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The Value of Money

You probably already know that a nickel is 5¢, a dime is 10¢ and other money facts like that. But learning the value of money means a bit more.

To really learn about money, how to count it, why you need to save it and what it’s worth – you’re going to need the help of your parents or another adult. Plus, some coins and dollars to work with.

Counting Money

Working with a pile of coins, figure out the different ways to make 25¢, 50¢ and $1. There are many ways to make up each amount. Once you realize that all money is based on $1, you’re off to a good start. Just remember that change is just a fraction of what a dollar is worth and bigger amounts, like $5 and $20 bills are multiples of $1.

Making Change

Another way to understand the value of money is to make change like the cashiers at your favorite store do. Even though most cash registers do the math for you, it’s good to know how to do it without that help. Play pretend store with mom or dad. Have them buy something, let’s say a toy bear for $3, and they give you a $10 bill. Do the math and figure out what you owe them in change. The easiest way to do this is count up from the amount spent. Using your example and a stack of $1 bills, count out the bills starting at $4. If you do it right, you’ll end up giving mom or dad $7 in change. Try other amounts and be sure to use some coins in your game.

Smart Saving

If you’re lucky enough to get an allowance, have your parents give it to you in amounts that will make it easier for you to save. If you get $5, have them give you five $1 bills. Put one in your piggy bank to save for a rainy day and plan out what you’ll do with the remaining $4.

A better way to save instead of your piggy bank is at a credit union. Ask mom or dad to open you a savings account. Each time you save your allowance, add it to your account. There are two great reasons to do this. One, if it’s not in your piggy bank in your room, you’ll be less likely to spend it. Two, money in a savings account earns something called interest. Right now, most savings account pay up to .25% in interest. That means your money will earn money, just for sitting in your savings account. If you save $2 a month for five years and don’t touch a penny, you’ll end up with almost $123! Sure beats a piggy bank, doesn’t it?!
 

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