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"Mummy, how can I buy a big house?"
At a Glance
Children typically pick up nuggets of information as they listen to grown-ups talk about topics such as buying a house or moving to a bigger place. In a child’s innocent mind, buying a bigger home may be as simple as buying a toy. The next time your child asks about buying a house, don’t brush it off. Take the opportunity to teach your child something that will go a long way in his/her adult life.
Here’s a fun activity to help your child learn about big financial commitments - such as buying a house.
Your 9 - 12 year old
It will take:
30 - 45 minutes
Printed “Home purchase” activity sheets, calculator, pencil & eraser
The importance of planning for necessities in life – such as a home
Variables that may affect the price of a home
The role of a bank in our lives
Smart spending to get the best value
To make this topic more relatable to your child, you can ask whether he/she would prefer to wake up later for school. Suggest that he/she could, if your home is closer to school.
Activity 1: Talk about location
Use the ”Where to stay?” activity sheet and ask your child to pick a home to buy on the map.
Download “where to stay?” activity sheet here
As he/she considers the available options, you can introduce him/her to the idea of tradeoffs.
Guide him/her to choose the best balance of location and size – and thus the best value.
Activity 2: Learn about loans
Once your child has decided where to buy a home, explain how he/she can buy it in 3 steps.
Optional: Loan Tenure
If you feel your child is ready, use the “How long to pay back?” activity sheet with him/her.
Ask him/her to choose a loan tenure
The more he/she pays monthly, the less he/she pays overall and the quicker the loan is repaid
Help your child understand this and the value of long-term thinking
Activity 3: Practise decorating the room
Finally, talk about home renovations. To keep things simpler, ask your child how he/she would want to decorate his/her new room.
Use the “Room decorator” activity sheet to pick room furnishings.
Help your child decide on a budget and keep to it. Ask about his/her choices on furnishing.
To help your child understand the value of money, you can use values that are relevant to his/her experience.
He/She would understand better what a loan repayment of $700 means if it’s converted into the number of ice creams or toys it can buy.
Do you get the best value from your home loan?
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