COVID has changed the way our kids look at the world—an entire spring season indoors in close proximity to us parents has given them an insight into a world that most of us do not normally share with our kids. As well, COVID has wreaked havoc on wallets and family budgets all over the world, and there is no doubt that kids are picking up on this.
What is the best way to navigate these murky waters so that our children's future success is smooth sailing?
Here are my 4 tips for money lessons during a pandemic.
Talk with your kids and remove the fears
Recently, I was surprised when kids in our Young Entrepreneurs program voted to launch an initiative that uses leftovers to make new dishes. It struck me that these kids had subconsciously picked up that a) food was scarce, b) food deliveries were even more scarce, c) parents were not going to work, and d) every penny counts.
By not talking about what is happening, kids are left wondering what is correct or not.
It’s the perfect time to have frank conversations about life within and outside our homes. The more they know that the whole world is going through a collective hardship, the better they are able to manage their own expectations.
Make budgeting fun
Do you have a tween or teen that loves to shop? One who has a sieve in their pockets?
Being stuck at home gives you the perfect time to teach your kids about budgeting in a fun, non-confrontational way. An easy way to do this is for them to make the weekly meals menu for the family with the challenge to ensure zero waste (and I mean ZERO waste). Those stalks of the broccoli taste delicious in soup and those overripe bananas make perfect banana bread.
By empowering your child to manage the menu for the week, you are essentially teaching them how to make a dollar stretch a long way, and setting them on the path to being able to manage a budget.
Learn how to become money-savvy with Camp Millionaire.
Show them the power of giving back
If there ever was a time to develop a sense of community, it is now. Unfortunately, many charities that I’m aware of have had their funding sources cut.
In the last 5 weeks, Explorer Hop’s Young Entrepreneurs have raised over thousands of dollars for various charities. It was so rewarding for the kids to know they made a difference and have a sense of purpose.
Regardless of their age, your child can help in so many ways. Some ideas include; a note of thanks written in chalk on the driveway for the garbage collector, organizing a community collection of e-gift cards to be donated to the shelter, calling those in the community who are vulnerable to make sure they are ok or organizing a business that will keep giving back.
This unprecedented time presents us, parents, with the opportunity to bring out our child's altruistic side—something they can happily post about and be proud of for years to come!
Start their own initiative
Has your child already gotten through all the shows on Netflix? Are you tired about all the time they are spending on Fortnite and Epic Games? Why not turn all this around and help them launch a business? It could be a site that gives Netflix reviews sharing lessons in a subject matter your child knows about, like a video game or sport.
Recently, we had a select Hockey Team share their secret tips on Instagram videos in return for donations to a local Food Bank. Five days later, they had raised enough money to feed 6,000 people! These kids not only learned how to start their own initiative and raise incredible amounts of capital, but they also learned that no matter how dire the situation, there is always something good that can come out of it. How’s that for a COVID lesson?
There is no doubt that being cooped up inside is hard on kids, but with some imagination, what is a boring, unproductive time, can turn our kids into change-makers and improve their lives, and the lives of those around them, for the better.