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#215413 - 11/11/11 05:26 PM Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3634
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
to learn..though budgeting is not necessarily fun in real life. grin But not that painful if one has the right attitude.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1085422--from-jokes-to-jersey-shore-how-to-make-finance-fun It's great that there are some innovative programs to make financial literacy more meaningful to kids. If there's some harmless fun, jokes, I'm all for it to get kids motivated to use their money more wisely.

How did you become more financially literate? Handling your budget, assets, etc.


Edited by orchid (11/12/11 09:59 AM)
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#215417 - 11/11/11 06:56 PM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: orchid]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: Illinois
That's a great article, Orchid! Thanks for sharing.

As for my answer to your excellent question about how I became more financially literate - my parents tried to start me out young with a small allowance. I had to save part of it, give part of it to church each week, and I could spend part of it...

Then when I was 12 or so, I started baby-sitting, and earning money on my own, in order to buy my own clothes, records, etc.

By 16 I had a job in a boutique, which made me more than babysitting, but still not much more than minimum wage.

I also had my own checking account, and had to keep it solvent. My parents took me to the bank to open the account, and the bank president told them that they would ultimately be responsible for my account.

My Dad, however, took me aside at home and told me he WOULD NOT bail me out if I overdrew the account, so not to do that. He kept his word. He did not bail me out, but the amounts i accidentally overdrew were small... Though the embarrassment was big. And a learning tool.

My parents did this because my mother had no idea how to manage her household accounts when they first got married. She ended up taking "home management" classes from the Home Ec college, in order to learn how to manage her accounts. And I know she wished she had known how to manage her money before she got married... Which is why they consciously tried to make sure all of us kids got hands on money management experiences when we were young.

Most of their efforts were hands on and practical: they gave us small allowances starting young, and then had us get jobs and use this money we earned to buy clothes, family Christmas and birthday presents, etc.

As a result, I quickly recognized how hard I had to work to earn these things.

My sibs and I all had jobs all through high school and college. In college, my parents paid for our tuition and books at a local college - actually we all attended a Big 10 School, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but it was local to us.

But my parents did not for housing, cars or spending money. They said we could live free at home and take the bus to school.

I wanted to live on campus, so I had to earn the money to do that. I also wanted to join a sorority so as to have a way to spend time away from living at home, so there were additional costs I had to fund personally. I lucked out on the car, and bought an old one from my grandfather for VERY CHEAP. But then I had to buy my own car insurance, gas, tires, etc.,

I would say that I learned money management by the "school of hard knocks," but I started out early and with small amounts of money. So my first mistakes were not of the "can't pay the mortgage variety."

I am not a financial whiz, by any means. I did not study finance in college, though my brother did - he has an MBA with an emphasis in finance.

I thought my parents' financial teachings worked fine for me, so I employed the same plan with my kids.

I was both delighted and sobered when our daughter told us - as a college sophomore, when she moved into an apartment with roommates -- that she was the only one of her housemates who had EVER been to the grocery store, and had any idea how to shop...

Apparently too many parents these days DO NOT train their kids to manage money.

So based on those experiences, I am all for the training the teacher in your article is giving his kids. Kids love to learn from experiential games. fun and learning SHOULD go together whenever possible, IMHO.

(We DID have a teacher in high school who had his students learn about the stock market by pretending to buy and manage a stock portfolio and I recall that this was a very popular segment.)

And I think the Junior Achievement program in the US (is it also in Canada?) helps a lot of kids learn how to run a business.

I'd love to hear more stories on this topic from others here in the forum! Money management is a crucial topic.

(Sadly, when my grandfather died at 75, my parents learned that my grandmother had no idea how to write a check or manage her budget.

She had always just paid cash, charged stuff or run accounts at the butcher, etc., and let my grandfather worry about paying for it. Trying to learn how to manage money at THAT AGE is waaay to late!!)

