XBOX, PlayStation, Nintendo, Steam. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard your kids talking about these video game consoles and platforms along with their favorite games like Madden, Fortnite, Mario Kart and Minecraft. With 75% of American households having at least one gamer in the house, we’re not surprised by the wave of Greenlight families sharing their gaming experiences with us.
Whether your kids prefer mobile gaming or they kick it old school with Nintendo, video games can quickly become a favorite pastime and a recurring cost. Americans spent $43 billion on video games in 2018 and the numbers keep growing, which is why we think video games can be leveraged as an excellent tool for parents to motivate their kids to make smart money decisions.
Knowledge is power
With so many different consoles and video game franchises on the market, teaching young gamers to do their research develops smart habits that can apply to future large purchases. Important questions to consider include:
- How much does each gaming console and individual game cost?
- What are the differences between each video game platform and what makes them special?
- Which games interest them the most? Which platform is the right fit?
In Greenlight mom Natalie Jensen Young’s house, her three kids (ages 14, 16, 18) make the best decisions for their individual gaming interests.
“My kids each have different gaming preferences. One loves his Switch and the Xbox. One loves his PS4 and Xbox. One loves her Wii U. They all love the 3DS. They have all saved up for these machines, doing their research, and finding out which games are on which platforms. They get a set amount of money each week for jobs completed around the house — they save up for the games they want.”
It’s never too early to study the fine print
Since video games often feature in-game purchases for accessories or level boosts, it’s critical to teach kids vigilance when it comes to downloading games with monthly fees. By linking a Greenlight card to these in-game add-ons, kids gain visibility into miscellaneous charges that are often associated with mobile purchasing while parents protect their own credit cards from these charges.
“My kids have the cards attached to their XBOX, PC and phone accounts. It’s so much better than having my card attached and them accidentally buying stuff. Plus, it taught them to be careful of things like recurring charges or hidden fees. They are much more careful of what and how they buy now,” shared Greenlight mom Alysson Browning.
Level up with a video games budget
Due to the fast pace of the gaming industry, new trends can keep prices steep. Use these updates as an opportunity to talk about a magical thing called budgeting. Discuss how your child can’t get the latest game in their favorite franchise without the proper savings or budget.
With Greenlight, parents have the ability to limit how much kids spend on games, which helps eager gamers from going overboard.
Ohio mom Heather Renee Gilbert shared the secret to her game-loving son’s success.
“My son uses his Greenlight card for Xbox games. I created an Online Gaming greenlight for him where I put money specifically for that purpose into it. He earns that money with grades at school and his behavior. Having the greenlight specific for gaming is amazing because if I didn’t set a limit on what he spent on games, he would blow through all the money I gave him on just that. Now he knows exactly what he can spend on his games. No game money in the greenlight means he can’t spend more than what he has.”
Talk that gaming and finance talk with your kids
Raising financially-smart kids sometimes means getting crafty with teaching opportunities. The more relevant the topic, the more engaging the conversation can be. If your kids are into video games, why not start money talks around one of their favorite things?
Greenlight can help
Sign up your family for Greenlight today to explore your own lessons in earning, spending, saving and giving.