Remember the excitement of getting money for Christmas or your birthday and pocket money you’d worked hard for by helping wash the car or do the dishes? This excitement was quickly followed by gut-wrenching disappointment as our parents insisted we put it straight in the bank.BORING! While it may have instilled some great values on how to budget and save, it wasn’t any fun.Today there are plenty of fun ways to teach your child about money without resorting to hijacking a portion of their pocket money.
Play board games
Buy, sell and rent luxury properties and live like a millionaire. First person to reach a million wins (Toys R Us, $30). Also available in Monopoly Classic and Monopoly Electronic Banking.
The Game of Life
Will you take out a student loan or get a job? Will you become a millionaire or end up bankrupt? The Game of Life teaches kids how decisions can affect you financially (Fishpond.com.au, $48).
Electronic versions also available for iPad on iTunes and PlayStation 3.
Managing My Allowance
Use coins and bills to pay for purchases, work out how much change needs to be given, take advantage of sales and save for college. Player with the most money wins (Fishpond.com.au, $73).
Start a business venture
There are lots of businesses you can help your child start up to develop money-handling skills. Dog walking, pet-sitting, good old-fashioned lemonade stands, odd jobs and babysitting are all good ideas. You could even make fudge and sell it door-to-door, or make arts and crafts you can sell at the local markets.
Have a garage sale
It’s a great way to declutter your house from all the unwanted junk. Let your child help price the goods for sale and handle the transactions.
Go grocery shopping
Work out a lunch and dinner menu before you do your weekly shopping with your child. Write down a list of everything you will need and work out a budget. Once you’re at the supermarket, give your child responsibility for choosing each item and keeping to budget. Of course, you’ll be close at hand to offer advice and ensure they don’t just head straight for the confectionary aisle. It’s best to do this when you’re not in a rush.
Start a coin jar
Encourage your child to add any spare change to a big jar. Have fun watching it grow a little each week. When the jar is full have a guessing competition as to the total amount. Let your child help count up the coins and help choose something to buy which the whole family can enjoy. Alternatively you can use a piggy bank.