April is Financial Literacy Month

Junior Achievement USA says it’s never too early to teach kids about money

TEMPE, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) — Now, with April designated as Financial Literacy Month, it’s not about celebrating your finances, it’s about challenging yourself to improve your situation. Financial Literacy Month was designed to promote early and ongoing financial education.

Tempe-based educational strategy company Junior Achievements USA has been offering its program for children since the late 1950s. They emphasize financial literacy with both information and in-person education.

Anne Landers, vice president of strategic impact for JA, says it’s never too early to teach kids about money. In most cases, children learn about money through play, and Landers says this is a great time to introduce financial responsibility.

Games like Monopoly can teach kids about money management, but Landers suggests things like credit and debt be introduced. Landers suggests that parents give their children a loan and physically show them how credit works by issuing an interest rate.

Now, if the child pays off the loan on time, a parent would reward the child’s “good credit” with a larger loan. In turn, if the child does not repay the money within the stipulated time, he will face interest charges and his next loan will be refused, due to “bad credit“.

Landers also suggests talking with your child and asking him where he would like to live (house, apartment…) in the future and what kind of work he imagines himself doing. She says parents should then research what this career pays for and what the cost of living would be.

Landers adds that parents should also add the cost of transportation (loan, rental), food and entertainment and see if the child’s future plans are feasible.

Landers says this exercise will give children a broader perspective. Depending on the age of the child, parents can modify the language so that their child understands.

Junior Achievements offers a variety of lesson plans on online tools to help parents.

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