I’m Jen Pieson, one of Agili’s Financial Planning Analysts, and I’ve been with the firm for 17 years. I 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!
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!
First up: Module 1 – Interest (page four of the game packet)
Lila (13) and Jojo (10) went through this module with me. First, I had them watch the Schoolhouse Rock video. I recommend watching the video more than once, since it’s kind of a fast-paced song.
After the video, I asked the girls the question: “If you want to buy something, do you think it’s better to wait until you can afford it, or to borrow money so you can have it right away?”
Lila answered first. “I’d rather wait,” she said, “because the bank pays you interest instead of you paying the bank.” I nodded my head and asked: “Does it disappoint you to have to wait?” Lila answered: “No, because I won’t be wasting my money taking a loan.” What a fabulous answer! Only, now I painted myself into a corner, because my older child took the easier question. So, the first thing I learned while trying the Interest module with my children was that – if I’m going through this game with more than one child – I should ask the younger child to answer first.
Since I asked Lila the “easy” question, I had to think of something else for Jojo. I said: “Can you think of a situation where you’d rather borrow money than save up?” She thought for a minute, then said: “If you need something right away, like if you get into an accident. If you don’t have enough money then you need to borrow it, because you’d need help right away.”
“An emergency is a great example of a time you might have to borrow money,” I said, impressed with my little one. Of course, I may be biased. 😉
Lila watched the second video, the instructional video about compound interest, and she was able to explain back to me the concept of simple vs. compound interest. Lila seemed less than thrilled to have to think about math during the summer, but I assured her that the other modules in this game are more fun. The important part to understand about compound interest is that you’re reinvesting your earnings (or “growing your nest egg faster”). I told Lila that another way to look at compound interest is that you’re making money on the money you’re making.
Good job, girls!
Next up, Module Two: Inflation