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Additional Learning 


More ways to engage in the classroom or home

Find more ways to spark conversations with kids on money matters and investing, while keeping it fun and easy for everyone.

Building Wealth: Opportunities, Barriers & Race

Use this bonus lesson to extend the program to introduce tools and strategies for generating financial stability. Activities also help kids analyze obstacles that drive financial inequity, including the racial wealth gap.

Conversation Starters: Tips for Parents

A list of opportunities for talking with kids about money—every day! Whether you’re at the store, shopping online, or paying bills, these tips can make teachable moments easier and more meaningful. 

Running errands

  • Takeout meals - Some days, ordering takeout is the preferred option. This can be a great way to talk about the increased costs of to-go meals versus cooking at home. Keep track of how much dinner costs to make at home and to eat out. When kids choose a home-cooked meal, offer to split the savings with them. 
  • Grocery shopping - The grocery store is a great place to talk about trade-offs. For example, let kids choose the menu for a special dinner during the week. Then help them understand that in order to purchase all the ingredients, they may only be able to choose one extra treat for the week.
  • Filling the gas tank - On the next trip to the gas station, be sure to emphasize the importance of budgeting for weekly expenses. Without budgeting and proper allocation of spending money, simple responsibilities can be overlooked.

Deciding on the latest tech

  • Online shopping - Show the process of online shopping, including how you must enter your credit card information and then get a receipt confirming you will pay a specific amount.
  • Cell phones - Buying a cell phone can show that many purchases have two costs: the cost of buying (the device and accessories) and the cost of owning (monthly fees, app purchases). Decide how you might split the cost with your kid.
  • Mobile game apps - When kids ask to download a mobile game, discuss spending decisions and consider having them use their own money to buy apps and make in-game purchases.

Spending their own money 

  • Weekly allowance - Teach your kids about saving versus spending some of their weekly allowance. Help them choose a savings goal—a bike, video game, or toy—then set aside a specific amount each month until they have enough to purchase what they want.
  • Monetary gifts - When kids receive money for a birthday or holiday, use this to discuss spending and saving habits. Propose saving some of the gift and using a portion for spending. Kids will feel as though they are still receiving a gift but being smart about saving for the long term or bigger purchases.

Covering school and related costs  

  • Shopping for supplies - Teach your kids about budgeting and planning while back-to-school shopping. You can also educate them about sales and when a bargain isn’t really a bargain.
  • Playing multiple sports - Suggest picking a favorite sport, and remind kids of the other activities that also cost money. Help them calculate the total cost of all the activities they want to do and explain that you have a budget for them. If the total cost is beyond the budget, offer to let them contribute to the total.
  • Summer camps - Ask your kids about their favorite camp or activity, and talk about which activities were not so great. Discuss the costs of each activity, and help them prioritize which ones they will want to do again next summer or pass on, as well as what new activities they could try with the savings.
  • Weekend activities - When your kids plan for weekend fun with friends, ask them how much things will cost. Since parents often foot the bill, have a conversation about how fun activities need to be prioritized because there isn’t an unlimited amount of money to cover trips to the movies, shopping, or other outings.

Paying household expenses

  • Using a credit card - When you charge something, make sure to explain that the things you are buying are not free; instead, you are borrowing money from the credit card company. They will send you a bill later, and you will pay them the amount of the item you purchased.
  • Paying bills - Everything from the lights in the house to internet access must be paid for each month. Let your kids know how utility billing works and how you anticipate expenses each month. Explaining how usage costs money may help kids understand the importance of turning off lights when leaving a room or shutting off the water when brushing their teeth.
  • Dealing with the unexpected - Wake up to a flat tire? Toilet overflowing? Use these setbacks as an opportunity to teach kids about the importance of a "rainy day" fund.

Funding trips and purchases

  • Big-ticket items - When your family makes a big purchase, explain what goes into saving for it and discuss trade-offs the family may need to make. For example, when buying a new or used vehicle, highlight the importance of planning ahead and saving for a new car while still driving your old one. Let kids know the importance of researching different types of cars and how choosing a smaller vehicle, or an older model might be a better fit for your family's budget.
  • Family getaways - Explain hidden costs associated with quick road trips— gas, hotel, eating out—and ask your kids for help when budgeting for the next outing. When it’s time to enjoy a larger outing together, make sure they understand that you’re able to go on the trip because you made trade-offs all year to save.

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