Category Archives: Finance for Kids

Money Lessons We Can Learn From the Game of Monopoly

 Monopoly Money Lessons | Money Savvy Living

 

Guest post by Amy Nickson, writer at Working Moms Word

 

Monopoly—the classic board game, which is quite popular among children and adults for over 100 years, is way more than just entertainment for family fun night. While you can enjoy the fun of becoming a real estate tycoon playing this game, there are also many educational lessons to be learned as well. The game offers the opportunity for players to make budgeting, investing, and financial decisions, which can help in remaining financially prudent. Following are 8 money lessons which you can learn from the monopoly board game and can apply when managing your own personal finances.

 

Value of budgeting

A successful monopoly player is a good at budgeting. Because the concept is similar, you can apply the same formula while playing the game or creating your monthly budget as well. The board game can teach you to make a realistic budget based on your income and expenses. The winner of this game can easily meet his/her each expenses and save money.

 

Giving priority to an emergency fund

A monopoly player knows well how unpredictable the game is. The player should prepare beforehand to manage any situation. Just like unforeseen circumstances arise in a Monopoly board game, it can happen in your real-life financial situation as well. You never know when you will face an emergency—such as being laid off of a job or an accident—which can use up a savings account that you’ve taken years to build. You should have an emergency fund so that you can face the financial need with solid backup. Having such an emergency fund can minimize your chances of having to sell your assets or take out loans to meet your current obligations.

 

Being a responsible decision maker

The Monopoly game helps people learn to make a proper decisions through critical thinking strategies. For instance, all players should start with the same amount of money to play the game, but, the important thing is how well you can manage your money. While “luck” can be attributed to success in the game and in real life, you still have control over the purchases that you make and assess the risk/reward of each investment. You must learn to overcome whatever comes your way and still manage your finances properly.

 

Importance of negotiation

One of the most important tricks to win the monopoly game is proper negotiation. In real life you should have the skill to negotiate with many people such as creditors, utility suppliers, sellers etc. This will help you to get best finance deals and save your hard earned money as well.

 

Investing money wisely

To ultimately be successful, there are no alternatives to making wise investment decisions. You should invest your money to make it grow with time. You’ll have to take chances and invest your money instead of simply leaving it in the bank. But for this, you need to be updated on the financial market and know all strategies well. Think about your time horizon, risk tolerance, and diversification. For more information about investing read these articles:

Investing: How to choose which investment products are right for you

Investing: Growth vs value

 

No Excuses

You probably didn’t realize that playing Monopoly could teach players lessons about personal responsibility. You shouldn’t make any excuses about losing the game. Likewise, you should not skip any chance to win while you’re playing the game either. Just like in the game, your real-life financial decisions have consequences. Unlike the game, though, the real-life decisions can have long-lasting effects. Making the unwise financial decision to overspend on credit cards, for instance, can take you years—maybe decades—to pay off.

 

Significance of building a strong asset base

Remember, building a strong asset base will help you to get passive income—income which you are not actively involved with earning. You can easily live off the passive money and can save your active income—salary from your job or business income. In the monopoly board game, the number of properties gets the advantage and control over the board, but one must also consider the value of the assets. For example, it is much better to own Park Place and Boardwalk (higher value assets that yield higher returns), rather than Mediterranean, Baltic, Oriental, Vermont, and Connecticut Avenues combined (lower valued assets, which yield lower returns).

 

Taking care of assets

In order to win the game, it’s very important to make improvement on the properties you’ve bought. You should reinvest in your properties by building houses and hotels to improve your income and financial position. In your real life, it should be your constant effort to boost your assets and minimize your financial obligations. Thus, you can achieve financial freedom in the long run. The bottom line is, don’t rely on financial shortcuts because they can ruin your financial stability.

 

 

5 Ways for Kids to Earn Money this Summer

5 Ways for Kids to Earn Money this Summer | Money Savvy Living

 

I like to think that I don’t just give my kids everything they ask for and want. My husband and I make a conscious effort to try to teach them the value of money and the feeling of accomplishment that they get when they have worked hard to earn money—and then saved up to buy something that they really wanted, like iPods.

 

Ok, I admit that I am a bit of a softy when it comes to buying them “small things” or even a package of overpriced Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreo cookies—you know, the packages that are like half the size of a regular package of Oreo’s but still the same price!

 

But for me, being able to tell the kids “no” was not always easy—especially during the toddler stage. Every mother knows that when you tell a toddler “no” in the middle of the store, tears start falling and the wailing ensues as though the child is actually in some sort of real pain. It’s a meltdown in the middle of the store. Shopping is over. Whatever you came to the store for needs to already be in the cart because it’s time to check out.

 

At least this gets better when they get older. Now, instead of the total meltdown, it’s just an over-exaggerated, dramatic whine, “We never get anything we want!” But at least now, they understand—money doesn’t just magically appear in daddy and mommy’s wallets—it has to be earned.

 

We are about one month into summer break already. So to keep the kiddos from getting restless, here are a few ways that they can stay busy, be productive, and even earn a little spending money:

 

Selling snacks at a garage sale is a great way for kids to earn a little extra cash.

Selling snacks at a garage sale is a great way for kids to earn a little extra cash.

 

Garage Sale

Every year, we have a big garage sale and the boys sort through toys that they want to get rid of and sell them for a few extra bucks. But their big ticket money at the garage sale comes from the snacks that they sell: water, pop, cookies, and chips. We buy it at Sam’s Club, figure out how much each item actually costs, and sell them for $0.50 each—then they figure out their profit. Earning money and a little math lesson too. Win-win.