Anne


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#215419 - 11/11/11 07:50 PM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: Anne Holmes]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2339
Loc: Arizona
My parents didn't teach me anything about money management. I learned the hard way how to budget etc. I tried to teach my kids how to budget etc., and I think it worked. I remember that they used to think that if there were checks in the checkbook, that meant there was money in the bank! My mom never learned how to write a check - she operated somewhat like your grandmother. Except Dad gave her an allowance ever week for household expenses like groceries and stuff. Thank goodness she moved here after my dad died or there's no telling what kind of financial mess she would have been in.
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#215420 - 11/11/11 11:32 PM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: yonuh]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: Illinois
Yonuh,

You bring back memories with your comment about thinking there's money in the account, as long as there are checks in the checkbook. I remember a similar incident with my son - he was about 3 and I was just divorced, and he wanted me to buy him something frivolous. i don't recall what it was.

But I told him I didn't have any money, so his wish would have to wait. He said, "What do you mean, Mommy? Just go to the ATM and get some more..." Aah, if it were only that easy!! LOL.

Now that he's 30, I should remind him of that story someday. He'll probably refuse to believe it ever happened.

Oh, and you're right. I'm sure my Grandfather also gave my Grandmother an allowance. They were quite comfortable, financially.

He was a doctor and they always had a live-in maid as long as my mother was young enough to be living at home. (Later on, they reduced down to having a cleaning lady who came in about three days a week. She came by bus and did all the housekeeping, so my grandmother had time to play bridge, lunch with her lady friends, indulge in her hobbies, and shop.)

I used to love to go to lunch with her at the tea shoppe of one of the local department stores. Fun memories of a totally different time!
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#215422 - 11/12/11 10:03 AM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9413
Loc: New York State
If I had it to do over again, I would've done a better job in this area of teaching. I think the cost of living has quadrupled and then some since my son was little.
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#215423 - 11/12/11 10:48 AM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: jabber]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3634
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
Quote:
I was both delighted and sobered when our daughter told us - as a college sophomore, when she moved into an apartment with roommates -- that she was the only one of her housemates who had EVER been to the grocery store, and had any idea how to shop...


I've always wondered when I see adults, not with their teenage children in grocery stores. Pretty shocking, Anne. That's one of the things how I did learn about grocery shopping..was following my mother around, bored most of the time. I had to help her carry groceries, etc.


When we were young teens we did point out grocery specials in the newspaper for our mother.


Edited by orchid (11/12/11 09:01 PM)
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#215429 - 11/12/11 07:16 PM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: orchid]
Sandy N. Offline


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 200
Loc: Washington State
Anne, your parents did you a tremendous favor by teaching you fiscal responsibility, starting at an early age. We taught our son to respect money -- not for itself but for what it represented. After all, my husband and I had to work for our income so it represented the time and effort we'd devoted to earning it. I think some people don't look at money that way.
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#215430 - 11/13/11 12:12 AM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: Sandy N.]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: Illinois

Quote:
We taught our son to respect money -- not for itself but for what it represented.


That's a good plan, Sandy. And I don't think it is always easy to teach.

I come from a long line of self-employed people, Sandy, so I think that makes it easier to "get" the lesson you gave your son.

My maternal great-great grandfather owned a brewery in Madison, Wisconsin. (Don't know anything about my great-great on my Dad's side, that man never left Norway.)

Both of my grandfathers were self-employed -- my paternal grandfather was a painting contractor, and my maternal grandfather, of course, I already mentioned was a doctor.

My Dad is an engineer, and when I was really little he worked for others, but when I was in junior high he started his own consulting business. He still consults some now, even at 81, because he has clients who just won't let him retire. (Plus, I think he enjoys "keeping a hand" in the working world... )

So all of my life I have had living examples of people who worked for their income... It's a great lesson. Taught me that I could have anything I wanted, as long as I was willing to work for it.

