Friday, November 27, 2009

Credit Card Concept

‘Tis the season for some serious shopping.  I know that there are a lot of you that have really had great results with only paying for things with cash.  That just does not work for me.  I can blow cash and have no idea where it went.  I NEVER have cash, you can ask my husband.  I use my debit card for everything.  It holds me accountable.  I know that there is a trail for everything I buy that my husband can see.  It makes me think twice.  :-)  I do not want my son to think that a card is some form of “magic money” or that you don’t really pay for things.  Daddy uses only cash, but Mommy uses the debit card.  To a young child, it might be difficult to understand that they do the same thing.  I also want my son to know about being responsible with his money.  I have told you before about how we use old wallets and play store.  This is how I incorporated learning about debit cards into our play time.

playmoney I take some play money, let’s say $10 and I lay it on the shelf on the other side of the room from where we are playing store.  I tell him that the money is in the bank over on the other side of town.  I tell him how much money is in the bank.  We play store as usual, but when ever we swipe the card to buy something, I tell him how much it is (let’s say $3).  After we check out, we go to the other side where the money is to be the bank people.  We take out the $3 we spent buying things at the store.  I remind him of the exact items we bought at the store and how much they were as we are taking the money.  We count out the remaining money.  Then I tell him, “Now we have $7 to buy the things we need.”  I tell him that whenever we use the card to buy things, there are people that work at the bank that go ahead and take the money out of our bank for us.  I try to emphasize that whenever we use the card, we are spending our money.  He really seems to understand it when we play this game.

I love doing this because it is fun learning.  He is learning social skills about shopping and about different jobs people have.  He learns math skills about what things cost, counting money, and the base for addition and subtraction.  This play time activity really sharpens his reasoning and cognitive skills, plus it teaches him an important lesson about money.  Try it.
What is the most you have ever spent on one single item for one person on Christmas?


  1. What a neat idea! That is a great way to start teaching the concept of debit cards. It is very hands on and real life. I think my daughter would understand that, too. Thanks for the great idea.

  2. this is a very good idea!!

  3. Wow, what a wonderful idea - I never thought of that, but as a child I thought an ATM card was a magic money card, too, I didn't realize it came out of an account and all, so this really does need to be taught! :) Also, yeah, the debit card thing keeps me accountable, too, more than cash - I will come home from a shopping trip & my hubby will say, "What did you buy at Home Depot, honey?" or "$149 at Wal-mart today?" :) It stinks when I'm trying to surprise him, though... :)

  4. Thanks for the link to your other post on using an old wallet and fake credit cards. When the boys get ahold of DH's wallet and pull out all his cards, he understandably gets upset. I never thought of giving them their own. Great idea, thanks!

  5. The most WE ever spent was when my husband was leaving his employment at Best Buy - we had gotten married the year before but didn't have much so we bought a 27" TV (this was 1999), VCR, camera, and some VHS movies (and maybe something else?).

    The most I'VE ever spent is last year for Christmas I got my husband an iPod, ear buds, iTunes card, some DVDs, and I don't know what else. I did a whole 12 days of Christmas theme and gave him presents each day for the 11 days before Christmas. We left to visit family on Christmas afternoon but I wanted him to have time to download songs and get set up with his iPod so I gave it to him early.



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