Using Powerball to Teach Kids About Money

PowerballPowerball is all over the news this week, with (apparently) one winning ticket sold in Florida worth nearly $600M.  What are kids learning from this?  As a parent, you’re in a great position to take current events from the news and shape them into interesting conversations with your kids.  I had a conversation with my daughter this morning.  She asked me, “What would you do if you won the Powerball?” (It was interesting that she said “you” rather than “we.”  But I digress.)

“Well, we’d do the same thing we do today with our money,” I said.  “We’d give some to charity, we’d put a bunch in savings, and we’d add more money to our budget.”

“Would you buy a motorhome?”  She knows that Tracie and I are really looking forward to the day when we can buy a motorhome and spend more time on the road.

“Probably, ” I told her.  “And then you’d sell the house?” “No, probably not,” I said.  “We’ve always talked about selling the house, but only because it’s so expensive to live in this old house, with everything that needs to be fixed.  If we won the Powerball, we could fix the house, and afford to keep living here.”  Looking back, she was probably expressing some insecurity that someday this house, the only home she’d ever had, would no longer be here.

“Would you keep working?”  “No,” I answered.  “If we won the Powerball, I wouldn’t have to work, and I could spend a lot more time with the family.”

It was a really nice conversation, I thought.  Parents don’t talk to kids enough about money, about the family budget, and about what future plans are with money, big purchases, retirement, and so on.  Having a “What if we won the Powerball” conversation is an easy way to talk to kids about some important money topics.  It’s all dreamy and hypothetical, but I think you’ll find it will help your kids (and you!) see what your true attitudes are toward money.

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