 

Mow Lawns

Mowing lawns during the summer can be a great source of income for older kids or even teens. There may be many neighbors that are willing to pay your kid to mow the lawn each week. This can be a great service to elderly people or even for families that are busy with work or summer sports and just don’t have a lot of time to keep up with the lawn—your kids can make money and they would probably charge a lot less than an actual lawn service, so it is a savings for those utilizing the service too.  Another win-win.

 

Pull Weeds

If your kids aren’t big enough to handle the lawn mower, offering to pull weeds can be a nice little gig. A few years ago, two boys went around our neighborhood offering to pull weeds for whatever people were willing to pay. I have to say, I appreciate their ingenious summer business endeavor.  And they probably made a lot of money too.

 

Make Items to Sell Online

Of course, mom or dad will have to help with this one, but it you open an Etsy shop, have an account on Ebay, or other online store, you can sell, literally, anything. From hair bows to headbands, friendship bracelets to survival bracelets, to hand-painted mugs, the sky is the limit for creativity—and potential income.

 

Do Extra Chores

I am really not very big on just giving kids money to do stuff they are expected to do. Cleaning up toys, making the bed, helping with laundry—that is just stuff that I want my kids to do because it must be done and I want them to learn responsibility. However, maybe there are some “big” projects that you can give them to do in addition to their regular household chores: helping clean out the garage, painting the shed, or re-organizing the storage area of the basement.

5 Tips to Make More Money from Your Garage Sale

5 Tips to Make More Money from Your Garage Sale | Money Savvy Living

 

Getting ready for a garage sale can be a huge undertaking. It actually takes a lot of time and energy preparing and planning. So you don’t want to waste your time putting a great garage sale together, and then not make any money from it. So here are some tips to help you maximize your efforts and make as much money as possible.

 

Participate in community garage sale days

The absolute best time to have your garage sale is during the days that your community has set aside as designated garage sale days. Typically, communities notify local newspapers of community events, such as garage sale days, so a lot of people will be anticipating the event and are probably planning to attend, so this is your best opportunity to get the most traffic through your garage sale. I know that if I’m going to spend time going to garage sales, I want to be able to make the most of my time and get to as many as possible. Of course, you can have a garage sale any time, but the turnout may not be as good.

If your community doesn’t have garage sale days, then it would also be advantageous to have a your own garage sale while other community events are going on, such as a fair or festival, that may draw a crowd to your community—more cars driving by, more potential for people to stop by your garage sale.

Another option would be to get together with a few of your neighbors and have your own multi-family garage sale days. Several households having garage sales is more appealing to attenders, so this may help draw a bigger crowd as well.

 

Market your goods

5 Tips to Make More Money from Your Garage Sale | Money Savvy Living

It can be very helpful to give people an idea of what kinds of goods are at your garage sale by putting a sign out highlighting what types of items you have the most of. When I have a garage sale, I put a sign out in my yard with some of the items that I think will be more sought-after, in order to draw more people in. For example, I list some of the major components of my garage sale: baby items, boy clothes (sizes 12 mos – 3T), maternity, household goods.

 

Be prepared

If your community has annual garage sale days, and you have participated before, you know that garage sale-goers are early risers. The early bird gets the worm, right? In this case, the early bird can swoop up the best deals. If you open up a half-hour or hour before other garage sales, you have the opportunity to get some of the early garage-salers before they stop at other garage sales—giving yourself a better opportunity to make some early sales.

Besides being ready early, make sure that you have plenty of small bills and coins so that you can make change. This one may sound obvious, but I have been to garage sales before that couldn’t give me change for a $10. Guess what, they lost a sale—and you will too if you don’t have enough change to offer people who may want to buy your stuff. I suggest starting out with $50 in: a few $5’s, but mostly $1’s and quarters.

 

Organize the goods you are selling

5 Tips to Make More Money from Your Garage Sale | Money savvy Living

Every year that I have a garage sale, I get comments on how organized my garage sale is. When I go to a garage sale, I know that I don’t want to sift through large boxes that have a bunch of clothes or toys just thrown in there. I figure if they didn’t bother to organize it, it must be junk—and not worth my time or money.

5 Tips to Make More Money from Your Garage Sale | Money savvy Living

I organize tables by category: baby items, baby/toddler/kids clothes by size—separating boy and girl clothes, household, etc. I also have prices clearly marked on each item or by table. I always have some items out of the garage that are bigger items that may help to draw more people in: baby play pens, strollers, grills, etc. For bigger, nicer items that I want to get more money on, I put on hangers and display on racks so they can be seen easily. A little time to organize can go a long way in getting your stuff sold.

 

Sell refreshments

5 Tips to Make More Money from Your Garage Sale | Money savvy Living

This is the part of the garage sale that my kids absolutely love, mainly because they get to keep the money that they make selling refreshments. This is such a great way for the kids to actually do something to earn some money during the summer too. And believe it or not, refreshments are a huge seller at a garage sale—especially if it is hot. We don’t make any of the refreshments, primarily because I wouldn’t personally buy anything that was homemade from a home that I wasn’t familiar with, so we opt to buy individual bags of chips, crackers, and cookies, cans of soda-pop, and bottles of water. We stock up on these items that we get from Sam’s Club, so that we can still sell them for a low price, but can also make a little bit of profit too. It is also a bit of summer math practice for my boys because they collect the money and make change for their customers.