Worried you’re not teaching your kid enough practical money skills? These money challenges for kids will help them pick the skills up naturally.
There’s almost no better learning than naturally discovering the lessons by yourself.
And with a little prep work, we parents can help make this happen for our kid(dos)!
I’ve included 11 money challenges for kids below that will naturally help them learn practical money skills.
Don’t forget, have some fun with this!
Money Challenge #1: Play One Round of Monopoly…with a Financial Hardship
Everyone knows the game Monopoly, right (or at least has heard of it)?
I challenge your child to play a round of Monopoly, but a bit differently this time: with one of the 6 financial hardships detailed below.
The fact is, many people have financial hardships in life – either as a default, or just periodically throughout their lives. And since we’re at the stage in your child’s life where hardships can actually be prevented, I think it’s a great exercise to make them feel a bit of how they would feel if they were actually stuck in these money situations.
Prevention is worth it, my friends.
So here you go:
- Low Credit Score
- Pile of Student Loans
- Starting Up a Business
- Being in Debt to Someone You Know
- Getting Laid Off
- Past Creditors Hunting You Down
How do you add these hardships into your game play? Check out my post for directions on adding in some money life skills for kids to your Monopoly play.
Money Challenge #2: Hot Beverage Competition – Profit-Making Challenge
This is a different take on the lemonade stand — with a focus on teaching your child how to make a profit, something that’s important whether or not they want to employ themselves one day — and gives families a reason to spend a little time together both indoors and outdoors during the winter.
Each of your kids turns into a biz consultant for a day when they try to fulfill a need from the local Yeti Ski Lift. Jack, the owner, needs to create a new drink for a promo he’s doing. It’s gotta be a hot beverage. So, your kids are in competition to create the best-tasting drink that also makes at least a 60% profit.
Once the drinks are created, you all have a bonfire outside (heck, you can even light up the grill) and adults judge the various drinks to choose the winners.
Hint: there are winners in more than one category!
Money Challenge #3: The Great Penny Challenge
Stuck at Home Mom’s come up with a savings challenge any change-loving kid can appreciate.
On Day 1, you put a penny in the jar. On Day #2, you put two pennies in the jar. On Day #365, you put 365 pennies in the jar.
At the end of the year, increasing by a penny a day will yield your child $667 (plus an appreciation for how even little bits of money can really add up).
Money Challenge #4: 52-Week Savings Challenges for Kids/Teens
Mom Dot offers the 52-week savings challenge for both kids + teens:
- Kids Savings Challenge: Start putting $0.25 each week into savings, and raise that amount by $0.25/week. By the end of the year, you kid will have a nice $344.50 set aside.
- Teens Savings Challenge: Start by putting $1.00 each week into savings, and raise that amount by $1.00/week. By the end of the year, your teen will have $1,378 set aside!
Money Challenge #5: Charity Contribution Challenge
Have your kiddo go through the process of finding a charitable cause they’re passionate about, and then setting aside money to donate to.
Your kid can follow these steps:
- Make a list of a handful of causes that you’re interested in, or passionate about. It could be a specific animal – whales, lions, penguins – or a cause, such as rainforest, feeding kids, helping the homeless, etc.
- Go to CharityNavigator.org, and search for charities that deal with these causes.
- Choose a charity, based on their score/mission on Charity Navigator.
- Start to set aside 10% of allowance money/earnings to donate to this charity. If this is too open-ended, then decide on a set amount of time that you’ll set aside 10% of your money to donate such as for two months, one month, six months, or a year.
- Actually make the contributions!
Hint: Your child doesn’t have a lot of money to donate right now. But one day they will! So show them that their little bit of money can go a long way by choosing from a list of charities where less than $12 goes a really long way.
Money Challenge #6: Join a Stock Market Game
There are multiple LIVE stock market games online that your kiddo can join to dip their feet into investment waters.
Choose one to dive right in:
Money Challenge #7: Zero-Cost Entertainment Night Challenge
Each of your kid(dos) takes a turn of planning a family fun night. Choose the night of the week, and let them know any rules you have to begin with.
Now here’s the catch: they need to plan a night of fun that costs NOTHING (by “nothing”, I mean that you can set the rules, such as gas to get to somewhere like a park is okay, but no purchases made from a store).
Help them to think outside of the DVR-box (though those can be nice as well!).
Money Challenge #8: Become the Family Gas Finder
Your child can make a meaningful contribution to the household – something kiddos love – by being in charge of researching which gas station has the cheapest price.
Help them sign onto GasBuddy.com and look the costs up. Let them do this once a week or once a month to see how gas prices have changed, and if another station is cheaper.
Bonus: Talk to them about how many miles away the gas station is, and if it’s acceptable to travel there for the amount you’ll be saving.
Money Challenge #9: Dinner Budget Challenge
Let your kid(dos) take over the kitchen for the night. Give them a budget to work with, and help them to choose a meal to make based on that budget. Drive them to the store, and supervise as they pick out the ingredients (they might want to bring a calculator and add up the expenses as they go).
Then, help them as they prepare and serve the whole family the meal.
Here’s a link to 30 recipes that kids can cook to get you started.
Money Challenge #10: Find and Apply to One Scholarship
This could be for college, for a summer camp, for a program they really want to be part of; for anything, really. The point is to get kids invested in their future selves + help walk them through the process of finding and then applying for scholarship/grant money that is out there for the taking.
I’ve written an article about Linsey Knerl’s own son did this, winning $1,000 to put into his 529 college savings plan. Other contests they’ve entered so far have been coloring contests, essays, or simply a reading program goal reward with prizes varying between $25 and $20,000.
3 Places to Start their Money Search:
Money Challenge #11: The BIG KAHUNA Savings Challenge
Your kids probably want to do something “outrageous.”And by outrageous, I mean or out-of-budget for your family. Maybe you feel a little guilty for saying no; maybe you have absolutely no intention of ever giving in on this.
Whatever that big thing is…offer this to your kid: If you can save half of the cost to do it/buy it, then I’ll kick in the other half and we’ll actually do it.
- Buying a day pass to a theme park.
- Spending the night at the beach an hour from your home instead of doing a day trip.
- Buying a (used) car when they’re 16.
- Getting a dog.
- Going to see Taylor Swift in concert.
Not only will this thing not cost you as much, but you’ll have cemented some “cool parent” points in your child’s memory. Not bad.
And when they lose determination because they don’t believe they’ll ever reach their savings goal? Then use it as a teachable money moment with these 3 goal-saving steps.
Well, that’s it. Which money challenge are you most excited to introduce to your child?