Month: July 2022

Teach Your Kids to Be a Loan Shark

Raise your hands if you are having a great Shark Week so far? I know I am.

Kids love sharks. Especially baby sharks (do do do do-do-do). I hope kids are learning lots about sharks. Did you know that sharks can teach you about money?

I found a shark who will teach your kid (or you, if you are a kid) how interest works. I’ve got an easy job of putting just a few words of an introduction together. The great people from Nex Gen Personal Finance are doing all the work. I love it when I can work smarter, not harder. Thanks, Nex Gen Personal Finance!

A couple of weeks ago, I was searching for something unrelated on the internet and stumbled upon this gem from the Nex Gen Interactive Library. You get to play the “bad guy” as you try to maximize profits from all the delicious victims that enter your office looking to borrow money.

Shady Sam Loan Shark

I made it so that you either click on the title or the image to play the game. It isn’t as easy as you think. I got a few wrong. I think it might be best for kids in the 4th grade or higher, perhaps ideally in the 5th or 6th grade.

I’m keeping it short today. It gives you more time for learning.

Tips: Teaching Kids to Earn Money

One of the kids’ favorite shows was Apple and Onion on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately, it got canceled earlier this year. Fortunately, if you have HBO Max you can stream all the episodes. It’s one of the few shows that parents will enjoy almost as much as the kids.

My oldest recently saw a set of Pokemon cards at Walmart that he just had to have. He knows the difference between needs vs. wants, but it was a strong enough want that it felt like a need. Alas, he hasn’t saved up enough allowance.

He had a solution. He would invoke the Apple and Onion episode of Tips where the characters try to perform extra tasks for a hot air balloon ride. They have one day to do it.

There are pluses and minuses to parenting a kid with a photographic memory. This is one such time.

At first, it doesn’t work well. They are a disaster at earning tips:

Eventually, they learn how to be helpful:

Earning Tips in Real Life

My son knows that I write this blog. So he said, “Hey, by reminding you about that Apple and Onion episode, I kind of helped you with your blog, right?” I responded, “Yes, that episode is an entertaining way for kids to learn how to make some extra money.” He then said, “Can I have tips?”

Yep, I gave him a tip.

I then went to look when the next new episodes are coming out and I saw that it was canceled. On Twitter, I found one of the storyboard artists put together a guide of what it was like to work on the show – complete with Apple and Onion characters.

My 8-year-old loves art and cartooning, so this was a win. I saw that he was selling a physical for $5, but he was also giving a digital copy away for free, but via Gumroad where you can… give a tip. So I put in my credit card number and sent a few dollars his way. Both my kids loved it.

It seems that I’m a lot like Apple and Onion before they learned how to earn tips. I’m a lot better at giving tips than receiving them.

What I Know About Teaching Kids Money

  • Customize Your Money Lessons – All kids are different. I have two very boys who are only 15 months apart. They learn in very different ways. This has made me realize that there is little one-size-fits-all advice for teaching kids about money. When I write an article at Kid Wealth, I hope that you process it and keep the parts that are useful to you and your family. You know your family better than anyone else. If it’s anything like mine, there is a lot of trial, error, revise, and try again cycles. That’s how learning works.
  • Actions Speak Louder than Words – Your kids are watching and learning from you. When you set a good example, you get a tremendous head start in getting kids to think positively about money.
  • Those Actions Can Cut both ways – If you have bad spending habits and it leads to money (and other) problems, kids can see the bad situation and may be motivated to avoid it. I know several adults who specifically told me, “My parents struggled with money. I didn’t want to be like that.”

    Alternatively, my kids see me being frugal and are quick to say, “Dad, you are being cheap.” They may be right. I tell them that Aruba timeshares and Disney cruises cost a lot of money, so we have to save money sometimes to be able to afford those tremendous life experiences.

  • Tools To Teach Kids Money – If there’s one article to read on the whole Kid Wealth website, this is it. I’ve summed up a number of tools such as kid money television shows and money board games.
  • I also highly suggest that you give your kids an allowance and let them make money mistakes. It’s how they’ll learn.
  • Teach Compound Interest – Kids have two awesome advantages over adults. Their brains are awesome sponges that are perfect for learning new things. They have more time for compound interest to make a huge impact in their lives. For example, a Teach Kids Investing At Any Age – The concept of compound interest goes hand-in-hand with investing. It might sound strange to teach a preschooler about investing, but it’s very possible.

