Put math skills to work. Help your children understand living costs by discussing household expenses with them. For example, make a list of monthly bills — heat, electricity, telephone, mortgage, or rent. Fold the paper to hide the costs and ask youngsters to guess the cost of each item. Unfold the paper. How do the estimates compare with the actual costs? Were they close?
Percentages and Decimals
Are they really necessary? Illustrate by asking your children to look through the newspaper to find and list as many percentages and decimal numbers as possible — advertised sale prices, sports scores, bank rates.
Living Within Your Means
Practice budgeting skills. Teach children who have allowances or regular spending money how to budget. Ask them to make a two-column list of expenses and income. List the allowance or spending money under income. Under expenses, list what they expect to spend for movies, lunches, etc. Then, have youngsters add all the expenses and subtract the total from the income. If their expenses are greater than their income, ask them to think of ways to reduce their spending to keep within their budget. If their income is more than their expenses, suggest a savings plan.