One of the greatest joys I have had as a parent is watching my kids grow up to be financially responsible. If you’d like ideas for easy ways to teach kids about money, I have a wonderful resource to share with you.
T. Rowe Price has developed a free 30-day calendar of family activities designed to teach kids good financial habits. I have been completing these activities this month with my youngest son. It has been a lot of fun doing the different activities with him, and he has learned a lot in the process.
Here’s what we’ve done:
1. We created a back-to-school budget. First we listed the things that we needed to purchase for school. Then we estimated how much each of the items will cost. We used the estimated prices to create a budget for back to school shopping. Once we finished shopping, we used our receipt from the store and compared the actual cost to our estimated cost.
It was cute because my son overestimated the cost on just about every item, so our budget was much higher than we actually spent. When we went shopping, we looked for the best price on each item, and came in way under budget. He was thrilled!
2. We organized a blind taste test. We went to Walmart and purchased name brand items, as well as an equivalent store brand item. We then did a blind taste test to see if we could tell the difference between the 2. We tested potato chips, fruit snacks, apple juice, yogurt, soda, and cereal.
Our result? The name brand soda won out over the generic. That’s probably my fault for spoiling my kids. 🙂 With all the other items, my son didn’t have a preference. When we compared the cost of the name brand vs. store brand it was very clear that it isn’t necessary to spend extra money on name brand items!
3. We compared the cost of dining out versus cooking at home. The task was to cook a favorite dinner at home and keep track of the approximate cost. Then we used an online menu to calculate how much it would have cost to dine out.
My son is gluten free and so his choice for the dinner was a gluten free pizza with extra cheese. We spent $6.50 on ingredients and that made 2 small gluten free pizzas. If we were to go to Domino’s and order their 10″ gluten free pizza with extra cheese, it would have cost $11.99. Cooking at home is a bit more work, but definitely saves money!
If you’d like more ideas for teaching your kids about money, I highly recommend the website Money Confident Kids. They have some really great resources for parents and educators for teaching kids financial responsibility. They also have fun games and activities for the kids.
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