5 Ways to Make Money More Interesting – Without Going Shopping

3 - 5 Ways to Make Money More Interesting Without Going Shopping- Header ImageSpending money is easy (and fun!), a lesson most kids can completely absorb at an early age. But teaching sound financial management can be a real challenge – especially if talks about budgeting and the importance of saving get little more than an eye-roll.

So how can you encourage interest in those vital lessons and, more importantly, help them stick?

With these 5 flexible tricks, you can take a step towards teaching a more financial empowered – and fiscally responsible – approach.

1) “Gamify” money

Money is dead serious for most families, but there are ways to make it a little more fun. That is to say, make it a game! Also called “gamifying,” the idea is to turn boring or difficult activities something fun, and it works on anything from finance to fitness.

Here are a few ways to get started:

For young kids: See who can collect the most coins from around the house and between the couch cushions, then go for ice cream!

For young and elementary school kids: Offer a raffle entry for each dollar contributed to a savings account, complete with special prizes.

For elementary and middle-school kids: Help your child pile up toys or other things that can be sold online. Have him or her conduct price research, take pictures, post the item, and account for costs like shipping and fees.

For teens: If your teen has lost interest in anything that seems remotely childish (to them), consider another approach: negotiation. Ask your child to take charge of renegotiating everything from your credit card interest rate to your cell phone plan, including researching alternatives and even calling the company in question – and offer the first month or two of cost savings in cash.

These are just a few ideas to get started – nearly everything can be made into a game in the right circumstances.

budgetorbust (Small)
Budget Or Bust

Download Our FREE Guide

From recent college grads saddled with debt to wide ranging concerns about financial competence among consumers, there’s spreading worry that kids aren’t prepared for money management and decision-making.

2) Empower kids to build their own systems for managing money

Does your young tech wizard never leave a room without their cell phone? Maybe they’d like one of the many apps out there that can be used to track expenses, save more money, or learn about the stock market.

If you have a future financial analyst on your hands, maybe he or she would love a full-fledged personal accounting system that allows them to manage their money, track their spending, and see their progress towards goals.

Or maybe your kid doesn’t have time for all that and would be happier with a box of cash with spending money in it.

Kids have personalities as varied as their parents, and you can help make money easier for your kids by helping them find ways to work with their preferences. That might require some brainstorming, experimenting, and even some failures – but it’s all part of a process that can help establish a lifetime of better money management.

3) Find the right motivators for smart financial behaviors

Some kids are born entrepreneurs, looking for ways to make money and finding their feet in balancing the books early on. Then there are kids see money as a tool to finance a beloved hobby – and those who couldn’t care less about any of it.

As with finding money management systems, finding the right motivation for an individual can take some testing. You can even test things out before your kid is aware of it! For example, if you want to encourage savings behavior, you could:

  • For the child who benefits from consistent reinforcement: Try offering small prizes or rewards for good savings behaviors.
  • For the kid who needs big wins: A guaranteed “bonus” to help buy a coveted item if your child saves for it.
  • For those with an interest or appreciation for money: A simple matching contribution to savings accounts.

For kids who seem totally disinterested in money, it might be helpful to try an alternative approach. Think about what your child does like – maybe it’s a sense of control or responsibility, or being valued for their insights. In these situations, you might find ways to tie financial management to these preferences: for example, giving your child control over a particular spending category or activity or asking for their help in choosing the best vacation for a given budget.

This will give your child some practice in making real-life decisions without forcing the issue.

3 - 5 Ways to Make Money More Interesting Without Going Shopping- Info Image

4) Host a frugality challenge

Saving money doesn’t have to be boring or dreary – in fact, with a, yes, “gamifying” approach, it can be downright fun. Let your child’s creativity run wild and give an opportunity to find out the true cost of various activities with your very own frugality challenge.

In fact, depending on your family’s interests and dynamics, you might find that the art of frugality is more fun than anyone expected.

Who can plan the best vacation for $1,000? Who can ensure the biggest day of fun for under $100? Who can make the most delicious, cheapest dinner?

The options are endless – it’s just a matter of finding the activities that suit your family best, and letting the competition run wild!

5) Give responsibility

It’s a rare child who doesn’t want to demonstrate mastery or show their independence and self-sufficiency. While it’s can also be useful for kids who don’t have a particular interest in money, giving age-appropriate responsibility can help all kids feel that they’re contributing to the family – and showing us how smart they are.

You might start with the allocation of a few dollars at the grocery store and build up to managing the grocery budget. Or maybe your budding eBay guru will end up taking control of both your garage and your credit card bills.

The specific task and level of responsibility should of course be tailored to your child, but do consider offering opportunities to participate and contribute. Your child will get an invaluable lesson in financial management, as well as the feeling of empowerment and confidence that comes from a job well done.

And that’s a lesson that can serve your kids for a lifetime.

Ready to supercharge your child’s financial education?

The financial world is more complicated than ever – and it’ll only get more so in our kids’ lifetimes. Get a head start in teaching your child sound financial decision-making with our quick guide to money education for kids of all ages.

budgetorbust (Small)
Budget Or Bust

Download Our FREE Guide

From recent college grads saddled with debt to wide ranging concerns about financial competence among consumers, there’s spreading worry that kids aren’t prepared for money management and decision-making.

Let Us Help!

We can discuss this topic and more at a complimentary appointment. As a bay area retirement planning coaches, we can give you a review and make suggestions based on your retirement objectives.

3 - 5 Ways to Make Money More Interesting Without Going Shopping - Infographic

Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by United Planners.

To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional. Please remember that investment decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.

Neither diversification nor asset allocation can ensure a profit or prevention of loss in times of declining values. United Planners does not render tax advice.