Kid Money News

Each week, we round up the news in the world of kid money. Here’s what’s going on this week.

Week’s Best in Kid Money (#8)

This week we have a small nomenclature change. Instead of the title “Week’s Best from Kid Wealth”, I’m updating it to Week’s Best in Kid Money. It’s much more accurate as my goal is to highlight what’s going on in the world of kid money. The way it was before, it sounded like I was highlighting the best articles I’ve written that week.

  • Michigan Becomes 14th State to Require Personal Finance Education

    Just last month, I wrote about Rhode Island requiring personal finance classes for high school graduation. This week, we can Michigan to the list.

    I always celebrate anything that advances children’s financial literacy. In this case, Michigan is mandating a half credit. I would prefer more, but it’s a good start. A high school curriculum is always packed, so there is always a trade-off in some other subject.

    I would highlight Michigan’s official financial literacy resource page, but it is… not great. Rhode Island financial literacy resource page is much better.

  • Baby Boomers vs Millennials

    I liked this article from Blue Tree Savings that explores how financial circumstances have changed for the two generations. When you look at just the financial differences it seems like Baby Boomers had life much better with lower educational costs, housing costs, and actual pension plans. However, as the article points out, Millennials aren’t as frugal as Baby Boomers were.

    One could probably write a book on all the differences if you include some non-financial ones. For example, Millennials haven’t had to deal with wars. Baby Boomers grew up with black and white televisions that had a few channels and Millennials can walk around with a tablet that can stream almost any kind of media that’s ever been published on demand. Not only that, but it can play video games, control gadgets around the house, and look up just about any information known in the history of the world. You can buy such a device for less than $50 from Amazon including the 8″ FIRE HD tablet available this weekend.

  • “Personal finance class should be required in high school”
    That’s the title of the Editorial Board in this Washington Post paywall article.

    It starts off with this line:

    One of the best gifts state and local lawmakers and teachers can give graduating high school students is a solid financial education.

    And it ends with this one:

    Personal finance should be as core to a high school education as Shakespeare and algebra.

    I couldn’t agree more and fortunately, this is an area where progress is being made literally almost every month.

    Now we just have to find a way to make it so that everyone has access to great articles like these and not just those who are wealthy enough to pay multiple newspaper subscriptions.

Week’s Best from Kid Wealth (#7)

Another week is in the books and summer is here. My kids say that I still have to wait a few days for it to be officially here, but it’s close enough for me. We’re going on a staycation for a few days to get some hiking and ocean time in. (Anything to get them away from video games for a bit.)

This week, I wanted to highlight a couple of articles. There’s this one on CNBC that explains why financial literacy is so important for kids. I loved how it divided kids into four stages and which money lessons they should learn in each.

In other news, my kids are starting to watch the Simpsons. It’s fun to go back and see the old episodes about stealing pay cable and see their clunky desktop monitors. It’s probably a little too old for them, but I’m hoping the more adult stuff will go over their heads. I’m focusing more on the humor and history. Finally, they are figuring out where I get so many one of my one-liners.

I came across an NPR podcast about The Simpsons and how their finances stack up today. The last episode of the season addresses it in some detail. If you have Hulu, it’s worth a watch with your tween or teen kids.

There’s a tremendous song about how the economy has changed since when the Simpsons first went on the air. (Not that it was realistic back then either.) It goes by fast, so you might want to read the lyrics from the transcript.

Week’s Best from Kid Wealth (#6)

It was a tough week in our house. My wife got back from two weeks of work travel and tested positive for COVID. Instead of having some help with the kids, we went into nurse mode. Fortunately, she just needed rest and is back to normal today. Also, it’s much easier to take care of the kids at ages 8 and 9 now. They can do a lot of things for themselves. It would help to have a trusted kid-friendly Uber service to shuttle them to various after-school practices though.

Just as soon as my wife exited COVID protocol, my 9-year-old entered it. He feels fine and is actually enjoying watching TV and video games all day. This finishes off the school year for him, so we’ll let him enjoy this break before summer camps start up. Hopefully, I’ll get more time to write this week.

