We are pleased to welcome Sharita M. Humphrey, CFEI as a Sammy Rabbit Guest Blogger.
It is a delight to have Sharita contribute her thinking on giving kids money focused filed trips to increase their financial education knowledge.
Sharita M. Humphrey is an award-winning finance expert, money mentor and Certified Financial Education Instructor.
Once broke and homeless, Sharita completely transformed her life. She is now a successful entrepreneur and one of the most in-demand money coaches for individuals and business owners of color.
In 2020, Sharita was named the National Financial Educator of the Year.
You can discover more about Sharita and her mission at SharitaMHumphrey.com
Have Fun Teaching Your Kids About Money
Have you ever thought of taking your kids on a money focused field trip?
Many kids remember a field trip far longer than a classroom lecture.
Experiences are one of the most effective and engaging forms of learning. It’s true for everyone, kids and adults.
As kids are exposed to new concepts in a fun and engaging way, you’ll see them absorb financial literacy knowledge and skills like sponges. The adventure may even inspire them to want to practice the personal finance habits that lead them to financial freedom as they grow up.
So, when it comes to financial education, I strongly encourage parents and educators to give kids more money focused field trips.
Below, find five (5) fun, low cost easy to execute field trips that will help any parent or educator teach kids about money.
(1) Field Trip to the Bank
Visit your local bank. It is a fun and free way to help children learn about money and more, like math, business and banking.
Start by calling banks in your area. Find out if they are willing to walk your kids or a classroom of students through a day-in-the-life of money, maybe even their own money!
Kids will get to see and experience the bank vault, lots of cash in all denominations; coins wrapped and unwrapped; tellers counting money and handling deposits and withdrawals; managers and loan officers interacting with customers; ATM machines; debit and credit cards; checks, deposit and withdrawal slips; and much more, perhaps even a tutorial from a manger on investing and/or the difference between simple and compound interest.
I love that the experience provides children an opportunity to see how both money and math can be applied to their daily lives. Lots of kids struggle with math. Many don’t understand why it is important or how it applies to their lives. This field trip can change that.
If you can’t find a bank in your area that is open to field trips, then take your kids along with you when you go to the bank. It is a great way to pique their interest in money and to help them better understand their own financial responsibilities.
(2) Field Trip to the Supermarket
You probably already take your kids to the supermarket on a regular basis. Why not periodically take advantage of these regular excursions to add to your child’s personal finance knowledge?
Supermarkets contain endless opportunities to sharpen kids money skills.
Start by establishing a tradition of making a grocery list at home. Teach them how you list, plan and budget for the items you need and want to purchase.
Then head to the store. As you shop together, talk about how you make money-wise decisions like:
—properly taking advantage of sales and promotions
—the importance of identifying cost per unit and how to calculate the best deals
—situations where you may be able to save money by using coupons, buying store brands versus name brands, etc.
You get the idea. Remind kids that while treating yourself once in a while is fine, it’s important to stick to your budget and consistently make wise spending choices.
Consistency provides predictable outcomes. Practice what you preach – as much as you are able to. Lead by example and you predict great money sense will become second nature to your kids as they watch and learn from mom and dad.
Enjoy the experience. Be sure your kids do the same. Be creative. There are an infinite number of ways to build on the supermarket learning experience. SEND us some of your favorite suggestions. We will post them as an addendum to this article and/or in social media. Let’s all grow our knowledge and kids together!!!
(3) Field Trip to the Mall
While outings to the supermarket largely pertain to food and health, a field trip to the mall expands one’s personal finance learning possibilities.
At the mall you and kids can shop for clothes, household goods, technology and just about everything under the sun. With stores selling nearly everything one may need or want, plus providing access to tempting treats around every corner, a field trip to the mall is one of the best places to teach kids about money. It is a sensational place to learn the essentials of money management. Kids are sure to have a blast!
Use the same set up and pre-shopping routine established for going to the supermarket. Work with your kids to create a budget and a shopping plan. This is a proven strategy to set them up for success. Talk and walk them through some of your core values and money management strategies, such as:
—How to stick to a budget
—How to ask the right questions to get the best deals
—Simple ways to calculate sales, tax, and discounts.
—How to save up for certain items they want, rather than spending their whole budget right away.
(4) Field Trip to a Library or Museum
Here is a secret more people should be aware of – libraries and many museums, including mobile museums, are wonderful places to teach your kids about money. And many of them are now making efforts to incorporate financial literacy education into their offerings.
If you think this approach will resonate with your kids, do an online search and see what a local library or museum offers or might considering in the way of youth financial education. Maybe they have existing programs and resources.
Here is a partial list of what I have uncovered. Some true treasures!
—The American Numismatic Association Money Museum
—The Los Angeles’ Connecting Cultures Mobile Museum. This museum is now 20 years old. Thousands of campuses have already experienced their service without leaving their premises. They have a commercial collection that focuses on resources, different kinds of trade, and the history of colonization. Learning about culture and history helps kids understand the importance of money, how it evolved into what it is today, and it’s role in shaping the world we live in. There are artifacts that are free to touch so kids can get hands-on with a 3-dimensional learning experience.
—The Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes
—Museum of American Finance
—The Federal Reserve “Money Museum”
—A good way to discover more about library offerings is by doing the following search: Public Library Association Financial Literacy.
(5) Education Experience at a Money Camp
There are music camps, wilderness camps, and science camps. And yes, there are also money camps.
These camps teach basic financial skills and many related core values. Your kids will learn things like the benefits of saving, budgeting, investing, insurance, compound interest, entrepreneurship, etc.
Money camps are run by a wide variety of organizations. Some camps last a few hours while others last a week or two.
Again, a search of “money camps for kids” will help you locate the perfect one for your child.
A Closing Word on Financial Literacy
I want to encourage you to give your kids a financial education. Help them be the best versions of themselves can be. Teaching them how to handle and manage their money will go a long way in achieving this objective.
There is no doubt, money skills are powerful and essential to realizing and sustaining long term success. By preparing, teaching and encouraging kids to save, budget, delay gratification, make smart spending choices, etc., you are giving them the practical and precious gift of financial literacy. It’s a gift that will give them and their children a better life.
So, do everything you can to make certain they become financially competent, including incorporating money-focused field trips into their financial education regimen!
Contribute and Deposit Your Thoughts
Have you ever taken your kids or students on a “financial education” field trip? What was your experience? Will you do it again? Do you recommend others do it?
Tell us about it in a comment! Post a thought on LinkedIn.
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