Rewind: Why You Should Give Your Kids Monopoly for Christmas

Posted on 08. Dec, 2006 by in Saving & Investing

I thought this post from last year would be appropriate again for this holiday season. Enjoy!

It appears as though some of the hottest children toys this Christmas teach children about money and finances. As parents realize that understanding finances is an invaluable life skill they are beginning to teach their children – at a young age – about budgeting, saving, and investing. Inspired by this new trend I found the following practical strategies for teaching your children about money from the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Even if Monopoly hasn’t made it onto your Christmas shopping list you can still begin to teach your children about money this holiday season. Here are hands-on activities you can use to make sure the children in your life are at the head of the class when it comes to handling their finances. And with any luck, our children will become better investors then we are.
Monopoly
Start out young
Toddlers and very young children can understand basic financial concepts like money recognition, spending, and saving. Parents can show their children various coins and explain the value of each currency. Toddlers can begin learning to save by regularly setting aside money in a piggy bank. Even a game of pretend grocery shopping can help small children understand that it takes money to purchase goods and services.

Allowances, savings accounts and ATM cards
Once children are in elementary school, parents can expose children to more complex financial concepts like budgeting, financial goal-setting, and borrowing money. If financial circumstances permit, parents can provide their children with a weekly allowance.

Receiving a weekly allowance will help children set financial goals, like saving up to buy a new toy, and give them the means to accomplish these goals. You can teach them the 80-10-10 rule and encourage children to save 10 percent of their allowance, give 10 percent to charity, and spend the other 80 percent.

This is also a good time to open a child�s first savings account. Many banks and credit unions offer child-friendly accounts with no minimum balance and low fees. Encourage them to save regularly, even if it�s only a few pennies. By doing so, you�re building the savings habit. It�s a habit that will serve them well as they become adults.

Elementary school children are the right age to begin a discussion of credit and ATM cards. Children see credit cards used regularly for transactions, and it�s important for them to understand how credit works and know that ATM cards withdraw cash directly from a checking or savings account.

Teaching about investing
Parents of middle school and junior high students can teach them basic investing concepts like compound interest. Consider giving your child a pre-paid credit card and explain to them how to use credit wisely. This is an opportunity to explain how compound interest works for you when your money is invested properly and how it works against you when you are charged interest on your credit card balances each month.
Monopoly Logo
High school graduation is looming
By the time students enter high school, they should understand how to earn, save, and spend money responsibly. Students can open a checking account and learn how to balance a checkbook.

High school students also are capable of understanding how investing differs from savings. Use examples to show how you might �save� for a short-term goal, such as buying a video game, and �invest� for long-term objectives, like college tuition. Cover the basics, including the importance of diversification, liquidity, and the correlation between risk and reward.

Make sure that high school students, college-bound graduates in particular, understand the dangers of credit cards and know how to use credit cards responsibly.

Getting a first paycheck can be a puzzling experience for a student holding a part-time job. They are not accustomed to reading a paycheck and are often surprised about the amount of money withheld for taxes. Parents can take the opportunity to review the paycheck with the student and explain how the taxes collected are used to build roads, provide police and fire department services, and fund other government programs and services. This also may be a good time to talk with students about filing a tax return for the first time.

More information
Parents and children can visit the Texas Society of CPAs� consumer Web site, www.ValueYourMoney.org, and find additional money management information. Americans rightfully focus much of our attention on making sure children excel at core academic subjects like reading and math. But the financial world is only going to grow more complex, and adults can�t forget about teaching children the basic financial truths they need to know.

2 Responses to “Rewind: Why You Should Give Your Kids Monopoly for Christmas”

  1. Dave

    08. Dec, 2006

    Monopoly is fun but I think an interactive Roboreptile would be even better. It has over 40 preprogrammed commands, a sight, sound, and touch sensor and is tons of fun. It’s like having your own pet. I love mine! Check him out http://www.myroboreptile.com

  2. tax payment

    27. Dec, 2006

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