I was struck by an idea the other day on how to teach pre-teens and teenagers about some of the give and take in finances. Note: this is not a cure-all, just an exercise.
Figure out how much money it costs to take the whole family out to eat, and plan on doing that once a week, for a month.
Set it up with the child that they will be given $x per week, and most likely, their pupils will form dollar signs, just like in the cartoons. But tell them that there’s a string attached. They have to pay for the entire family to go out to eat, and they get anything left over.
What I’m hoping for is to teach the kids about the give and take of finances, but just in one dimension: Should people have coke to drink, or just water? Filet or a side salad?
UPDATE: My sister asked about the child smart enough to ask “So, would cooking ramen for the family count as providing them a meal?” First off, that kid probably doesn’t need this particular lesson. Second off, I’d cut the deal short after just one week…