As Americans suffer under mountains of debt and a collapsing stock market, more educators and parents are realising the value of basic financial literacy. In grade school. So put those towels and volleyballs away, and ship your kids to finance camp WSJ:
In the past, business and finance camps attracted high-achieving high-school students. Now, with the country’s uncertain economy, financial education is expanding to an unlikely audience — younger kids, even grade-school students. They are also reaching out to those from diverse economic backgrounds. And the lessons are surprisingly sophisticated, teaching campers how to rebalance portfolios, invest in real estate and use credit cards without getting dinged on fees.
So what will your kids be doing in place of the more traditional canoeing and kickball? Paying fake bills.
At Camp Millionaire, campers in five days create a minieconomy based around “moola” — mock currency that features a cow’s portrait — which kids use to spend, invest in stocks and compete with each other. They also use the fake currency to pay their “bills,” running around and depositing moola in large envelopes with labels like “phone bill” and “credit card bill.” Parents spend the real moola to send their kids to the weeklong session, which ranges from $279 to $300.
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