When teaching kids about money, especially as they reach the ages of 12 to early 20s, it can feel more and more like swimming upstream. Commercial media bombards youth with pretty much the opposite of financial wisdom. Because huge corporate energy lies behind negative financial teachings, parents and teachers need group energy – a village – the strength of community, to contribute to positive ways of teaching kids about money.
Teaching money management to kids can draw out incredible talent
One teacher created a high school accredited money-teaching course where students
literally create their own money-earning businesses. One of her "slow"
kids was discovered to be a gifted math student because of this course.
Youth and their parents often don’t even know what they’re missing
Most schools don’t teach about the financial magic of
Therefore, financial struggles, never-ending searches for better careers, financially dependent grown children, and falling for get-rich-quick schemes lie coiled up in the future, waiting to strike.
Wonderful ways to create a village for teaching kids about money
Host weekly money game nights
Family or teen board game nights are already popular. There are a number of new and old stand-by money games you can use to turn an after school or game night into a way of teaching kids about money.
One is Cash Flow 101 (which we’ve tested on older teens through adults -- not as available as it used to be, but there are still sources), and Cash Flow for Kids for younger people. These games teach how to get out of the rat race, the value of delayed gratification, the problem of buying instant gratification “doodads,” and the goodness of charity.
If the Cash Flow concept is new to you, you may want to start with Cash Flow for Kids even if players are in their older teens and adults. I know of grandparents who play the kids’ version with their grandkids and they themselves learn from it. (The links to games on this page open a new window to our Amazon affiliate.)
The regular 101 version is long and detailed. Both games are an investment compared to the price of other board games. But if you dedicate to playing it regularly, and turn it into an evening with a mid-game intermission, snacks, and camaraderie, older teen and young adult players usually end up with a very good feeling after each game is over, as though they’re discovering something about money (and themselves) that will empower them.
Other games for teaching kids about money: Monopoly has evolved. It now comes in versions for specific USA cities, as well as a World version with electronic banking, green energy and trips to cities around the world. Not as deep or complex as Cash Flow, but ages 8 to adult still learn to think ahead about money and delay gratification.
There are also some other stand-bys: Game of Life, PayDay, Moneywise Kids, and Easy Money.
Set up your own group long-term savings goal:
A long-term group goal to save money for is a very effective method for parents, church youth groups or schools to use for teaching kids about money. While individual youth can do this on their own, it’s a great classroom or group activity. The energy of others keeping at it when you’re tempted to waste money on pop and chips is very powerful.
I have seen kids suddenly start saving money in unique ways such as asking parents to literally hide their savings to they won’t be tempted to waste it away.
The money goal needs to be something they truly desire, and not something they feel they’re “entitled” to anyway (difficult in a world where pop media re-enforces that kids are entitled to it all without earning or giving anything back).
Avoid goals where “all the other kids’ parents are paying for it,” to start, and look for an individual group goal that doesn’t involve your groups’ social circle. Perhaps attending a summer horse camp together, attending a professional sports game for teen sports teams, going on an unusual field trip, or buying a large group tent to spend the summer trading yards for backyard camping.
If you do this for more than one
goal, you may not have to be as concerned about false entitlement
feelings down the road. Youth usually eventually love the empowerment
that comes from earning their own way so much, they may eventually
actually want to save for something other kids have given to them.
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