The Texas Society of CPAs says this holiday season is the perfect time for kids to learn the importance of “money-mindedness” with affordable toys and board games that won’t put a major dent in their parents’ bank accounts.
One popular game recommended by the TSCPA, Loose Change, features cards with nickels, dimes, quarters and half dollars. The key is to be the first one to have a pile of cards that add up to exactly one dollar without exceeding the value, or the player goes bust. To learn more, visit http://www.mindware.com/Home/HomePage.aspx. It’s probably cheaper (and more legal) than taking your child to a casino to play Blackjack.
For kids five and older, the Pretend & Play Checkbook with Calculator allows a child to have their own checkbook, write checks, calculate and keep track of the balance. The award-winning game teaches children important life skills and responsibility (like the increasingly rare skill of being able to keep one’s own checkbook balanced). For more information, go to http://www.learningresources.com/.
OneShare offers a great learning tool for older children interested in learning more about the stock market (and their parents too, who understandably need more help with this sort of thing). The website, at www.oneshare.com, allows users to purchase a single share of stock, and order a frame for the stock certificate to teach teenagers about the value of money and the incentives for being an investor in the market. Hopefully the frame won’t turn out to be worth more than the value of the stock.
Texas CPAs also recommend purchasing traditional board games like Monopoly, Life and PayDay (Monopoly now has special relevance for fans of the HBO TV series “Boardwalk Empire” where they can now watch mob rub-outs at famous Monopoly board locations in Atlantic City like Marvin Gardens).
“These best-selling board games help teach older children about real-world financial concepts like insurance policies, bank loans, income tax, career choices and salaries, and real estate acquisitions,” said the TSCPA. “Whether or not a financially minded toy is a practical alternative this holiday, the most important financial lesson you can give your children is to practice smart money habits so they can emulate and explain saving, investing, donating, and smart spending.”
For additional money management information relevant for children and young adults from the TSCPA, visit www.ValueYourMoney.org.