On a digital housekeeping note, reader Everett won our Tween/Teen Entrepreneur Course giveaway. Thanks to all those who entered.

Here’s what I liked this week:

I hope to be back to publishing this quick weekly round-up on Friday’s. It may be a little more difficult as the summer gets busy.

Week’s Best from Kid Wealth (#5)

As you know, this has been a tough week to be a parent. Some 90% of Americans want some gun control laws passed and 50 politicians are being paid by the gun control lobby to ignore the problem or mischaracterize it. There are a lot of great things that I love about living in America, but I’d like to opt-out of the shootings. Every other country has figured it out. It’s time for America to get out of last place in gun deaths.

Here’s what caught my eye this week. As usual, send cool to me through Twitter by cc-ing “@KidWealth” on it.

Week’s Best from Kid Wealth (#4)

The big news of the week is that I’m giving away a free teen entrepreneur course. It was developed by a certified expert and is a real live online class – not self-paced without human interaction. You still have a huge, huge chance to win, but you have to enter.

Here’s what else is going on:

  • I’ve found this super scientific white paper on financial literacy (PDF): Financial Education Matters: Testing the Effectiveness of Financial Education Across 76 Randomized Experiments. Here’s a key takeaway:

    “To put the effects into further context, our results on financial knowledge are comparable to meta-analyses studying
    the effects of math and reading education. Similarly, our results on financial behaviors are comparable to meta-
    analyses of anti-smoking interventions, tailored online health interventions and energy conservation.”

    I want to read this paper closer, but it sounds like financial education is as important as reading and math… or education to prevent/stop smoking.

  • I loved this quote from Will Rainey, author of Grandpa Fortune Fables:

  • I usually don’t listen to a lot of podcasts, but I’m putting this on my list. Why? The image that’s attached to this Tweet is AMAZING!

Parenting Tip: Making Healthy Cereal

I assume that every parent is in a rush to get the kids to school. There’s packing lunches and drinks, and getting them dressed and groomed. Like many, I don’t have a lot of time to cook breakfast. It’s not too big a deal because one of my kids doesn’t like any breakfast foods other than flat carbs (waffles and pancakes).

The obvious answer to me was cereal. It’s quick. It’s easy. The problem I had was the sugar. Sugar is expected in Frosted Flakes. It’s less expected in Raisin Bran. I looked for a lot of cereals that had lower sugar. May kids like Kix, but it is very, very expensive at my local stores.

My solution has become known as “Dad’s cereal.” I pick up Aldi brands of Cheerios, Life (Cinnamon flavor), and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I mix those three cereals going heavier on the Cheerios and Life. The kids love the different complementary flavors. When it’s the holiday season, I add Elf (maple syrup) cereal. I’m not going to say it’s the most nutritious food around, but for us, it checks the boxes of fast, easy, cheap, and nutritious (relatively speaking).

Week’s Best from Kid Wealth (#3)

It’s time for another week’s best. Usually, I like to highlight different happenings around the kid financial literacy space. Today, I’d like to take a deeper dive into just one aspect of kid financial literacy. It may be the most aspect.

High School Financial Literacy Courses

More and more states are requiring students have some kind of financial literacy course to graduate high school. This CNBC article suggests that Georgia and South Carolina will be requiring financial literacy soon. There are a lot of politics dividing the United States lately. One area that seems to get bipartisan agreement is kid financial literacy.

It’s almost shocking that it took everyone so long to get on board. My only thought is that everyone always knew that kid financial literacy was important – they just had other education priorities. Obviously, I’m a fan of kids learning this important skill.

I’m going to ask you to stay with me on this next one. It’s useful for everyone here in any state, even though I’m focusing on one.

Rhode Island Financial Literacy

The news of the week was actually in my neck of the woods – Rhode Island. Last June, a law was signed here to create, develop, and approve academic standards “for the instruction of consumer education in public high schools.” As part of this, schools have to create courses and require “all students demonstrate
proficiency in consumer education prior to graduating high school.”

