Tuesday, October 25, 2011

3 Ways Cha-Ching Can Help You and Your Kids Become More Financially Literate

How I wish we also had this when we were growing up...

Cha-Ching is a new series on Cartoon Network that aims to teach kids basic financial concepts and money management skills. The stories revolve around six kids who form a band called--yes, you guessed it--"Cha-Ching" and how the group deals with real-world financial situations. I haven't seen any episode yet, but I've spent some time on the accompanying website, which I think would probably have much more to offer than the show itself. In fact, the website alone offers several fun ways you and your kids could learn more about earning, saving, and spending money.

1. Through song

Perhaps the reason why a lot of young people (like my students) are not very interested in finance is that it could become quite boring real fast (as some of you readers already probably know :| ). The creators of Cha-Ching decided that the best way to teach the young and old alike the intricacies of finance is by adding catchy tunes to otherwise bland and boring verses and turn them into colorful music videos. Take a look at this one entitled "Entrepreneur," for example.

At the very least, we'll learn how to pronounce the word correctly. ;)

2. With games

Perhaps the best way to make the most out of Cha-Ching is to play the games featured on the website. "Cha-Ching Saver" is a cross between a Super Mario World-like platformer and a typical RPG: you earn coins by playing platform mini-games and then decide how to use your coins on the world map. The objective is to earn as many coins as you can and be featured on the Leaderboard for bragging rights.

The second game is called "Entrepreneur" where, as the name suggests, you get to form and run your own virtual business. This game is actually pretty cool since you get to see (and learn) how decisions in different management fields like marketing (see the 4P's below!) and operations (wow, inventory management for 10-year-olds!) could affect your bottom line.

3. With helpful tools

Finally, Cha-ching provides users with helpful tools like the iPhone "Pocket Money Manager" app and the "Family Budget Manager" which is a watered-down version of the Excel budget planner I featured a while back. These tools can help kids and parents alike apply some of the things they have learned from Cha-Ching to real-life situations.

All in all, Cha-Ching is a welcome development in promoting financial literacy both in children and adults. Since financial literacy is not part of the official curricula in elementary and high school, Cha-Ching stands as perhaps the most effective way to teach young people to be more mindful of how to earn, save, and spend money.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...