Videos Put Entertaining Spin on Money Management
In promoting the online educational game "Financial Football" from VISA and the
Too bad Brees went to school before there was "Burning Money," a series of 20 videos and interactive lessons put together by young people for young people. I found them far more instructive -- and real -- than the VISA-
Available free to all high schools in the country from the financial literacy group FoolProof, the "Burning Money" series "shows young people why budgeting and saving are skills they want," said
In "Burning Money," students play a "reality game" with the goal of having money left over after living on their own for a month.
Playing the game, students learn about the money "burned" or wasted by careless spending and impulse buying. They learn how nearly maxing out their credit cards and being late with a payment, whatever the amount or excuse, lowers their credit score. That low score wastes more money through a higher interest rate for a car loan, a higher insurance premium and higher rent and phone line deposit.
"It is tough, it is honest," Sutton said of the "Burning Money" series that, in keeping with FoolProof's "tough consumer information, no infomercial" approach, doesn't mention any financial products.
FoolProof's programs have been endorsed by the
"Burning Money" (anybody can watch the videos at the Web site www.foolproofteacher.com) can teach adults a few things, too.
You are in control of your money and your credit. Keeping track of your money is essential (students must record every dime they earn or spend every day for seven days, and are graded on the detail and accuracy of their records).
More lessons: Recognize the difference between wants and needs (you need water when you're thirsty. You may want fancy water, but all you really need is water). Learn the difference between fixed and variable expenses (the rent or mortgage is generally fixed. The food and electric bills are variable expenses you can take steps to lower).
Most important, success with money isn't luck; it is a skill. The four habits of young millionaires are to think ahead, pay themselves first, learn how to make smart decisions a habit and learn how to put their money to work.
Paying yourself first -- setting aside money for savings every time you get paid -- is "the most important and hardest habit to learn," "Burning Money" teaches. "Make it as automatic as breathing," it recommends, such as depositing part of your paycheck automatically into a savings account. In between the lessons, "videogame breaks" keep "Burning Money" fun as well as educational.
But best of all, the program actually challenges and teaches.
"It really was very helpful," said
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Personal Finance - Videos Put Entertaining Spin on Money Management
(c) 2010 Humberto Cruz