Offering helpful financial and lifestyle advice for everyday Canadians

Archive for the ‘Finance & Kids’ Category

Games and Shows Teaching Kids About Money

Here is a really helpful article from TVO Parents giving some advice on educational shows to help children understand the concepts of money at a young age.

All TVOKids shows and game are based upon Ontario elementary school curriculum, making it your one-stop-shop for digital tools to support your child’s learning. Be sure to check out the hundreds of shows, games and apps TVOKids has to help you help your child succeed in school and in life.

  • Carney The Coin Counting Cat Your kids can learn their coins and practice counting with this TVOKids show aimed at preschoolers.
  • Tumbleweed Shops School-aged kids can learn about how far money goes watching Tumbleweed go on a shopping spree.
  • Learning Decimals Teacher Troy teaches kids all about decimals in money numbers in this video lesson.
  • Learn to Count This online game helps kids learn how to count up coins while having fun at the same time.
  • Tumbletown Mathletics Your child can test his or her skills for math and fractions by playing Tumbletown Mathletics online.
  • Coin Spot Game This online game teaches kids to recognize Canadian coins, after they’ve had to fun of searching for them hidden in a room!



Top 10 Personal Finance Tips for Single Parents



Being a single parent isn’t easy, but it can be easier. provides a great article with tips to improve your financial situation.

The economy always works in cycles, and with these cycles our perceptions about money, how we should deal with it, and what our responsibilities are towards accurately informing our children about it also change.

A March 2012 survey suggests that more parents are talking with their kids regarding money. Parents are discussing with children what they need to understand about it in order to make more informed choices on money matters as they grow older.

The current generation of students, or those who are in the initial years of their careers, are deep in student debt. I believe that one can avoid student debt if parents play their finances a bit more safely and carefully craft the financial future of their kids. Parents, though, can sometimes be poor role models when it comes to managing money and teaching the same to their kids. However, even if you are a single parent with limited means, it is still possible to take stock of things and enforce good financial discipline to achieve a secure financial future for your whole family.


Teens and a Budget: Is There Such a Thing?

Not only are young children expensive, but holy crap those teens can cost you too! I never realized how expensive I was back in the day, but now that I am aware I found this for you parents out there. Keep that wallet lined, my friends and thank Tamara Wilson from Mommyland.

If you have teenagers, then you know how expensive they are. The old saying that small children need small things and big children need bigger things certainly is true. But, can you successfully set a budget with your teenagers? Of course, you can. It may not be easy, at first, but it is certainly doable. There are a few tips and tricks to setting and keeping a budget when you have teenagers.

It’s All about Communication

If you are determined to set a budget and stick with it, be sure to include your teens in the conversation. Implementing a budget and not letting them in on it, is like pulling the proverbial rug out from underneath them. You cannot expect good results if everyone is not on the same page.

Start out by letting your teens know that you are implementing a budget. Sit down with them and your spreadsheets if necessary and show them what the bills of the house look like. If you do not feel comfortable showing them what the monetary intake of the household is, that is just fine.

Be certain to let them know how much money you need to make up at the end of the month and what your thoughts are as to what needs to be cut. Sit down and have a round-table discussion, letting everyone know you will have a meeting to discuss the budget.


Get Control of Your Kid Stuff with Consignment Stores

Your kids can be expensive. Especially with clothing because they grow up too darn fast. Thankfully, has a handy article with some tips to keep kid costs down.

As a Mom of six kids, I rely on hand-me downs to stretch my budget. But sometimes an item doesnʼt get “worn out” enough by the time the last child has outgrown it.  And what about the oldest — where can I get hand-me-downs for her?  The solution: childrenʼs consignment stores!

Consignment stores are gold mines for the de-cluttering Mom.  Buy and sell all types of childrenʼs gear: clothing, toys, footwear, swings, strollers, high chairs, books, tapes — in other words, the works. They are an fantastic place to get barely used childrenʼs clothes, often with the tags still on, for a fraction of the price.

Consignment stores work by selling gently used items for you, and keeping a portion of the price (usually around half.) Unlike thrift stores, they pre-screen and organize all the merchandise into a shopper friendly format, making them a super go-to resource for the frugal parent.

Here are some tips to make your consignment shopping and selling, something youʼll be doing again and again.

