Money Cycle Program
Make it, save it, invest it, spend it, plan it, and donate. That’s the money cycle mantra that we focus on with our financial education programs. Through a creative use of tokens and makeshift “stores,” students get involved in learning how money can grow through savings and investments. We illustrate a range of money choices that encourages financial savviness. The end result of our programs consists of all the children learning that when money is used wisely, it can provide a better sense of well-being, along with some “toys.”
- Make it
- Before entering the money cycle, we emphasize the importance of earning money. Without making it, you can’t save, invest, spend, plan or donate it.
- Save it
- There are times when we’ll run out of money when we need it most. Other times, we’ll want something expensive that we just don’t have enough for. That’s why it’s important to teach our kids to set aside money that they don’t spend right away.
- We teach the kids to set goals for what they want to save for and how much they want to save. Keep track of how much they’re putting away, and watch their money grow. With patience and willpower, kids are surprised by how much money they can put away. And when they do, they feel good knowing that they’ll always have some for when they really need it.
- Invest it
- We make sure the kids understand that one of the main reasons investing money is important is that it helps to create more money. As opposed to just saving money in a bank account, investing money involves choosing to use that money to earn a return on the money.
- Spend it (a little bit)
- Books, toys, games, ice cream? It’s easy to spend. So we make sure the kids understand the importance to keep track of how much they spend and how much they have left. We can’t buy everything, so we teach them to spend their money wisely and on things that they really want and need.
- Plan/Donate it
- There are so many fun things for us to spend our money on that we might want to use it all on ourselves. But one of the greatest ways to spend our money is to share it with others. Whether it’s a gift for mom or giving to people that need help, we make sure the kids know that they can use their money to bring happiness and comfort to others. Just like sharing a toy or food with a friend, being generous with our money helps us connect to the people around us and let them know we care.
Through a creative use of tokens and a makeshift “store,” students get involved in learning not only how money can grow through savings and investments, but how to use money wisely. The FinMango store consists of two boxes:
We award the students with tokens based on participation, energy, and engagement; the more tokens they earn, the more they can spend or save/invest at the end of each session. We make the spending box very tempting with lot’s of “toys” and “goodies!” Nearly all the students spend 100% of their tokens after the first session, with a few selecting to save/invest a few tokens instead of spending it all. The very few students who do save/invest during the first session will usually receive a triple or quadruple on their investment by the start of the next session. The students take note of the investment effect and end up overwhelmingly saving/investing their tokens at the end of session #2. The end result, we teach the students to not only earn money, but to be wise with their money. It’s perfectly fine to spend money, just spend it responsibly… because then you’ll have more money to spend later on “toys” and “goodies!”
After completing the program, students earn a certificate of completion and are able to:
- Identify what money is
- Understand the difference between wants and needs
- Learn the importance of making and saving money
- Learn the basics of investments and its compounding effect
- Learn that spending responsibly and watchfully is perfectly alright
- Learn that being generous with our money (that we save and grow) helps us connect to the people around us and let them know we care.
Overall, teaching our kids to be financially savvy is a gift – one that will keep on giving throughout their lives. Let’s make a difference together and empower the next generation!