5 fun ways to teach your kids about money

If you want your kids to learn the value of money, why not do it in an education way that they will enjoy? Here are our top 5 fun ways to teach your kids the importance of understanding how money works.

Play the “YUM” shop game!

You will need:

  • food and toy items your kids love e.g. lollies, biscuits, Lego, gum.
  • $30 worth of coins. (5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2)
  • Paper, scissors and pen

Put out a selection of your child’s favorite food and toy items and give them $15 to spend. Cut the paper into individual squares and write different prices on each (baring in mind they only have $15.) Devise different games to play such as:

  • They can spend all their money (helps them to add up)
  • They can only spend a certain amount (restricting wants)
  • They can only buy a certain number of items
  • Swap roles and let them be the shop keeper who must give change

  At the end of the game, you decide what items they can keep depending on how well they added up and understood the value of their money!

Act as a Business Owner!

You will need:

  • either seeds/gardening equip/or food/drink ingredients
  • Good neighbours/family/friends to support

Ask your child what business they would like to run. It could be a gardening one where they will sell potted flowers or herbs, or a food/drink one where they can sell biscuits/home made lemonade etc. Explain they will need to decide how much they will sell each item for, get commitment from buyers to know how much to make and finally, make the item! There are a number of lessons they will learn such as:

  • What profit they will make at the end
  • Ways of increasing their profits (more customers/ higher costs)
  • How much hard work is needed to earn money!

 

Electricity Bill Game

You will need:

  • Your electricity bill

Explain to your child about how electricity costs money and show them your bill that says how much it costs you every day. If they enjoy playing on the computer, work out roughly how much of that daily cost is theirs and say for the next week they need to earn credits equal to that amount. For example they can either:

  • Go around turning lights off
  • Do chores
  • Turn off power points at the switch
  • Work out other ways of saving electricity

Make sure you follow up to show them the next electricity bill to maintain their understanding that things continue to cost money!

Play the Thrifty Shopper Game

You will need:

  • Newspapers/food shopping catalogues
  • Shopping list
  • Paper and pen

  Give your child a short shopping list and ask them to go through the catalogues/newspaper to find the best deals on those items. They will need to write down the amount they are saving each time, and as a reward they will receive that amount of money they were able to save! You could even give them a target of saving a certain amount, or by choosing their own items rather than having a shopping list. Great for adding up and understanding how much things cost!

The Bank Manager Game

You will need:

  • $30 worth of coins/notes
  • ATM or similar looking card
  • Shop items

This time your child is a bank manager and a shop owner. Explain to them how an ATM card is just a way of accessing your cash without actually seeing it. Say that you have $30 in the bank (give them the $30 cash to hold in a box as they are the bank manager.) Now go shopping at their shop and use the ATM card to pretend pay for a few items. What you want to teach them is how, even though the ATM card is being used, that the money needs to leave the bank and be given to the shop owner. Make sure they physically hand over the cash from the Bank to the shop, so they understand what happens when all the money has gone from the bank – NO MORE SHOPPING!!!  

These simple but effective games really reinforce some basic money lessons to children, so be as creative as you can! Remember, kids that learn about money at a young age will grow into adults who appreciate the value of money and tend to be more confident in managing their own finances.  

Now that you've taught your kids some money tips, how are you with managing money? Do you use credit cards? Australia currently has one of the highest rates of credit card usage, and they are a hard debt to clear. Why not read our article about the benefits of taking out a loan instead of a credit card? You may just want to consider one of our loans to help!

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