Midsummer is just around the corner, as well as the summer and holiday season! This year, many plans will have probably been revised or even cancelled, while others may have been added. Regardless of how it looks for you, it is always nice to set a benchmark for what you want to get out of your holidays.
So what is your family's goal for summer 2020?
If your goal is to let the children return back to school with economic literacy, you are in the right place! In this blog you’ll find five super easy and fun tips for how to maximize both midsummer and the opportunity to learn about money!
For many people, midsummer is synonymous with games, food and dancing around the midsummer pole. Yes, midsummer for Swedes contains a lot of rituals and traditions, but just like New Year's Eve, midsummer also means some kind of new start. It's like a 'thanks and goodbye' to everyday life and a 'hello and welcome' to the vacation season, so take advantage of this opportunity to take care of the children's financial education with some fun ideas this Midsummer and holiday season whilst the family is usually together.
How do I teach my child the value of money?
At Gimi, we think it should be fun and inspiring to learn about money. The app is like a helping hand in everyday life, where you get support in financial education with handy tips for children on earning, saving and spending money wisely. Take a look at our latest interview with Lovisa Lofsan Sandström where she passionately describes how Gimi is used in their family and how significantly it has increased their children's understanding of money. Read the blog here.
The first tip for teaching children about money and giving them a financial education is by letting them actually try it for themselves. Both through theoretical knowledge and practical exercise. So, below we have listed five financial exercises that are perfect to do before, during and after midsummer with this tip in mind!
How do I teach my child to spend their money wisely?
3 tips that take 30 minutes
This three-point list will focus on one of Gimi's main areas of education - 'spend'. You can find more similar exercises in the Gimi app by logging in and clicking on the 'education' tab where you choose 'spend'. Log in (new tab)
- Create a shopping list for the midsummer food
Recipes for midsummer food can vary high and low, but most people probably have a midsummer menu which is usually pretty standard. However, it is very common that families will want to include absolutely everything at their midsummer table. The shopping list for midsummer could therefore be an excellent opportunity for your children to learn the difference between what they 'want' and what they 'need'.
Letting your child participate as you write the shopping list and divide it into two different parts consisting of 'need' and 'want'. What you need, for example, can be potatoes and herring, while what you want may consist of sweets, grapes and perhaps a more inspiring/more expensive crispbread!
When you are at the store purchasing all of the food, why not take two different shopping baskets and put 'needs' in one and the 'wants' in the other. Once you are at the checkout, choose to buy the food on two different receipts and then see the total amount of the 'want' purchases. Then discuss whether you thought it was worthwhile or not to buy these things and discuss with your child what else you perhaps could have done for the money.
We suggest that you end the conversation by explaining that it is okay to buy 'want' items just as long as you have made an active choice to do so. Describe that you should be aware that it is either required that you save this money in advance or that you perhaps refrain from buying something else you want or dream about in replacement.
- Make a budget for the midsummer games
Making a budget and trying to keep to it is a great tip for making your kids aware of their own spending. Midsummer is often associated with games and activities, but what you may not think of is that the props for these games cost money.
Sit down with the whole family and let everyone decide on an activity or game that they would like to do this year. Then simply write down what needs to be purchased and set a total budget. How much does it cost to buy garbage bags to jump in, eggs to run with, sitting on a spoon and dart boards to throw darts at? Are there any things you already have at home that you can use or can you borrow things from a neighbour?
When you have made your budget and written down how much you think everything should cost, you go buy it from the shops. Let the children save all the receipts and then compare them with the budget that was set beforehand. Could you keep to the estimated cost or not? Talk about what cost less or more than you thought.
- The climate agreement for midsummer
This year, the summer vacation is likely to bring many positive benefits to the climate as we cannot travel to the same extent as previous years. But think about whether you can influence your negative impact on the climate even more so this year, as a reduced pressure on the climate often also means a reduced pressure on the wallet.
So why not sign a climate agreement for midsummer with your nearest and dearest. Stack things up about how you can reduce food waste, how you can use things you already have, and how you can save on earth's resources. Then have everyone in the family sign it.
An example that the agreement may contain is that you cannot take more food than you can eat, that you are helped to wash instead of buying paper plates and that you drink tap water instead of buying bottled water. Maybe you can borrow stuff from friends and maybe you can lend stuff to your neighbors. There is always someone who lacks any extra chairs, a party tent or a saucepan so maybe you can lend a hand? Also, make sure you take advantage of all the food left over! For example, you can make a good pasta sauce with the leftover salmon, a few wraps on the roast steak and sandwiches with the barbecue leftovers.
When midsummer is over, sit down and write up all of the things you have done for the environment and let the children figure out how much money they think you saved up for it. It will be a great sense of satisfaction and pride for the children.
How do I teach my child to earn money?
2 tips that take 2 hours
This two-point list will focus on another of Gimi's main areas of education - 'earn'. You can find more similar exercises in the Gimi app by logging in and clicking on the 'education' tab where you select 'earn'. Log in (new tab)
- Try entrepreneurship - Bake a midsummer cake
Do you recognize that children sometimes complain about things like "I have nothing to do" or "oh do I really have to help?". So why not suggest that they become entrepreneurs and make some money?
Now for midsummer, you can ask them to make the strawberry cake that you will eat for dessert or scones for breakfast the day after. Then let them sell the cake pieces or scones for SEK 5 each and see how much money they can make. Most adults will likely swish them 5, 10 or 15 SEK in the Gimi app, but it is also a good training for them to sell in and argue why the guests should buy their product or even perhaps charge more.
In addition, this is a win-win for you as a parent. The children are busy for a few hours, you get help with the baking and you can spend time together in the kitchen having fun. But best of all, you will create an economic understanding for the children without even thinking about it.
- Solve problems - Make a midsummers to-do list
There are many things to remember and keep track of around the midsummer season. Let the children become a part of these plans and ask them to help you! Sit down and write down all the things that need to be done and see what the kids can solve. It can be anything from setting the table and collecting for chairs to picking flowers for the midsummer pole and helping to do the shop.
Then describe that the children will get SEK 0 if they help with one thing, but SEK 10 if they help with two things and SEK 20 if they help with three things. In this way, they learn that you can't get paid for everything but that it pays to help a little extra.
How do I teach my child to save money?
1 tip that takes 1 year
This one-point list will focus on the last of Gimi's main areas of education - 'save'. You can find more similar exercises in the Gimi app by logging in and clicking on the 'education' tab where you select 'save'. Log in (new tab)
- Introduce interest - The midsummer goal
Many people focus on New Year's resolutions and New Year's goals, but why not do the same on Midsummer? Let your children practice putting their money aside and watch it grow instead of spending it on small things.
Explain that from now on, they will receive a 1% savings bonus for all money they do not spend in the Gimi app. If they have saved SEK 100 in the first month, they will then receive a supplement of SEK 1 in connection with payday. The next Payday, they also get the bonus on that crown, which means that they learn the concept of interest on interest. See if they can figure out how much extra money they could have earned for next year if they save SEK 100 each month.
All of these tips and many more are already included when you get the Gimi app, so check it out and try it right now! Also, don't forget that you can take advantage of the Gimi weekly calendar to quickly and easily get routine at home chores. You can find the calendar by clicking here and adding the reminders in!
Remember, an economic understanding brings many positive effects, such as a sense of calm, independence and maturity. Something many children long for and something that makes life easier for many parents.
Happy financial Midsummer skills!