This Christmas there are going to be plenty of mini-teachable moments to help your kids learn about money, in a fun way. In this blog, I share 3 big opportunities.
Before I share these opportunities, I want to share something that I think is important when it comes to teaching kids about money (and also helpful for learning other things too).
Studying vs Learning
The other week I asked my eldest daughter:
What's the difference between Studying and Learning?
She thought about it for a little while and said:
"I think studying is when you take in a lot of knowledge for homework, a test or an exam. Learning is when you really try to understand something."
This is exactly what I believe too. I've spent many hours studying for exams, and that knowledge magically disappeared within a couple of days of completing the exam.
Learning is about reading something and then thinking about what it means.
When it comes to learning, I see it as a switch. We have to flip the 'learning switch' to really engage and try to understand something.
Let me give you an example. You've probably heard different versions of the song "Cat's in the Cradle" many times, however, do you know what the song is about?
It was only recently that someone suggested I listen to the lyrics closely. I flipped the switch, listened and was so surprised I missed the power message in the song for all these years. You can listen to it here:
(If you listened to the song, you might want to read my blog: How to Teach Your Kids about the Rat Race after you've finished reading this blog)
Learning about money
There are many opportunities for our kids to learn about money during everyday life, we just need to help them flip the learning switch so they don't miss them.
When it comes to money, I believe it's always best to find fun opportunities for mini-lessons rather than sitting kids down for a lecture.
The most memorable mini-lesson with my kids was when we were just sitting in a McDonalds and I said to them 'Did you know that you own a piece of this McDonalds?', they were so intrigued and started a whole conversation about investing. You can read all about that conversation in my blog 'How to teach your kids about the Stock Market'
This Christmas there will be great opportunities to teach your kids about money, but you have to help them flip their learning switch so they don't miss these lessons. Below I set out three examples.
3 Opportunities to Teach Your Kids About Money This Christmas
1. Play Monopoly
This is the most obvious one when it comes to Christmas.
So many people claim to always win when playing Monopoly but don't apply any of the lessons from the game in real life. There are so many amazing lessons.
Monopoly is about looking after your money so you can buy assets (property) which generate more money (via rent) whilst making sure you have enough cash to pay for unexpected expenses.
In the real world, many people don't own any assets and don't have any money saved in case of emergencies.
Therefore, after playing the game with your kids, ask them 'What did you learn about money from playing that?
I recommend you read my blog '5 Money Lessons From Monopoly' (The blog also includes some tips to help you win when playing the game against your kids!)
Other games with great money lessons: Monopoly Deal, Pay Day and, The Game of Life
2. Read or Watch 'A Christmas Carol'
Charles Dickens' story of Ebenezer Scrooge has many different money lessons which can easily be missed.
Scrooge has loads of money but never spends it. He believes giving money away is a bad thing. He looks down on those who don't have much money. There are lots of people in the real world who are like Scrooge when it comes to money.
The story can help kids learn that simply having money doesn't make you happy. By the end of the story, Scrooge realises there are so many benefits to giving.
As you read or watch 'A Christmas Carol', look out for money lessons to share with your kids. Some tips are below.
I recommend you read my blog '5 Money Lessons From A Christmas Carol' before reading or watching it with your kids.
3. Listen to Band-Aid
When you listen to 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' by Band-Aid, you probably remember the videos and the big campaign to help those in Africa. However, your kids probably just see it as another Christmas song.
Play the song to your kids and get them to listen to the lyrics to flip the learning switch. Talk about why it was written and the amazing amount of money it raised (estimated to be
between $200-300 million). It is a great opportunity to talk about Charity with your kids.
For more tips on teaching your kids about Charity, I recommend you read the blog: 3 Positive Impacts on your Kids from Giving to Charity!
Bonus: Grandpa's Fortune Fables
Of course, I can't miss the opportunity to say that getting your kids a copy of my book, Grandpa's Fortune Fable, is an amazing way for your kids to learn about money this Christmas.
There is a chance for them to flip the learning switch after each chapter and become more knowledgeable about money than most adults today.
Before you finish reading this blog, flip the switch, and ask yourself 'What did I just learn?'
Continue learning ... Age-by-age guide to teaching kids about money