One of the best resources are these money books for kids:

  • A Smart Girlโ€™s Guide to Money – This is a great book geared towards teen girls. However, I paid my 9-year-old son a couple of dollars to read it and give me his thoughts and he said it was fine for boys too.
  • Grandpa’s Fortunate Fables – This is my favorite book for kids in elementary school and tweens. It covers about a dozen money lessons, making it a perfect foundational book. Add it to your summer reading list and have the kids read a chapter a night.

You can also look for ways to teach kids money by age:

Finally, I firmly believe in getting kids started on building a business. Here are three ideas to motivate your kids to start a business.

I realize that this article points you in a lot of different directions. I hope it’s not overwhelming. The most important thing is to pick one thing and get started. I’ll check back in another six months an update this with a lot more resources. I hope you can keep up ๐Ÿ˜‰.

The title of this article is inspired by this Oprah Book. I haven’t read it, but the title stands out to me.

Four Ways to Teach Compound Interest

Teach Compound Interest
Look at the difference between compound interest and simple interest!

“My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest”
– Warren Buffett

When one of the richest people on the Earth gives actionable advice that anyone can take it’s worth listening to. He’s used the magic of compound interest better than anyone.

Here are four fun ways to teach compound interest to kids:

  1. Read A Book About Compound Interest

    My third grader did a play at school called One Grain of Rice. We had read the book earlier this year.

    One Grain of Rice is a lesson on how a grain of rice doubled every day for a month becomes a huge number – enough to bankrupt a kingdom. Substitute a penny for the grain of rice and there will be enough money to fill a mountain!

    Read my One Grain of Rice article here. It has an interactive spreadsheet, which illustrates it better than a compound interest calculator in my opinion.

  2. Give Kids Firsthand Experience

    You can read books about fixing cars or programming computers. Reading is not the same as doing.

    In The First National Bank of Dad (Review), I learned a technique where kids are given monthly interest payments on their deposits. Shorter compounding periods help kids notice the money growing faster. This creates an incentive to save more.

    For example, a 3% monthly interest rate is an annual 42% interest rate. It’s something that many parents can do because kids don’t have $100,000 of principal to break the bank.

    You may think that putting kids’ money in a traditional savings account is a great choice. However, the interest earnings are so low it will take them the rest of their lives to earn much. It’s no way to show how the rewards of compound interest are often described as the eighth wonder of the world.

  3. Watch a Video About How Compound Interest Works

    This video explains how the above works with a 10% monthly interest rate. It also illustrates how compound interest works over a lifetime:

    While the video says it is geared to grades 5-8, I think it works for grade 3 and maybe even some second graders. The multiplication at the beginning is the most difficult part, but it’s very quick and kids don’t have to follow the math exactly to get it.

  4. Take A Course
    MoneyTime is a course to teach kids about money in general. It covers much more than compound interest. MoneyTime has some gaming features like allowing kids to create their own avatar.

Teaching compound interest to kids is especially useful because they have more time to grow their money. The video above showed how much of a difference there is between an 18 and a 25-year-old saving over time. Imagine if you can start even seven years before the video’s example.

Weekโ€™s Best in Kid Money (#9)

I hope everyone had a good Independence Day weekend. Independence Day is a great time to get kids started on financial independence. It might sound silly to start so young, but a lot of it boils down to some core life skills and letting compound interest do the rest. That article has tips such as learning to cook, which is something many parents do with their kids. You may also want to read If You Made a Million.

This past week, I like the following Tweets:

  • I don’t come across Walter the Vault’s Tweets often, but whenever I do they make me smile. It’s one thing to give sound financial advice, but it’s another to do it in rhyme. Here’s a great example:

  • I love Tweets that get dozens of useful responses and this is one case.

With so many tips to read in that last Tweet, I’ll cut this post short so you can get right to it.