Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Games That Teach About Money

In my quest to help youth understand the importance of budgeting, avoiding unnecessary debt and saving money, I have looked at various board games as teaching tools.  Some games, like Life, has aspects of what I am looking for but is too unrealistic.  I have altered the rules to Monopoly, adding savings account and mutual fund options, and most recently making GO a salary based square where the salary goes up and down with education and may even be missed if you lose your job with a Chance card.  That version is actually coming very close to what I want, but I have some minor tweaks to do yet.

A game that my eldest son has been playing over the past couple of months is called Record Shop Tycoon.  You start out in a small store in a poor location (it's all you can afford) and then are responsible for stocking music CDs to sell to your customers.  The game takes into account neighbourhood buying patterns, supplies

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Heading Into Christmas

My family celebrated Thanksgiving in a city that took several hours of driving to arrive in.  Once there our kids and their cousins had a blast making a lot of noise, some messes, and eating a lot of food, some healthy and some not.

A bit of a tradition in our families is to go around the table and ask everyone what they are thankful for.  The kids outnumbered the adults about 3:1 and they expressed thanks for some very interesting things.  I though I would share some of them with you.

The kids expressed thanks for:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are we teaching students enough about debt?

Students are leaving university with more debt than ever, often crossing the $40,000 mark, and then they go out into the world and accumulate even more debt buy buying rent-to-own furniture and borrowing for vehicles. 

The real scare comes from credit cards.  They are freely offered with little explanation of how to use them and how they affect your credit score.  And those habits that people form in their teens and 20's usually carry on throughout their life.

This may seem a little alarmist, and it is.  But I really want everyone to understand that excessive spending and debt accumulation can cause problems for not only you, but your whole household for decades after you bought that TV or went on that vacation.

Check out this article at to find out more details about Canadian debt loads.

Take care of your debt.  Life will be so much easier.  Jerry

Friday, October 1, 2010

Learning From Someone's Money Mistakes

I had someone tell me a bit of a depressing story about a month ago.  I'm sharing it here because I beelive we can all probably learn something from it.

This person's son and daughter-in-law were eager to buy a home in the middle of the job/housing boom.  They were told repeatedly by family members that owning a house would be better than renting, even though the couple really didn't have a down payment.  They took about a year of scraping together a 5% down payment plus the CHMC insurance fee and went off to see someone about a loan.