Updated 03/13/2012 09:35 AM
Children Can Play While Learning About Payday
Learning about money may not sound like fun and games, but some websites help teach children about money without making it a chore. NY1's Money Matters reporter Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
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Nowadays, when children need to learn about money, the Internet is full of tips and tools. For instance, Learnvest.com, a financial website geared toward women, has a section called "LearnVest Moms" that talks about the importance of starting a child's financial education early. One way to do that is through a weekly allowance.
"You teach them with that money how to manage it. Have them put a third of it into savings, a third of it they can spend on themselves and a third of it they can donate to charity," says LearnVest.com Editor-In-Chief Maria Lin. "And at a very young age you can have them start actually playing with their own dollar bills and figuring how it works."
There are also some high-tech options for playing with money. "The Great Piggybank Adventure," designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and T Rowe Price, is a free interactive online game geared toward eight- to 14-year-old kids.
"Give them a fun way to learn some fundamental money concepts, and more importantly, make it easier for parents to have conversations about their kids about money," says Scott Ritter, the vice president of T Rowe Price.
The game guides kids through the steps of setting financial goals, making and saving money and earning interest. Ritter says parents can reinforce these lessons away from the computer.
"When you are getting money out of the ATM, explain how the money got there in the first place. When you're paying a bill at home, explain how that money got put into the account that it's being drawn from, and why you decided to pay that bill instead of spending your money on something else," says Ritter.
Finally, Lin says once children are old enough they should be encouraged to get a part-time job. She says there is no better way to learn about the important connection between money and time.
"If you're making $10 an hour babysitting and you want that $100 dollar sweater, is it worth it babysitting for 10 hours to get that sweater?" says Lin. "It's a great thing for them to start realizing that how you spend your time in life is actually more important than how you send your money."