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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Trip to Walgreen's - A Lesson in Financial Literacy

Personal Finance Workbook For DummiesI will be participating in the "Passport to Financial Literacy" event at Howard Community College on Saturday, 2/5. Thus, my thoughts have turned to children and financial literacy. Parents understand the need to raise financial literate children and are seeking answers on how to do it and when to start. The following on a trip to Walgreen's from the "Personal Finance Workbook for Dummies" provides considerable insight:

"The Woman was unloading a small grocery cart at the checkout counter with the help of her sons. Her daughter was carrying a fistful of coupons. I overheard the woman enthusiastically tell her children that because of a special on tuna fish, they were able to buy six cans for the price of three. They also took advantage of many other two-for-one specials, and the mother was very alert to share this fact with her children. The children picked up on the mother's enthusiasm and were excited with their accomplishments.

After all the purchases were rung up by the cashier, the woman asked her daughter to hand their coupons to the cashier. When the receipt was produced, all the kids huddled around their mother to see the results of their shopping adventure. They discussed the receipt together, and once again, the mother enthusiastically stressed exactly how much money they saved with their coupons. The daughter yelled, "Yeah . Mommy!" with the same kind of joy and excitement that you would expect when winning a Little League baseball game. And this was just a trip to Walgreen's."

Many times people think they need special training to help children become financially literate. This example shows this isn't true. All families handle money and make decisions regarding money. Spending a little extra time with young children to explain these processes goes a long way. 

The next time, for example, you go to the bank, take a few moments and go inside. Explain to the kids what you are doing. A visit to the bank, like a visit to the grocery store, can be a big adventure for young children.
It'll pay off in the end and could turn out to be your best investment!

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