What Is A Financial Fieldtrip ?

The world could be their oyster! (Thanks to Scott Webb for the stunning photo)

Financial Fieldtrips are taking our financial education out into our everyday lives and actually seeing it at work around us.  The most important thing though is to have fun and try not turn the trip into a boxing match or a boring waste of time. Don’t label the trip as ‘now we are going to get a financial education’.  Play loud music, laugh, sing, make weird noises or play silly games and most important, as the mother – don’t talk a lot.  I find the more I manage to keep my mouth shut, the more my son talks.  The goal is to create awareness of how money works around us and to get the conversation going.  HAVE FUN!

Some ideas are :

  • Driving around looking at residential properties for sale and discussing what is involved in buying a property and owning a property.  Is my property an asset or a liability?  And why?
  • Next time you are parked in a parking lot.  Ask the question – who do you think owns this parking lot?  I wonder which of these cars parked here are liabilities?
  • Why would a car be a liability?  Can a car be an asset?
  • When you get a take-away, chat about who owns the building?  Does the owner of this business work in the business or do they have a manager?  Do they own the building or rent the building?  How do they make their money?
  • Become aware of just how much advertising is around us and discuss with your kids.  Talk about spending habits and how we can be brainwashed by the emotional messages.
  • Notice retail sale signs everywhere and chat to your children about mark-ups that retailers put on their items.  Discuss the process of getting the item from the manufacturer to the store.
  • Try and get everyone to go the bank and talk about interest rates and bank charges.
  • Taking my son into a grocery store is rather irritating.  So, I got him to take charge of baking a cake during the holidays.  He had to find a recipe, check what we already had at home, work out what we still needed and how much it would cost.  We came in under budget and the cake was delicious.

Lesson to self – stop talking so much.  Listen and let my son talk.  I find I am often so busy babbling to him, trying to drum into his head what I want him to learn that often I miss hearing (from him) what he actually needs to learn at that moment.