30 June 2012

Life Skills Summer: How do you teach teens about money?

Since I am a housewife again and the kids are out of school, my plan was to work on turning all of us into better household managers. On Facebook, I referred to this as our Life Skills Summer. That was meant as a joke, but I actually like the sound of it. 

I discussed this plan with C1 and C2 a few months ago, and they were both on board. They expressed a desire to become more proficient in the kitchen. I'm not the best cook myself, so this was to be a learning experience for all of us. They really want to do some baking, but with the heat wave and limited A/C in the house I think that is out of the question until winter. 

My desire to work in the kitchen has also been dampened by a couple recent dinner disasters. One attempt to jazz up ramen noodles with a curry sauce was so gross we actually had to throw it out. I had some cabbage and some potatoes on hand so I decided to try making an Irish dish called colcannon. It was not bad, but it wasn't wonderful, either. In this heat I'd rather not waste more time in the kitchen making dishes no one will eat. 

To salvage this Life Skills plan, I need to go in another direction. So I am going to start Monday morning with a mini-course in money management. I've always tried to be as transparent as was appropriate with the kids regarding our finances, but I've never talked with them to see how much they've learned in school about budgets and checkbooks and such. I do know that M managed to go off to uni without knowing how to write a check or use an ATM card, and I am terribly embarrassed that I missed that.

QUESTION: Do any of you have suggestions for games, books, or websites that would make it more fun to discuss money with teenagers?
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