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Family

Teaching your kids to save their hard-earned coin

September 29th, 2013 by

Show them how to virtually spend and give - without spending a thing

 
 

Your twelve-year-old son or daughter has just gotten his or her first real job. Whether that be babysitting for the neighbours, doing extra chores around the house, or setting up a surprisingly popular lemonade stand, the cash is starting to flow in for them like nothing they've ever experienced before.

It feels good to be at the top of their twelve-year-old game, but it probably doesn't feel too good when they learn the age-old lesson we all learned years ago: money always seems to go out faster than it comes in.

Alas, it doesn't have to. That's another lesson we all learned years ago when we finally discovered the importance of saving. Whether we actually stick to our guns about saving or not - well, that's another journey.  Perhaps if we had gotten the practice earlier on in our lives, it would come more naturally to us. That's why it's important that we get our kids into the practice as early as possible. Here's how...

3 ways to teach your kids how to save their hard-earned coin

  • Teach your kids how to stash away their cash

Giving them their own Ekomini is a fantastic way to go about doing this. Golden Girl Finance readers learned about the Ekomini earlier this month - the biggest takeaway being in how effectively it will teach your kids about saving and investing. 

They probably feel inclined to go on a spending binge - and hey, they've earned it. But a virtual spending binge might be far more adventurous and brag-worthy than one at the corner store. 

  • Get all your child's friends in on the same game

Sharing is caring - but you don't necessarily want to see your child buying everyone's lunches.

That's why the Ekomini has a sharing feature in which your child can share their virtual funds with friends on the same system. You can get their friends in on the game by giving out the Ekomini as a birthday gift or even talking to parents at school and in the neighbourhood. You might even choose to all go in with a bulk purchase and get your Ekominis in the same shipping package (you'll be the one saving the day with the special discount code included at the bottom of this post).

  • Show them how good it feels to see a high savings balance at the end of the month

Earn a dollar, spend a dollar. That's usually how it goes. With the Ekomini, you save what you earn without even realizing it. It's always good to forget about what you've saved - eventually, you look back and realize it's a huge sum. Similarly, your kids are depositing their coin and spending it in a virtual platform - but that money stays right inside the Ekomini.

At some point, you can check the balance and share that information with your child. They'll be amazed and excited to see how well they've done without even trying. You might even reward them with an extra little allowance (consider it interest). 

Learn early, learn for life

Rather than struggle to show your child the importance of saving, challenge them to show you that they want to save. Just be ready to watch the tables turn - they might just be the ones questioning your spending habits next time you're out on a shopping run!

Want to know more?

The Ekomini retails for $39.99, but Golden Girl Finance readers are currently being offered a special price of $19.99 plus shipping (enter the promo-code GGIRLF2013). You'll get a bonus wallet for the newest saver of the family if you purchase two or more as well. It might be time to start making those phone calls to other parents in the neighbourhood so you can all go in on a purchase that will change everything.

Visit the Ekomini shop

Family

The coolest children's birthday gift

September 16th, 2013 by

Help the wee ones build wealth with this innovative take on teaching kids about money

 
 
 

With September being the most popular month for birthdays - September 16th is the most popular day - the Disney princess and superhero themed invitations might be starting to roll in at unparalleled levels. (We guess everyone was "busy" over the winter months - if you know what we mean...)

Most parents agree that finding suitable gifts for children's birthdays can be a mind-boggling endeavour. If you’re one of them, read on. If you’re not one of them, read on anyway...you'll be there one day.

Make every child you know money-wise

Picture this: You get home to find your daughter has cleaned her room, tidied up her toys, and she even did the dishes. The first thing you do is slap your palm to her forehead. No fever, really? The next thing you do is reach into your wallet and pull out a crisp $10 bill. Such initiative surely deserves a reward. Then she does something truly remarkable - she invests it with zero risk.

Say what?!

Believe it. This is your child with an Ekomini.

Today’s Ekomini-ist is tomorrow’s economist

It’s more than just a clever play on the word “economy” - Ekomini is the only interactive game out there designed to teach your child about money that, get this, uses actual money! If you want to make your child (or his/her friends) be wise with their cash, an Ekomini might be your best bet.

An Ekomini comes in the form of a charmingly orange and yellow treasure chest that connects to a computer’s USB port. It tells the computer how much cash it’s holding and integrates that figure into a web-based game for kids. Your son or daughter can then go to the (virtual) movies or go (virtually) shopping. She can (virtually) invest her funds or save them for a rainy day (virtually and in reality). The game will even teach her about generosity using its (virtual) sharing option. 

The basis of the game is that the player must stand up against Monicrooks – a group of selfish and greedy citizens (Kevin O’Leary, are you in there?). Parents can also sign-in to see a log of their child’s money-saving strategies and activities. Hint: You might even pick up a trick or two...

Why it works

Like anything, children learn and absorb information more fluidly when lessons are made into games. It’s why our parents used candy to teach us about addition and subtraction (and look at us now!).

But the days of flipping Pogs and spinning marbles are over. Unfortunately for Mattel, Hasbro, and other key players in the traditional toy industry that suffered declines in sales this past year, children are shifting from crib to keyboard almost seamlessly. It’s the reason Hasbro made a $112 million purchase for a 70 percent stake in Backflip Studios, a mobile gaming company, back in July.

Stay ahead of the gift game

Unlike Hasbro, you don’t need to drop $112 million on technology to keep up with today’s kids. The Ekomini retails for $39.99, but Golden Girl Finance readers are currently being offered a special price of $19.99 plus shipping (enter the promo-code GGIRLF2013). Your order will also include a bonus wallet for the newest saver of the family if you purchase two or more. Make it easy on yourself - you can buy several Ekominis at once, stockpile them in back of the coat closet, and start handing them out at birthdays like the candy we used to learn for counting. 

Want to know more?

Visit the Ekomini shop