The actually “weekly news” is that Rhode Island launched a Financial Literacy Resource Page… and it’s awesome!

For example, with the high-school literacy outline, there are links to resources that are “non-commercial, research-based, standards-aligned, and include teacher training, instructional materials, and assessments.”

It’s quite literally everything that you might ever need to teach kids financial literacy. The only thing that’s missing is that awesome teacher to make it fun and interesting. There’s nothing specific to Rhode Island in many of the resources. There’s even a financial literacy proficiency quiz. I took the demo and it isn’t easy.

What do you think? Is my Rhode Island tax money being put to good use? (I think so.) Can you take advantage of those tax dollars even if you aren’t in Rhode Island? (Quite possibly.)

Week’s Best from Kid Wealth (#2)

I’m back with some more of the best things I’ve seen in the news throughout the week. If you find any cool stuff that you want to share, follow @KidWealth on Twitter and tweet me those findings.

  • I want to start off with the funding of Berryville on Kickstarter. It was already funded by the time I saw it. It was easy for me to decide to back it. Gamifying financial literacy for kids makes so much sense. I was interested in being more involved, but I didn’t think it made sense to pay a lot of money to be a beta tester. I’d rather support other financial literacy projects.
  • Rob Phelan shared a story about regretting a big spending decision as a kid. It’s a great story that goes far beyond that description.

    Our kids are 8 and 9. They saved up to buy a Nintendo Switch before the pandemic and they haven’t regretted it one bit. They use their birthday money to buy a Pokemon game or expansion pack and they get a ton of use out of it. Maybe in the next couple of years, they’ll have more wants to save up for.

  • Blue Tree Savings (the author behind Grandpa’s Fortune Fables) explains tricks companies use to get us to spend more money. I second the recommendation of seeing Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken. Also, I spent years as a pharmacy technician in high school and college without knowing that paracetamol is another name for acetaminophen. It’s a Europe thing.
  • MoneyTime won an
    Eifle Award for Children’s Education Program of the Year: Financial Responsibility & Decision Making. I’ve reviewed MoneyTime before and I highly recommend it for tweens and teens
  • Finally, I’ll end with my own tip. Buy discounted groceries with your kids. A month ago (April), I came home with highly discounted Elf cereal. Yesterday, I brought home Easter egg pasta that was $0.49/lb. I bought it because it’s fun, but also to show the value in hunting for bargains. It tastes just as good at a fraction of the price.

Have a great weekend and I’ll be back next week with new kid money tips.

Week’s Best from Kid Wealth (#1)

I thought I’d try something new this week. I’m sharing some of the best things I’ve seen in the news throughout the week. If you find any cool stuff that you want to share, follow KidWealth on Twitter and tweet me those findings.

Employ Your Kids

I love this idea from Rob Phelan:

I’ve tried to offer them money to do certain tasks, but they are usually in a different mental space and it doesn’t go well. I like this idea because the kid can choose to do it and it’s their idea. I might customize it to chocolate instead of money for one of my kids though. While money can buy chocolate, he lacks easy access to places where he can convert his money into chocolate.

On a similar theme, I had a chart where kids could earn a prize if they completed five tasks. The tasks were almost always a worksheet. It was a great success, but we’ve moved away from it as they have too many other things to do.

Free Money Workbook for Kids

On the topic of worksheet tasks… this caught my eye:

I didn’t wait around for TD Canada to respond. Instead, I did a little searching and found this free PDF of the Thrify and Fritter kid money workbook.

Print it and enjoy!

You Can Have Anything you Want If…

This was a really sweet message from Sammy Rabbit.

Georgia Requires Personal Finance Education for High School Graduation

Just yesterday Georgia signed into law that
high school curriculum will require students have personal finance education. This has been a huge trend in many states over the last few years. Let’s hope this continues.

Of course, if you are a Kid Wealth reader, you and/or your kid could probably teach the class.