Summer Enrichment for Young Children Has More Than One Payoff

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Parents can use summertime to teach their child some real life lessons about money. Here is a handful of ideas to get started from Kids and Money expert Susan Beacham of Money Savvy Generation. Parents who want to go further can turn to Money Savvy Generation's Money Savvy Kids @Home to help their children learn specific personal money management skills.

Rather than shudder at the prospect of becoming the entertainment for the coming months, parents can use summertime to teach their child some real life lessons about money. Here are a handful of ideas to get started from Kids and Money expert Susan Beacham of Money Savvy Generation (http://www.msgen.com.)

o    Get a Job! There's money to be made and summertime is the perfect time for your child to exercise their entrepreneurship. Lemonade stands, dog walking, lawn mowing, garage cleaning --- let them learn how to earn some cash.
o    Emphasize the "Do" in Donate. Your trash is another's treasure. Time to clean out the closets and toy chests and have a sale that benefits a local cause. Local papers love to cover this type of philanthropy. So, give them a call and see if they will let everyone know what you are up to.
o    Save for the Cold Winter Ahead. Sorry, but winter will be here before you know it with fewer opportunities to earn money. Set up a savings account at a local bank and take your child there on a weekly basis to deposit at least some of every dollar they earn. With interest, that money will grow and be ready for them to tap during the school year.
o    Take a Money Field Trip. Visit a local publicly-held company that interests your child. Ask whether your child would like to invest some of that hard earned cash by buying one share of stock. Along with an on-site visit, look up the company on-line and see how they are performing.
o    Read Kids' Books about Money. The library is full of great books for kids about money. Ask your local librarian for recommendations that can start the money talk at home with the help of great characters like the Berenstain Bears.

Parents wanting to go further can turn to Money Savvy Generation's Money Savvy Kids @Home to help their children learn specific personal money management skills. This first of its kind, fun interactive program is designed to help children ages 6 through 11 get excited about the fundamentals of personal finance. It gives parents the necessary foundation to teach their children how money works in our society and how to get smart with it. With 8 chapters, each taking about 60 minutes for parent and child to work through together, this is the perfect activity for summer down time.

The cornerstone of this program is the award-winning Money Savvy Pig piggy bank which encourages children to explore the four money management choices (Save, Spend, Donate and Invest) by using actual coin and currency. Susan Beacham, a nationally recognized financial educator, emphasizes the importance of using the real thing when parents teach their children about money. Susan points out, "Children cannot fully grasp the concept that when money's gone, it's gone, if parents use 'cashless' forms of money like credit and gift cards." Research already shows that the more cashless society becomes, the more people spend. Parents need to intervene with the proper techniques and tools so that children understand that forms of cashless payment are no more than a convenient way to pay for something as opposed to having more money to spend.

Money Savvy Kids @Home is based on Beacham's life-changing personal finance curriculum currently in use in one or more elementary school districts in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Independent research attests to the ability of the Money Savvy Kids Basic Personal Finance curriculum to improve children's knowledge and attitudes about money management. Elementary school students trained in Beacham's curriculum demonstrate a firm understanding of spending, saving, investing and the all-important willingness to forego immediate gratification despite strong societal messages to the contrary.

About Money Savvy Generation
Money Savvy Generation, http://www.msgen.com, develops innovative products and services to help parents and educators teach kids the skills of basic personal finance. Money Savvy Generation developed the award-winning Money Savvy Pig piggy bank, supporting curriculum - the Money Savvy Kids Basic Personal Finance - for elementary school age children and the Cash Cache Personal Finance Organizer for pre-teens and teenagers. Money Savvy Generation also offers a podcast series and a Website discussion forum allowing parents and teachers to communicate one-on-one about the topic of financial literacy education for children. Money Savvy Generation was founded in Lake Bluff, IL in 1999.

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Susan Beck
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