Introducing Children to Economic Concepts

by Colette Moran

Over on, I ran across an interview with the authors of  Follow Your Money: Who Gets It, Who Spends It, Where Does It Go?  The book goes beyond simply talking to kids about their allowance and what to do with it. The authors dig deeper, explaining the world of commerce from added value to profit margins. One of the authors, Kevin Sylvester, put it this way: 

Kids are a huge part of the economy, but when you say the word “economy” to them, their eyes glaze over. What we tried very carefully to do in the book was to talk about concrete situations, such as buying baseball hats and hot chocolate. There are big concepts in the book, but always seen through an everyday lens. As to why write the book, I think kids need to know where their money goes so that they can make informed decisions about what they buy.

And of course, there is some advice about how to teach kids the dangers of paying with plastic, as well as a novel approach to understanding money. From the other author, Michael Hlinka:

Translate spending into hours. If you’re providing your children an allowance for helping out around the home/doing chores, let them know how many hours it would take to pay for a week’s worth of groceries! I think that all of a sudden, your children will be far more appreciative of your efforts . . . and much more careful with money!

That is a good way, I imagine, for them to have some notion of the value of that hot little electronic they already have and are dying to replace with an upgrade. Read more here

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