Financial education

Pay Day – Our New Favorite Board Game

I don’t normally go out on Black Friday, but my sister and her husband came home this past Thanksgiving, so a trip to Target was in order. While shopping, I stumbled on a magical game called Pay Day.

A quick scan of the box showed that it was a money management game, and I knew I had to have it. Plus it was the “retro” edition, which made it even more desirable. (Why is that?)

I bought the game (for a discount because the Cartwheel price was lower than the in-store price) and we played our first game that weekend.

The Game

The rules are easy. Everyone starts out with $325 (in the retro edition). The board is a month, and before the game starts, you decide how many months you want to play.

Start saving young

Kids Spending Money

Today’s post comes to you from my son, J! He’s here to talk to you parents about kids who spend all their money.

Does your kid like to spend his or her money once they get it? If so, here is a tip for you.

Real-life money lessons

Teach Your 8-Year-Old to Calculate the Tip

Calculating the tip is a great way to practice percentages. These days, I don’t think many people do much math with a pencil and paper. We rely on technology for almost everything — even things as simple as calculating the tip at a restaurant are now done with a tablet on the table or an app on your phone.

I think it’s important, however, to put the technology aside for a bit and work through a problem by yourself. That’s what we’ve been doing here for awhile — by keeping account registers, learning how to calculate percentages, practicing those calculations, and even tracking our spending on vacation. All with pencil and paper. Old school.

My favorite lessons are those that he can practice himself (hands-on!), that make sense in the real-world (are meaningful, relatable and useful), appropriate for his age and are interesting and even fun. (I realize I may be stretching the definition of fun.)

In that vein, I taught J how to calculate a 20% tip at a restaurant.

Real-life money lessons

Practice Makes Perfect

Last month we started talking about percentages in the 10-10-80 savings plan with our focus on the 10% that goes to savings. I want J to save at least 10% of all money he receives, so we’re working on how to calculate 10% of any amount.

I showed him two ways to calculate 10% last time:

  • Use the 100-grid and divide the amount into 10 equal parts. $3.00 divided into 10 equal parts gives you 30 cents in each 10-block
  • Move the decimal one place to the left to find 10%. $3.00 becomes $.300 or 30 cents

J got a calculator for Christmas, so we integrated it into our practice. I showed him how to find the decimal equivalent of a percentage by moving the decimal point two places to the left (10% becomes .10).

Start saving young

10-10-80 Savings Plan

Have you ever heard the following sage financial advice?

Pay yourself first
Live below your means
Save 10% of your income and live off the rest
Don’t spend more than you make

Books like The Richest Man in Babylon and Automatic Millionaire cover the topic right off the bat in detail, but you may have also heard the advice from family or friends.

When I was younger, my dad had me take half of any gift money I received and put it towards a savings bond. We would go to the bank and fill out the paperwork, and I still have a stack of bonds to this day.

My aunt would also tell me to make sure I saved 10% of anything I was given (with instructions to also give 10% to the church).

National Bank of Mom Save 10 Percent

We’ve been using the envelopes for six months now, and so far I haven’t said much on how J should distribute any new money between them (although I might gently push towards making sure some money goes to savings). He hasn’t learned about percentages yet in school (he’s still on multiplication and division). A quick Google search says he might not learn them until 6th grade!? That’s not going to work. I’m going to have to start sooner.