30 Days of Homeschool – Day 11: Finance and Money

(reminder – this is about free resources for homeschool, in 30 non-consecutive posts…meaning: there won’t be a post every day, but there will be 30 🙂  )

PREFACE/ENCOURAGEMENT/PONTIFICATION:

“Money isn’t the most important thing, but it affects the most important things.” — Robert Kiyosaki

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” — Ecclesiastes 5:10

Handling money is just simply a major part of life, and it can be a really difficult idea to grasp. Our kids are taken care of, and we provide the basics of life, so it’s almost an impossible task to train them to see that money matters, and how they handle it affects so many other things. These tools below can help, and I’m mentioning things that little ones can do, all the way up to things for high-schoolers who want to see what it would be like to actually spend and even invest. As we teach them how to handle money (and more importantly how to properly view money), we learn things, too! We often ferret out things that we didn’t know about ourselves.

Print Monopoly Money – http://www.zieak.com/2008/08/19/print-your-own-monopoly-money/
If you have little ones and you don’t want them on the computer, then you can download these PDFs and print out Monopoly money to help them learn some basics of handling cash.

Make Your own Monopoly — http://shauna1934.hubpages.com/hub/make-your-own-monopoly
Here’s a way to make your own version of this famous game. Customize as you see fit, or just go with what’s offered.

Cashflow online — http://www.richdad.com/apps-games/cashflow-classic.aspx
I REALLY like Cashflow. The actual game is what one could call “expensive,” but this online version is free. I bought (invested in?) the board game years ago, and our whole family has developed an aversion to “doodads.” But this is the free version. Another thing I like about Cashflow is that, unlike Monopoly, you’re not out to demolish others. The challenge is to get out of the rat race by getting your passive income to exceed your expenses. But it’s not 1 winner – one person will be the first, but the others can still “win.” It’s a little more like real-life – just because someone has won before you, you can still win, and not at the expense of others.

Rich Kid, Smart Kid — www.richkidsmartkid.com
This site – an online, free, corollary kid’s version of the Cashflow game – has several age-appropriate games and downloadable lesson plans.

Mint.com — www.mint.com
One of the most popular budgeting tools. Quite good, and can be accessed from any of your mobile devices.

Crown Financial – http://www.crown.org
Lots of good information and several good tools here, with no need to sign up.

MorningStar — http://www.morningstar.com/
This site has LOTS of tools, and would be for your more complicated finance teaching. It has lots of things for investing, but you can sign up and keep track of various and sundry things. You don’t need to actually invest in things, so you can keep track of how things might look if you did. Good for higher-level learning.

Google Finance — https://www.google.com/finance
Similar to Morningstar in that it has several tools and you can track things (you can also check out MSN and Yahoo, and just about every other provider/news source like them), but it only requires a Google account. A little more user-friendly than MS.

Budget Template for OpenOffice — http://templates.openoffice.org/en/template/personal-budget
If you want free and low-tech, this is good. Sure, it’s quite manual, but it’s really good for those who want to remain anonymous online and/or don’t see anything for free that has all of the categories they need. If you have MS Office you can get a budget template; but OpenOffice is free, whereas MS Office is pricey.

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