I’m Jen Pieson and I’m happy to share with you my second blog post related to our new Kids’ Financial Planning Game! I am one of Agili’s Financial Planning Analysts and have three children – Gage (15), Lila (13) and Josephine (10). I’m always looking for ways to make learning about money fun, so when the opportunity arose to create a game about the basics of personal finance I happily dove right in.

I hope that Agili’s clients and friends of the firm enjoy this educational game for kids!

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

If you’re able to, please print the game for your child. It’s also possible to follow along electronically (please click above to view the full 12-page game before continuing).

Over the next few weeks, I will go through each module with my kids and provide feedback in our blog about what went well, what tweaks were helpful, etc. You can follow along at home (or do it at your own pace!). There are nine modules total, and I aim to review two per week. Let us know when your child has finished all of the modules, because we have a small prize for completed games!

Module 2 – Inflation: Teaching Inflation to Kids

Page from Agili's Kids' Game: Intro to Personal Finance: Inflation

Today I went through the Inflation module with my kids (page five of the game). This module involves getting your child on a phone or video call with a grandparent or other older person who is special to your child. Read page five to understand that the idea behind this conversation is to introduce (or further explore) the concept of inflation being a steady increase in prices over time. I remember loving conversations like this when I was young – just talking about how things change over time can be really interesting.

The first thing I did was call my mom to prep her about the conversation she was about to have with the kids. I explained the topic that the girls would be interviewing her about, and my mom is not familiar with FaceTime, so I also ran through a test call with her so she knew what to expect. Then, I had Jojo and Lila FaceTime to ask her the questions from page five. I stayed close by and only interrupted to clarify a couple things.

My girls enjoyed the interview aspect of this module. They discussed beforehand who would ask which questions (and they made sure to take turns), and they really seemed to enjoy having their grandmother’s attention in this way. Lila wrote down my mom’s answers in the booklet, which I appreciated. It went well, and they were definitely surprised by some of my mom’s answers! They especially loved that she used to spend her allowance on candy (it must run in the family!).

The things I learned the hard way (so you don’t have to!):

  • Run through the questions with your kids first (before they are on the phone with their grandparent). Jojo was impressed with my mom’s answer that it only cost thirty-five cents to go to the movies when she was a child, but it meant even more when I clarified that the last time we went to the movies a ticket was more than ten dollars. Likewise, I should have told Lila that the car we bought a last year was almost $30,000, which makes my mom’s first car purchase of $1,300 a whole different ballgame.
  • We experienced a minor speed bump over the last questions (What do you think should be more / less expensive now?). I believe that the problem lies in my awkward phrasing. A better way to ask these questions is: “What do you think is overpriced nowadays?”

My camera-shy son Gage listened in on the FaceTime and watched the Khan Academy video, and when I asked him what he learned from it he said: “Well, I already knew what inflation was. But I learned that it’s not just that prices are increasing, but there’s more money in general.”

Good enough for me! Let me know how it goes for you and your crew!

Next up: Module Three: Debit vs. Credit

Module One: Interest