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For Parents: Turn Summer into a Financial Teaching Game

 

For Parents: Turn Summer into a Financial Teaching Game

One of the best ways to save money in the summer is to get your kids involved. Instead of planning and budgeting all of your household’s income yourself or just with your spouse, why not try involving your kids?

Make a game out of it. The goal of the game is to save as much money as possible. Throughout this process, you’ll get to educate your kids financially using the real world as an example. Furthermore, you’ll almost definitely save money.

==> Getting Started

Start by explaining your family’s budget to your kids. Explain how you and your spouse make money, how much you pay in taxes and how much everyone in the house makes.

Then explain where all the money goes. Explain how much food costs, how much electricity costs, how much your rent / mortgage costs and so on.

When you’re presenting this information, it’s important that you present it in a way that entices the kids. Instead of approaching it like a lesson or as a series of facts, present it as a key part of growing up.

Most kids want to grow up. They want to be like the older kids or more like their parents. Learning about money is a great way for them to “grow up faster.” Approach the lesson like that and the kids will be thrilled to learn.

==> Ask Your Kids for Suggestions

Once your kids understand how the finances of the household work, ask them for suggestions. Ask them, “How can we save money?”

If your kids are engaged, they’ll probably start popping up ideas left and right. For example, they might suggest eating out less often. Or they might suggest sharing toys.

Whatever the case may be, always encourage your child throughout this process. Make him or her feel smart for their suggestions.

Write down their ideas, as well as your ideas on how to save money.

==> Have Them in Charge of Implementation

Finally, make your kids in charge of implementing this money-saving plan. In a sense, you’ll report to your kids. It’s a game, where “winning” is saving a certain amount of money. If your kids get into it, they’ll be vehement about making sure that money gets saved.

Set a time limit on the game. You might choose to only play for a couple weeks, or for the entire duration of summer.

Track the results and let your kids know how they’re doing. Are you on target? If so, talk about what worked and tell them to keep up the good work. If you’re not on target, talk about how you can save even more money.

Making finances into a game is a great way to both save money and educate your kids. Of course, your kids need to be at least old enough to understand basic math and the basic realities of money in order for this to work. If your kids are old enough, it can be a phenomenal experience for the whole family.

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