Anne
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#215431 - 11/13/11 09:56 AM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9413
Loc: New York State
Anne,
My adoptive parents owned their own business, a dairy farm and milk delivery routes. They were frugal people. I could be better than I am. But thank God WB is a very good money manager.
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Embrace Life with Passion!
Everything loses its flavor without God!
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#215436 - 11/13/11 10:33 AM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: jabber]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2339
Loc: Arizona
I think the "earning" of money is the important part. Too often, kids are just given what they want and they have no concept of having to earn what they want. It's like the parents who bail out their kids every time, so the kids never learn personal responsibility.
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#215438 - 11/13/11 04:40 PM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: yonuh]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2685
Loc: Illinois
I agree with you on the importance of earning your own money, Yonuh. Thinking about that reminded me of another important thing my parents did with the goal of training us kids on the value of money. It was so effective, I used it with my kids. too.

This was the concept of my parents agreeing to pay for HALF of something that I dearly wanted, and I had to come up with the rest of the money.

As an example, when I was a junior in high school, my French class (we were all 4th year students) decided that we wanted to participate in one of those "student summer abroad" programs.

I don't recall what the "investment fee" was, but it was probably around $750 all told, for the six week program, including classes, food and bus travel once we got there; plus the airfare to and fro. This did not include, of course, any money we wanted to spend on presents for family, or stuff we wanted for ourselves.

There were about 30 kids in our class, and we started planning for the trip a year before we actually went.

I believe most of my classmates had their fees paid by their parents, though maybe grandparents chipped in, too. MY parents said they would pay for HALF of the trip cost - and that I'd have to come up with the remainder - plus any spending money - by saving any gift money I received during the year, as well as saving the money I earned from working in a department store doing alterations.

(I got paid slightly more than minimum wage, but in 1969, minimum wage was $1.30/hour.

So my goal was to come up with $375, plus my spending money. It was a LOT of work, and I think my grandparents were extra generous with their gifts to me that year. But in the end, I managed to come up with the required funds, plus about $150 for spending money.

And the trip is seared in my brain to this day. Most likely because I had such a personal stake in it.

Oh, in all honesty, I need to add this was a real learning experience, as I spent MOST of the spending money during the first five days, while we were in London and Paris -- before we even got to the University of Grenoble, where we studied.

This was a mistake, because the food at the dorm was AWFUL - once we experienced it we ended up eating cold cereal in our dorm rooms, or going out to eat.

I know all kids complain about dorm food -- but this was more than awful: They served us stuff like tripe, which we had never even heard of at home -- and I recall biting into an apple and seeing half a wiggling worm in the reminder of the apple.

I got very sick while I was there, and was afraid to go to the doctor. This was a blessing in disguise with regard to my finances, as I wrote home about it -- and my grandfather, the doctor, sent me a cashier's check for $200. Beyond that, the lack of funds triggered my entrepreneurial spirit.

I made money off my fellow students by buying Coca Cola in liter bottles at a department store in town, and selling it to my classmates (not just my friends from home, but also OTHER American students who were also studying in the same program) at times when they were thirsty. (Like on a train to Rome, or at the beach in Italy.)

So these experiences were A LOT like those experienced by the students in article Orchid provided to start this conversation. But mine were real and practical, though not necessarily fun - and they stick with me to this day!
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#215441 - 11/14/11 10:47 AM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9413
Loc: New York State
Anne,
I know what you mean about going to other lands and trying to eat food you're not used to eating. I went on a crash diet in both the Bahamas and Italy.
_________________________
Embrace Life with Passion!
Everything loses its flavor without God!
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#215448 - 11/14/11 08:17 PM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: jabber]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3634
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
When we became early teenagers, parents made it clear they couldn't really support much for teen fashion.

So 5 of us (all girls) learned how to sew our own clothing from scratch, with Mom mentoring us...or fixing big/serious mistakes. My brother sometimes helped my parents fix minor stuff when he got older.

At times, parents supplied the fabric since my mother had boxes of material and sewing notions/buttons. Or when we had part-time jobs, we bought our own fabric.




Edited by orchid (11/14/11 08:17 PM)
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#215453 - 11/15/11 07:00 AM Re: Teaching kids financial literacy-be practical, fun [Re: orchid]
Mountain Ash Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 3023
I also was taught to sew...and shared patterns with others.It was never out of date fashion and fitted well.No one ever wore jeans then and shift dresses and drindle skirts were popular.
most magazines had [patterns which we send for and were fashionable.

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