Of all the things kids learn in school, financial literacy is often at the bottom of the list (if it’s even on the list at all). The only thing I remember learning from my schooldays was how to balance a checkbook in Home Ec (which I never use since all my budgeting is done by software) and how to trade imaginary stocks on an imaginary stock floor in Economics (again, not much of a real-life application).
If you’re a parent and you’re worried about your child’s ability to successfully navigate the financial world when they’re older, have no fear — as MainStreet reports, a plethora of companies are developing some pretty unique ways to get teens engaged in money lessons both inside and outside the classroom.
Here are a few of their creative ideas.
What can make budgeting fun? A spreadsheet that flashes a picture of the Incredible Hulk in all his Hulk-smashing rage when your numbers don’t add up. It might not be quite as fun as the next Avengers movie, but it’s still more exciting than Excel.
Vampires, Kittens and Nightclubs
Those three things all feature prominently in a financial literacy game where teens must manage a successful nightclub in order to pay off their debts. Sounds strange, but it’s totally engrossing.
A More Realistic Theme Park
Who needs Cedar Point or Six Flags when you can vacation at a mock city where you must roleplay doing jobs like working at McDonald’s in order to earn the money you need to play and shop at the park?
Music, Music and More Music
Several companies seem to have had the same idea at once: that music is the key to making learning about money fun.
Online piggy bank Oink offers its users access to exclusive content from R&B group History in the Making. Money Matters Music Moguls hosts contests for teens to create the best financial literacy-related tune. Financial Literacy Music offers a curriculum of money lessons in the form of songs like “Yearnings for Earnings.”
To read further about these and other ideas, check out the full article on Mainstreet.
Your Turn: Do you think your kids would get into tools like these?
Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor who runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. Follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.