Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Teaching the value of money

"A penny saved is a penny earned."

That quotation has more to do with the intrinsic value of a penny rather than its face value. You don't actually receive another penny because you didn't spend the one penny you had in the beginning. The value lies in the fact that you still have the penny.

In this age of credit-card-toting college students (and some children younger than that) who run up debt to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, I am concerned that my children not only learn the physical denomination of money but also understand its value. As always, training early and training right saves difficulty in the long run. But how do you communicate the concept of value to a small child? It's hard enough for them to learn the face value of each unit of money let alone understand the abstract concept of intrinsic value.

Nature Moms' post about The Money Mammals tipped me off to this DVD about money management. The DVD targets children ages 2-6, which is an unusual age range for this type of program. Although I gleaned quite a bit of information from the Nature Moms blog, I visited The Money Mammals website myself to see what was there.

Here is an excerpt from one of the testimonials posted on the Testimonial page.
"The Money Mammals DVD is a great way to start young children on the path to a successful financial future. Through the use of puppets, fun and catchy music, and an engaging story, simple and easy to learn savings lessons come alive for children. ..."
Erin Scheithe, Program Manager
American Bankers Association
Education Foundation

The Money Mammals DVD costs $19.99 plus S&H, or you can purchase The Money Mammals Gift Box (includes the DVD and materials to create a custom Money Mammals bank) for $23.99 plus S&H. While that seems like a rather costly tool, if the program accomplishes its goal, it could be a great investment in the long run.

Crown Financial Ministries (associated with the deceased Larry Burkett) is another source for materials to help you teach your child The ABC's of Handling Money God's Way - a curriculum which offers both a Teacher Guide and a Student Workbook designed for children ages 5-7. Here is an excerpt from the description from the website.

This Bible-based curriculum uses an interesting story and fun activities to teach kids the basics about money. Designed for ages 5 to 7, the ABC’s of Handling Money God’s Way features the adventures of Elizabeth, Paul, Sarah, and Juan as they try to save enough money to buy a puppy. As they find out how to earn, save, give, and spend money, they also learn some important things about God.

Additional resources from Crown Financial Ministries include The ABC Learning Bank ["a fun, 3-compartment bank" (giving, saving and spending) made of transparent plastic] and The Learning ATM (the "realistic-looking ATM allows kids to deposit real money or to withdraw money with Pass Cards, just like what Mom and Dad use!"). I personally have heard good reviews from people whose children use the learning bank.

Do you have any ideas that have worked as you teach/taught your child how to manage his money?

photo of Money Mammals DVD packaging courtesy of Money Mammals
photo of The ABC's of Handling Money God's Way courtesy of Crown Financial Ministries


Tiffany said...

The Money Mammals is a great DVD, thanks for sharing :)

Revka said...

You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. That's always an encouragement.

Do you have the DVD yourself, or are you, like me, impressed by the information on their site? I have not actually seen the DVD myself; all I know is the research I have done, and I would love to hear the opinion of someone who has used this DVD.

Angel said...

I am very much concerned about my children learning the value of money, as me not understanding it has made it harder for me. Thanks for the post!

Revka said...

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting as well, Angel. I do hope these resources help you as you endeavor to teach your child how to handle money responsibly.

RICHGUY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John said...

I wanted to let everyone know that the DVD price has been reduced to $14.99.

-John, creator of "The Money Mammals"