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We’ve always stressed how important it is to receive financial lessons. Whether you are in your prime or starting out, you need to learn about money so you can somehow maximize it as a tool towards success.
But while a lot of us are scrambling to find the lessons that will keep us from ruining our lives, we need to start planning how the next generation will handle their money. Why wait until school to give financial lessons for kids? Believe it or not, you can start by selecting the right cartoons that you will get your kids to watch.
Everything about life is meant to teach us something and what better way to teach your kids about money smarts than through their favorite shows on TV?
2 modern cartoon shows that give great lessons about money
Kids are like sponges when it comes to information and this is why you need to be careful about how you talk and act around them. One of the toughest yet important education that they need to learn are financial lessons. Since it is a bit complex, teaching them through a language that they will understand is probably the best way to go at it.
Given that, here are 2 modern cartoon shows that can help you set up financial lessons for kids. Later on we will reveal two classic cartoons that you can also use for your child’s financial education.
Dora the Explorer
Who doesn’t know Dora? You may hate her but you kid absolutely adores her. This kid literally goes places but do not let you child get too caught up with the adventures without putting in a few financial lessons.
The whole show is filled with lessons about colors, shapes, numbers and values but it can teach your child one thing: always ask when you do not understand. It may not be a direct financial topic but it is a fundamental lesson that you have to instill in your child. It is important to teach them that Just because everyone is doing it, that does not mean you should immediately follow suit. Make sure you understand where the road with lead you before you enter into anything.
Dora also teaches us to plan ahead. Remember how every adventure starts with a map and a plan? That is how financial goals must be approached. Your child must create a plan, set up markers for their progress and deal with one path at a time. The whole journey may seem daunting but sectioning them will make it more bearable and enjoyable.
Lastly, the little adventurer teaches to rely on tools for help. She knows the tools that will lead her to the next destination. Let your kid know what these are and guide them on how to use it. Let them know that there are authority sites that can be easily accessed like this very site, National Debt Relief and those managed by the government like MyMoney.gov.
Phineas and Ferb
Another favorite cartoon show that actually teaches financial lessons for kids is Phineas and Ferb. Again, like Dora, they will not really give direct finance topics but they also teach another fundamental lesson: enjoy the journey.
Miley Cyrus may not be the best person to allow your kid to look up to but she’s got it down with her song “The Climb.” Back in the days when her hair was tamed and she looked, well, more like a Disney star, she released this song that contained the lyrics: Ain’t about how fast I get there, Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, It’s the climb.
Well that is one time that she and Phineas and Ferb are onto the same principle. It’s not about your goal but more of how you get there. Along the way, you encounter new lessons and you make mistakes. Let you kids know that this is normal. Sometimes, it even has to happen for them to develop the right skills that will get them to their destination.
No matter how difficult the quest is, you have to really admire how Phineas and Ferb deal with every project that they make. This enthusiasm is something that we hope will rub off on our kids. Even if you are obligated to do something, it pays to try to enjoy every minute while you are working on it. With your child looking towards a future of tedious budgeting, spending sacrifices and a lot of financial planning, it helps to approach all of them with so much gusto. Tell them that they should not be too hard on themselves. Just enjoy the ride and do the best that they can with the situation they are presented with.
2 classic animated shows that teaches money smarts to your kids
Here’s a blast from the past that should help you get great financial lessons for kids.
The Road Runner Show
This is a classic and it might be difficult for your kid to identify with this. But if they enjoy the Tom and Jerry Show, then they will love this. While some people may cringe at the self-blowing, vindictive and oftentimes violent Wylie Coyote, he can teach your kids a couple of information about personal finance. Of course, you just have to take time to sit beside your child as they watch it (probably over Youtube) to divert their attention from the violent scenes. Instead, point out the financial lessons for kids that the creators probably never realized they were putting there.
First of all, the show, specifically the character of Wylie Coyote teaches you to focus on the goal, not the failures. You have to hand it to this coyote. He’s been blown up, fallen off high cliffs, and reduced to puffs of smoke every time - and yet he still persists to catch the road runner. Persistence and keeping your eye on the goal will not deter you from reaching your financial goals.
He also puts risks-takers to shame. While we want our kids to be cautious with their money, there is less to gain unless you are willing to take risks. You just have to educate your kids as to the qualities of a good risk and how to separate it from the not.
Lastly, although he did not practice it, Wylie Coyote taught us to be wary of gimmicks. Your child may be impressed by flashy or quick solutions but in some financial problems, that is not the best course to follow. All of the gimmicks that the coyote bought ended up failing him. Do not let your child do the same.
Did you ever think that you can learn anything from Homer Simpson? Of course, the financial lessons for kids that we got from this cartoon show is laced with humor but the principles are there. Most of Homer’s actions are about what should not be done with your finances so you need to be careful in translating the lessons to your children.
In one episode, this father of three said, “Buy low and sell high.” He got the concept of stock trading quite easily. This might be a bit advanced for your child but you should be able to determine when this lesson is appropriate.
Of course, Homer Simpson can be seen frequenting his favorite bar, Moe’s Tavern. Descriptions of the show states that he spends most of his money here. That is a no-no. While we want to enjoy life, as Phineas and Ferb does, we want to keep it from being too reckless. Make sure that your kid understands the difference from the wants from the needs.
All of these cartoon shows will require you to point out the lessons to your child so make sure you are present at the right time. If ever, you can make simple analogies to help teach financial lessons for kids. There are also quite a number of websites that you can go to for ideas. For instance, MoneyAsYouGrow.org is a great way to adjust the money related lessons as your kid ages.
Using these cartoons will help keep your child’s attention on you as you explain the concept about money to them. In fact, even Warren Buffet grasped this idea a few years back. Here is a video of one of his cartoons that targets young minds with basic financial concepts.