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16 Fun And Inspirational Ways To Teach Kids About Money

16 Fun And Inspirational Ways To Teach Kids About Money

Being a parent, I find kids are very clued in on what they want, and do not seem the slightest bit concerned that it will involve a monetary cost! What I find even more amusing, is that they have no problem spending our or anyone elses money, but ask them to dig into their savings and I am met with highly indignant faces! Oh yes, before they decide to spend their money, there is deep thought and analysis before a decision is made, and of course the guilt trip I am put on for even suggesting they pay for it themselves, never ceases to amaze me!

Yes, I am a parent who tries to teach my kids about money, but finding fun and inspirational ways to do so, is not always easy, especiallly when dealing with different age groups of kids.

Here are some examples of ways you can teach kids about money.

1. Calculator

Give them a calculator while out shopping, so they can key in the item value and keep you informed of costs on an ongoing basis. Comment on some items so they know what is cheap and what is expensive!

2. Allowances

If you aren’t doing it, just try giving allowances for a few weeks, different allowances for different age groups. Be clear to them that they will get no other money for anything until such a date, so they are in charge of the money they are given. Try giving different amounts starting small and see what their spending pattern is like. See if they spend it all in one go, if spend it on junk food, treats, small toys, books etc. This will give you a baseline to work with. When you have this you will know what areas you need to work with for your child. Of course young children will struggle with this so only use it for kids who understand time and can handle some level of responsibility.

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3. Shopping

Take them shopping with you and ask them to take notice of the prices of different items of the same type. For example how branding, quality, weight, discounts etc work.  Ask them why they think one is cheaper, more expensive, etc just to increase their awareness of cost. Kids get so bored out shopping so keep them involved. It is a great way to learn.

4. Challenges

Set them challenges to work individually or as a team to buy something and come back with the most money. Of couse you will also need to explain about value to them so do this after they understand the concept of shopping covered in the previous point.

5. Coin Game

Play a coin game with them where they need to work out how many small coins equals one bigger one etc. For smaller kids they may need a reminder chart which you can simply be drawn out. This way they will understand that its not just the number of coins that matters but how much each coin is valued at.

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    6. Observe transactions

    Ask them to observe you paying for something and how the transaction goes. whether it is card, cheque or cash transaction. Let them see how each transaction happens. Teach them that money is a form of exchange for a goods or service! Explain the difference to them with examples.

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    7. Banking Experience

    Take them to a bank and show them how it works. Kids love mystery and stories. Explain where the money goes, that is the money that goes back to the bank and the money that comes out from the bank.

    8. Take them to an ATM

    I find this always amuses me, as my kids think its magic that a card just gives me what ever money I ask for. I show them that this really comes from my savings or from a loan but that every time I use the card to take money out what I have left, gets lower and lower.

    9. Brainstorming

    Ask them to think of ways to save more money and get more money. No matter how whacky their ideas may seem, they are thinking it through and that is good. Write down their ideas and try to keep adding to the list. You never know if you may come across a marvelous money saving or money forming idea!

    10. Observation Field Trip

    Take them shopping or simply on a car journey through a commercial area and ask them to look around them and see different ways people are spending money, and on what they are spending, whether it’s gas at the station, taking money from an ATM, carrying packages or groceries, or whether they are doing a task where they will get a monetary payment in return.

    11. Online job chart

    Give them a jobs list at home and allocate different monetary values for different tasks. Be sure to have a value of zero for some tasks which they need to do as part of the normal contribution to the household. This also teches kids about value..

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    12. Money Bingo

    Play money bingo where they need to work out how many coins match a number on a box and who ever gets the most right wins. For this to work they will need to add up the correct number of coins and stack them on each number. Of course you will need large boxes and plenty of space.

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      13. Coin Groupings

      Gather all small coins and ask kids to separate them into the same groups. Ask them to write down how many coins are in each group.  Then involve them in trades to try to get lots of coin mixes of different coins going. The trades need to be for the same monetary value.

      14. Allocation Jars

      Give kids three jars and ask them to label and decorate them as they wish. They should be labeled Spend, Save and Give. As a parent you can either decide what amount of money they have goes into each or encourage your child to think about it and then come to an agreement with them over the distribution of the money. Discuss with them also what each jar represent and what will happen to the money in each jar. Kids love seeing things build up and love to shake the jar or take money out and re-count again. Physically seeing their money will give them a greater awareness of money and how it can be used.

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        15. Coin Rubbing and Tracing

        Do coin rubbing and tracing shapes of different coins. For notes, ask the kids to find as many differences as they can see between the notes. This will increase their power of observation!

        16. World currency

        Encourage them to collect money from around the world and to look up the value of each currency. This is great to let them know about money on a global scale. Open n online converter and show them how to do their own conversions! It will definitely make them think!

        “The easiest way to teach children the value of money is to borrow some from them” – Unknown

        Photocredits: Pinerest-Moneysavingmom, Freehomeschooldeals, Creeksidelearning.

        Featured photo credit: How To Teach Kids Money Skills, by Carissa Rogers, Flikr via flickr.com

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        Published on January 17, 2020

        How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

        How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

        Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

        If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

        My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

        So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

        Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

        1. Meal Plan

        You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

        If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

        Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

        Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

        2. Cook in Bulk

        Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

        Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

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        That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

        3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

        The science behind this is 2-fold.

        Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

        Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

        4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

        I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

        Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

        Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

        What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

        5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

        We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

        We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

        Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

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        Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

        6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

        Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

        Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

        7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

        I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

        Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

        The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

        While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

        8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

        The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

        Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

        If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

        9. Try Acai Bowls

        Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

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        You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

        Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

        10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

        Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

        Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

        11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

        A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

        I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

        12. Buy Cheap Online

        Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

        Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

        13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

        One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

        Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

        1. Strawberries
        2. Spinach
        3. Kale
        4. Nectarines
        5. Apples
        6. Grapes
        7. Peaches
        8. Cherries
        9. Pears
        10. Tomatoes
        11. Celery
        12. Potatoes

        14. Pay Attention to Storage

        Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

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        Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

        15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

        Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

        Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

        16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

        I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

        Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

        17. Use Budget App

        There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

        My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

        18. Use What you Have

        Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

        19. Enjoy the Process!

        Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

        Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

        Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

        Reference

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