Research your Store’s Policies

Before you bring your items in, either phone or drop by to see what your local storeʼs policies are. For some stores you need an appointment, and others are drop in. Find out if they pay you up front for the items they take, or after they sell. Most stores have a limit on the amount you can bring in at one time, and the type of items they will take, so check ahead to avoid aggravation and a wasted trip. (more…)

Kids & Money – Learning Through Board Games

Gail Johnson writes about a fun and interactive way to teach your kids about the value of money. Originally posted on July 29, 2013 on Yahoo Canada Finance.

Board games a great tool to teach kids money basics

There was a bit of an uproar recently when the Wall Street Journal erroneously reported that the makers of Monopoly had decided to pull the jail spaces on the board game’s most recent version in an effort to woo and retain today’s overscheduled kids.

The theory was that without the jail space, the game would move faster, a key consideration given that young’uns just don’t have time for long, drawn-out “play”. It turns out that it was all a terrible misunderstanding, and in fact you can still go to the slammer while playing the original Monopoly as well as Monopoly Empire, in which players buy brands instead of real estate.

Despite it being one of the most popular games of all time, Monopoly never did it for me as a kid, and I’ve never played it with my own two children. In it, players buy and trade properties and collect rent from opponents, with the ultimate goal of driving them into bankruptcy. It’s hardly a feel-good distraction.

Derk Solko, who cofounded, described it this way in Wired magazine: “Monopoly has you grinding your opponents into dust. It’s a very negative experience. It’s all about cackling when your opponent lands on your space and you get to take all their money. Monopoly, in fact, is a classic example of what economists call a zero-sum game. For me to gain $100, you have to lose $100. For me to win, you have to be bankrupt. Gouging and exploiting may be perfect for humiliating your siblings, but they’re not so great for relaxing with friends.”


For my money, the Game of Life is where it’s at when you want to introduce young kids to some very basic financial concepts through a good ol’ fashioned board game.

I know there are countless counting, budgeting, saving and other educational money-related tools and games online that have a ton of research behind them and are geared specifically to children. Life is definitely not that, but I still love this this Hasbro classic, which first rolled out in 1860 when it was called the Checkered Game of Life. In fact, it represents been the best $24.99 I’ve spent all summer.

My six-year-old loves it and will happily play for hours. He’s learning math (If I have $100,000 but owe $40,000 in taxes, how much do I get back?). He’s discovered that you don’t just “get” a starter home; you have to in fact pay for one. He doesn’t like being sued or losing his job. And when it comes to the Spin to Win spot, where you bet a certain sum of money and stand to win back 10 times that amount or lose it all, he would rather take a pass altogether.

“Board games such as Life are a great way to teach your kids some real life money lessons while also having fun as a family,” says financial-literacy consultant Robin Taub, a chartered professional accountant and author of A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids. “The game simulates your journey through life from college to retirement, including financial decisions you will face along the way as you navigate career, marriage, and possibly children.”

Other financial experts say board games can help parents teach their kids about money, even though Life can only be taken so seriously.

“I think anything that teaches our young people about life and about money is a wonderful tool,” says Margaret Johnson, president of Solutions Credit Counselling. “I would, however, prefer to see a board game or a money teacher that is more realistic. If you make the wrong choices or if you gamble your future away, the reality is you and your family could live on the street for the rest of your lives.

“Fast-tracking trying to get money usually does not work,” she adds. “Slow and steady is the way. Education is the key.”

Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. , agrees.

“What kid doesn’t want to race their little toy car, filled with a family of blue and pink pegs, towards the ultimate goal of a huge mansion, piles of money and a lush retirement? Is it very realistic? Probably not, but the Game of Life is an excellent way to teach our kids that the choices we make early on can shape our financial future,” Schwartz says. “On a most basic level board games like Life and Monopoly give kids hands-on experience with counting play money and making change. Life takes this a step further by introducing them to concepts of insurance, bank loans, savings and investing.

“As parents, it can be difficult to find ways to teach our kids about money,” he adds. “The true value in board games like Life is the opportunities they provide parents to start discussions about money with their kids.”

[end of article]



A Kid’s Road to Financial Literacy

A Kid's Road to Financial Literacy

Here’s how to hold your child’s hand through the various monetary milestones in their life in order to ensure they grow up to be financially savvy.

Tag Cloud