Today I am please to have the lovely Shannon from The Heavy Purse over to talk about money activities for kids. Having worked from a young age, I am all for teaching kids the value of money and giving them as many work opportunities as possible. That is a job Shannon is doing handsomely with her two girls, and she even wrote a book to help you do the same at home. Let me know if you would like to guest post on RFI.
Pauline is someone I have long admired for her ability to find non-traditional ways to earn money that gives her the freedom to do the things she loves. I want my girls to look at money with the same curiosity, rather than fear, and to learn how to use it to their advantage as well. For me, that means getting them very comfortable with handling money and making good decisions with it.
I’ve been a Certified Financial Planner for more than 20 years and it surprises me how many people lack financial confidence. This is often a result of money being a taboo topic in most homes, so kids learn how to handle money by trial and error. It’s time to break the cycle and here are few money activities to get you started.
Ages 3-6: Set a Family Share Goal
My youngest did not want to share money initially, which is actually pretty common. Because sharing is a core family value in our home, I needed to find a way for Taylor to embrace sharing without making her resent it. We set a family share goal and chose a local animal shelter because we knew how much our girls loved animals. Taylor was thrilled when she found out how the money would be used when she hand-delivered our donation. Now Taylor loves to share.
I recommend setting family share goals when your children are very young. Make the goal tangible where you can either physically donate the money (as we did) or volunteer to support a cause. This way your kids can experience how good sharing feels. As an added bonus, helping your kids develop a sharing mindset is one of the best defenses against creating entitled kids.
Ages 6-9: The Grocery Store Game
Grocery stores offer many wonderful teachable moments. Invite your kids into the kitchen with you to help plan your weekly meals. Explain how meal planning can minimize waste and help you spend less. Give your kids your weekly grocery budget and have them look for coupons to increase savings. Set aside the saved money and do something fun with it at the end of the month. Now they understand how budgeting, meal planning and comparison shopping can free up more money to do other things.
Ages 9-12: Build a Hypothetical Stock Portfolio
Investing intimidates many adults, which is why we need to remove the fear now, so they feel confident when it is time to start investing for real. Start with some basic investment terms and concepts, such as risk tolerance, stocks, bonds, buy, hold, sell, etc. Next build a hypothetical portfolio of companies they know, such as Mattel or Disney, and begin following their stock prices. Now you’ll have a chance to experience market volatility as you watch your imaginary earnings increase and decrease and determine when to buy or sell and see the consequences of doing so.
Ages 12-18: Manage Their Clothing Budget
Clothes tend to become increasingly important to teens, so they will likely be receptive to the idea of owning their clothing budget. Clearly outline the budget, how the money will be dispersed (lump sum, monthly or quarterly) and whether you will still provide the basics, such as a coat, scarf, gloves, etc. Help them figure out how to stretch their budget to cover wants and needs and weigh the outcomes of their choices. Most importantly, let them make mistakes and figure out solutions.
Making Money Conversations Fun and Easy
Financial literacy is my passion, and it is easy for me to talk to my girls about money, but I know it’s a struggle for some parents. One easy and fun way to help you start these important conversations and shape how your kids think about money is through my children’s picture books. I’m pleased to offer Making Sense of Cents readers an exclusive coupon code TOUR3114 for $3.00 off my new book, The Lemonade Stand. Join Lauren and Taylor in their continuing money adventures as they teach their friends, Ryan and Christopher, how easy it is to save, spend and share.
About the Author: Shannon Ryan is a Certified Financial Planner and a Mom on a mission to help busy parents teach their children simple, value-based principles that guide their money decisions and support their long-term financial well-being.
The Lemonade Stand – iPad Mini Giveaway
July 14-31, 2014
Sponsored by The Heavy Purse
Co-hosted by Are Ya Gonna Eat That, Broke Millennial, Budget and The Beach, Budget Blonde, Budgeting for More, Busy Mom Budgets, Cash Cow Couple, Cents and Sensibility, Club Thrifty, Color Me Frugal, Debt Debs, Debt Roundup, Disease Called Debt, Eat Laugh Purr, Enemy of Debt, Eyes on the Dollar, Femme Frugality, Financially Blonde, Frugal Rules, Living Richly Cheaply, Luke 1428, Making Sense of Cents, Money Saving Dude, Monster Piggy Bank, Not Now Mom’s Busy, Reach Financial Independence, Shoeaholic No More, Stacking Benjamins, Tackling Our Debt, The Broke and Beautiful Life, The Finance Girl, The Frugal Farmer, The Random Path, Thrifty Dad, VeegMama, and Young Adult Money.
We’re Giving Away an iPad Mini to One Lucky Reader!
Help us celebrate the release of The Lemonade Stand and join Shannon in her mission to increase financial literacy in both children and adults.
“Everyone handles money. Unfortunately, not everyone does it with confidence. Money has long been a taboo topic in many homes, which makes it even harder for parents to know where to start or what to teach. So I created a series of children books to help parents ease into these important conversations. Financial literacy is one of the most loving gifts you can give your children, and I encourage you to make money conversations a priority in your home.”
The giveaway runs from July 14-31, 2014 and is open worldwide.*
* A winner located outside of the United States will receive a cash equivalent prize via PayPal.
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
Wow, I didn’t think about a hypothetical stock portfolio until I was in my 20s- and by then I needed to be in the REAL market. I guess it’s best to start young!
Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says
It’s something I’m working on with Lauren right now and it’s really a lot of fun. What I really love is that she doesn’t seem very intimidated by it. There are things that confuse her, but she is curious more than afraid. And that’s another reason why I think it’s important to start young. Sadly we seem to become more fearful as we age, but it’s my hope that through doing this and seeing both big gains and losses, she won’t be scared to invest when she is on her own.
Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says
Thanks Pauline for your support! I truly appreciate it. And you are definitely proof that learning about money when you are young can lead to great things as an adult!
My pleasure Shannon, thank you for a great post.
Grocery store game is fun and easy to do. Kids love to play store! I never even thought about the hypothetical stock game. Some high schools do this in courses or have investment clubs on this.
We teach our children about saving money, finding the best deals. We often look through sale ads for weekly grocery items together.