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Bank It or Bust – A game about saving!

Category: On the Web | Age Group: 14-16

TOPIC:

Saving Money – How to Save

RESOURCES NEEDED:

Access to the on-line game “Bank It or Bust” http://www.thirteen.org/finance/games/bankorbust.html

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

When adolescents get their first job and experience the feelings that come with that first source of income they often celebrate this perceived independence by spending the money rather rapidly and without thought about what the prudent thing would be. While somewhat understandable, this pattern cannot continue for an extended period of time without it developing spending habits that will prove difficult to change and ineffective in establishing a solid, financially responsible approach to the realities of adult life. By playing this game the teenager can see the consequences of decisions and how those actions affect long range goals. It helps them to see the importance of establishing a plan and making decisions with that goal in mind.

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Find an opportunity for you and your son and/or daughter to sit together and ask them if they have something they are trying to save for.
  • Ask them how their saving plan is coming and if they would like to save more. (Most of us could.)
  • Ask them to play the on-line game with you “Bank It or Bust” found at http://www.thirteen.org/finance/games/bankorbust.html.
  • Once you have finished the game, talk with them about the need to “pay yourself first.” http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/payyourselffirst.asp#axzz2Kb4rvhPm
  • Having done this, ask them what ideas they found in playing the game that would help them ensure that their spending was done carefully and with consideration keeping in mind their goal of buying that thing they said they were saving for.
  • Discuss with them anything that you might do to support their efforts to save for that desired purchase.
TIPS:
  • When purchasing, don’t focus on name brands. Instead check the quality or contents of the item. If they are the same or similar, purchasing “off brand” may prove to be a better buy.
  • Do your homework. Check consumer reports and customer reviews prior to shopping for an item.
FOLLOW UP IDEAS:
  • You might consider discussing with your son or daughter how they spent their money in the last month and whether, in hindsight, they would do things differently.
  • You might consider helping them set up a ledger so that they could tract their expenses for a period of time and then review with them how the money was spent.
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