Uncle Scam, Capitalism vs Greed, Water Into Cash, More Elmo: Weekly Family Finance Picks (#44)

We’re constantly scouring the Internet looking for articles related to family finances and teaching kids good personal finance habits. You can visit the FamZoo delicious page to see our ever growing list of family finance bookmarks. We’re up to 1390 now! Each week, we pick our favorite articles from the previous week and post them here.

This week, we stick with the Financial Literacy Month theme for the first two picks and wrap-up with some very specific practical tips for the third (plus Elmo returns in a bonus video):

Is Uncle Sam Smarter than a 5-year-old?

Uncle Sam Preaches Financial Literacy. Really?Kathy serves up a classic, brilliant sketch about the irony of a Financial Literacy Day event in Washington DC (oxymoronic I know). Does it make you laugh? Cry? Both? Read it here.

Financial Literacy For All Is This Generation’s New Civil Rights Issue

John pens a thoughtful — and thought provoking — article about how we’ve “lost our storyline” when it comes to financial literacy in this country. My favorite snippet from the article is:

Capitalism and free enterprise are not bad, but rather the greed is. Financial illiteracy is fuel for greed, and an unreasonable enticement for financial predators.

John cites several initiatives focused on school curriculum which sound great. That said, I think kids need lots of practice to develop their personal finance skills before they hit the “real world” — more hands-on learn by doing opportunities. I also think money and values are intimately intertwined, and, as such, the family must play a prominent role. I hope FamZoo can continue to collaborate with these kinds of curriculum based initiatives to help bring the concepts to everyday life as we did here.

Deal-Seeking Dad: 7 Creative Ways to Teach Kids About Money

Speaking of everyday life, Aaron shares some creative yet practical tips for teaching kids about money and frugal living. My favorite comes courtesy of Donda Combs: pay kids the menu price of a beverage when they go out to dinner and order water instead. To encourage deal seeking, she also pays kids the amount saved by clipping a coupon for something the family regularly buys. Don’t tell your kids about Groupon, or you could be shelling out some serious dough!

See the rest of the clever tips here.

As a follow-on to the Sesame Street financial literacy videos mentioned in last week’s picks, this week’s bonus video features Ron Lieber from the New York Times talking money with Elmo. It’s a fun interview and provides some of the back story on the new Sesame Street series. Enjoy!

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