the practical option. It is the financial tip that will ensure your kids will always have money for a rainy day. Excuse the cliché, but it is true. Parents can’t always bail their kids out when they are in too deep, and kids need to learn this important life lesson. Putting away a little every month is a great way to create a buffer, and if it doesn’t come in handy they can spend it on a holiday.

The above is only a small glimpse into the big bad world of finance. Even so, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way.

Learn It To Earn It! Money Management For All Ages

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It is astounding that with the amount of focus that we place on money, as a society, that money management is not taught in all schools. When we look back on our youth, we never thought of money as important at all. In my 30’s I look back at just ten years ago and didn’t view money as all that important! As the magical overdraft would help me get my cash from the machine and the credit card as free money. In hindsight, this was a bad attitude to have. As I now have mounting debt that I could do without. The pressure to do more grown up things becomes more apparent. Buying a house, planning a wedding, the increase in fuel costs. These are all things that are tagged with the notion of being an adult. The shock of money responsibility just seemed to be slammed down in front of you as soon as you left university or gained full-time employment. So is there a way to help bridge the gap between a child and adult when it comes to money management?

Toddlers
When it comes to teaching toddlers the value of money, the best approach is to use a visual stimulus. The typical method is to use a piggy bank, which is an excellent idea in theory, but the child can’t see the money amounting. So the fruits of their labors go unnoticed. Seeing a jar fill up with coins and talking to them about how much more they’ve got than yesterday is a nice way to reinforce the idea of saving.

Young Children (8 and over)
The best method for young children and tweens is to let them make decisions about their choices in terms of what to buy. For example, if they wanted two items but can only afford to buy one, they need to make the decision. If they are unhappy with the outcome, then they have made their bed and must lie in it.

They also need to learn at this age that money is earned, not just given out. A simple method of teaching this is to reward them for doing household chores. Based on the task, you can give them more or less money. That way, the concept of pay grades is also introduced.

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Teenagers
If you have been able to reinforce some of the previous values at certain stages of their life, then helping them get a bank account is the next logical step. Having their own bank account that they can withdraw money from and are solely responsible for will teach them how to manage their money. If your child hasn’t got a bank account yet, you can apply for new bank account here now. And, as a consequence, if they run out of financial resources, they would need to get a job. That marks their first foray into adulthood.

All ages have their own attitude towards money. So in teaching them the value of it on a level that they can understand, whether by visual stimulus or making sure they know the repercussions of overspending, it will go a long way to instilling the values and responsibility of money management.

The Last Gold Coin wins Children’s Book Award

The Last Gold Coin wins a Pinnacle Achievement AwardWe were delighted to hear that The Financial Fairy Tales: The Last Gold Coin has received a Pinnacle Book Award in the category of children’s interest.

The Last Gold Coin tells the story of a prince who inherits a once prosperous kingdom now in ruins. How did the people react once the gold ran out and who did they turn to for help? How does an act of kindness repay itself and what is the magic of the last gold coin?

Designed to teach children important messages around charity, saving and even compound interest – The Last Gold Coin is a fun and inspirational read for children up to the age of 12