Mar 29, 2017

Worldwide Celebration of Global Money Week

By Jarrod Upton

Global Money Week (GMW) was celebrated this week (March 27 – April 2, 2017). As their name implies, this is an annual global celebration which last year involved 7 million children in 130 participating countries around the world. According to the GMW website, the goal of all the local and regional events and activities that are held as part of the celebration is to “inspire children and youth to learn about money, saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and becoming an entrepreneur.”

The theme of this year’s event is “Learn. Save. Earn,” and on their website GMW defines those objectives in the following way:

  • Learn: Educating children and young people about their social and economic rights and responsibilities with the goal of creating a generation of capable adults who can make wise decisions for their future.
  • Save: It is important for children and youth to create consistent saving habits from an early age in order to develop key money-managing skills for later in life.
  • Earn: Cultivating occupational skills or receiving entrepreneurial training which assists children and young people to get a job, build their own business or develop a professional career plan.

As the father of a 5-year old daughter, this issue is of particular concern for me. It seems to me that the earlier we begin to teach our children about money – what it is, how it operates, and its significance in each individual’s life – the sooner they will come to understand and respect its essential values.

Teaching Resources

There are all kinds of resources available to parents and children to help teach and guide them about the values associated with money. One of the earliest books I’m familiar with is a children’s story called The Little Red Hen.

Based on a Russian fable, this story provides a simple lesson on the importance of hard work and the results and consequences that laziness can produce.

In addition, there are many online resources that are also available to help. One I’m aware of is called ThreeJars. ThreeJars is a website that encourages kids 5 to 13 to learn how to “earn and use money responsibly.”

Since kids receive money from all kinds of sources, the goal is to teach them about money management but to do it in a fun way. Through the use of avatars and colorful graphics, and with guidance from their parents, the kids create three jars – saving, spending and charitable – into which their money is deposited. There are also online tools that help them to make automated payments and track their transactions – all through a safe and secure online system.

PBS Kids also sponsors a terrific website designed to educate kids about Managing Money. The site includes topics on How to Set Money Goals, Making a Budget, Creating a Savings Plan, Tracking Your Expenses, and many more.

This site also hopes to educate kids about a subject that often comes up in discussions that advisers have with their clients - having money is great, but it also means you have to make choices about how to use it.

Intended more for parents than kids, Money Management International also has a section on their website which provides helpful tips on how parents can address the subject of money with their kids. The site advises taking everyday experiences, like grocery shopping, and turning them into “teachable moments.”

Another example they cite is getting actively involved in helping your child create a good, old-fashioned lemonade stand. This is a tried-and-true method of teaching kids about the basics of business while having fun doing it.

When my daughter gets old enough, I can definitely see a lemonade stand in our future.

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