StashLearn
Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Teach Me

How Much Does it Cost? Teach Your Kids a Simple Shopping Lesson

August 10, 2018

Use this activity to teach kids the value of goods and currency.

2 min read

As adults, it can be difficult to get a grasp on how much you’re spending. Even if you’re actively putting items in your shopping cart, you can be way off in estimating your running total.

And your children have even less context for how much things cost. That may be why your child asks for an expensive toy with little understanding about why they can’t have it—costs, scarcity, and value, for kids, can be a hard concept to grasp.

And a shopping trip is the perfect opportunity for a parent to touch on these subjects; There’s no better way to learn than through experience, after all. But you don’t necessarily need to head to a store–you can practice buying things at home!

Teach your kids about how much items cost

Download the activity sheet

Getting started

What you need for the activity:

You’re going to embark on a simulated shopping trip with your child, so have your list ready!

Note: Consider rewarding your child for their great saving habits by contributing to a Stash custodial account.

Activity instructions:

  1. Have your child make a list of small, inexpensive school supplies or snacks to pack in their backpack or lunchbox, from the sales circular.
  2. Ask your child how much they think each item costs. If their estimate is off, try to understand their reasoning, and ask them to explain their thinking.

Example: “You said the shampoo is $1 and the candy bar is $7, does that make sense?” Their initial impression may not have included a comparison to another item’s value. Let them rethink it.

Discuss the value of the items you plan to buy—where does their value come from? Talk about scarcity and value.

  1. With your money, help your child practice counting out the value of an item. Encourage them to experiment with different combinations of coins and dollars.
  2. After counting out the money for one item, have your child put it aside as if it was used. Follow the same steps for the remainder of your list.

Afterward: Talk to your kids!

Completing the activity is one thing, but you’ll want to make sure your kids understand what they were taught, and can take something away from it. Try asking these questions, and continue the conversation to reinforce the lesson:

Invest in their futures

Open a custodial account for the kids in your life

Start now

By Stash Team

Next for you
Got Four Jars? You Can Teach Your Kids About Money

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
Retirement Careers politics budgeting pop culture
Disclaimers

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit www.stashinvest.com/disclosures.