Hello! It’s Jen again, with installment three of nine of Agili’s Game for Kids: Intro to Personal Finance.

Click here for a printable version of our Game for Kids: Intro to Personal Finance (12 pages).

Module 3 – Debit vs. Credit

Agili's Kids' Game: Intro to Personal Finance: Debit vs. Credit

Today I went through the Debit vs. Credit module with my kids (page six of the game). This one hits home for me, since my 15-year-old son has had a debit card for about a year, and my 13-year-old daughter is just about ready for one as well. Younger kids should learn the basics of what defines credit and debit cards, but it’s older kids who need to really focus on the security aspects of the cards, because they will need to protect their financial lives sooner rather than later.

All three kids aced the four questions on the top half of the page, and then I had Lila (13) and Gage (15) answer the “older kid” section at the bottom of the page. I explained to them that this was more a conversation than a test, and it was okay if they didn’t know the answers. They rolled their eyes (because, again, 13 and 15).

What I learned:

  • At first, Gage had no problem with the idea of letting a friend use his debit card. He said that if his friend needed money, he would let him use the card. I explained a better and safer way – in that situation – is to use his card on his friend’s behalf (going to the register with him) so Gage doesn’t give up his PIN. (I decided to save the conversation about when and when not to help friends financially for a later date!)
  • I asked Lila what she wanted to do with her debit card once she has it. She said she wants to be quicker at the register – not fuss over paper money and change.The signed signature page of Agili's Kids' Game: Intro to Personal Finance
  • I asked Gage: “When do you think a teenager is ready to manage a debit card?” Gage said he uses his card for in-store as well as internet purchases, so you have to be able to trust your kids’ judgment regarding purchases from the internet.

Good point, Gage!

We’re a third of the way there! The picture on the right (page three of the game) is my youngest child Jojo’s scorecard. Three modules down, six to go.

Next up, Module Four: Stock Primer

Module Two: Inflation

If your child would like to dive even deeper into personal finance, check out this app offered by Mint.com