Thursday, July 29, 2010

So. What are your kids doing this summer?

Some kids go to camp. Some are in day programs. Some hang around the house and watch cartoons. Some play electronic games all day.

Our kids have been on their annual 'Tour of the Friends and Family' trip already. And they have watched their share of cartoons. They've also played plenty of Monopoly and Trouble.

They are trouble.

This is what happened to our living room this week: Complete with store signs:
Advertising flyers (Note - phone #'s are made up based on Euro cell number structure and I have no idea if that is an actual .com address and Seattle? Found out this is the setting for the iCarly show - TV characters and locations are favorites for the role playing):
Price lists (they've since typed them up but I've not taken pic's of the latest):
And happy, helpful sales people:
Bart and I have both been required to go shopping over the past couple of days. Today, there was a coffee shop available - about time! I enjoyed a Capuccino (capably made by the youngest sales person via Nespresso), some chocolate chip cookies (courtesy of the sales staff's mother) and had a good read.
No business venture is complete without funds. This bookshop deals in multiple currencies as they'll accept Swiss francs or US dollars. As good as they are at setting up business establishments, there is a fundamental piece of financial sense that seems to elude them. This issue has come up over the past few years and it is a direct result of today's technology. Specifically, how banking works in regards to your money.
I do virtually all our banking on-line. The Hub wires money from his work account into the US bank. I then wire money from the US bank to the Swiss bank. I pay bills online, use a debit card for groceries, credit card for certain items and we use the ATM to take cash out. Unless I need foreign currency and then I visit the bank in Zurich or the airport (convenient to have a bank at the airport here!).
Our kids never see us put money INTO the bank. In their eyes, we just take it out or use a card.
Therefore, phrases come out occassionally like "well, if you run out of money, just use your card and get some from the bank." To which we always say "that doesn't work unless you have money in the bank already." They are under the impression that the bank has unlimited sources of money that they will give to those in need. HELLOOOOOOO!!!!!
To those who know us well, Can you begin to understand the frustration that Bart and I have with this????? We're both CPA's (I'm retired but the genetics for accounting are still there)
and what does Bart do for a living? He audits banks!!!! And our kids don't seem to grasp the basic concept of "Put money in the bank, take it out. No money in the bank, no taking money out."
So out came the white-board for a visual flow-chart example of basic economics for life in the 21st Century - skipping the whole on-line banking concept:
This seminar came complete with break-out sessions on topics such as taxes - governments gets first dibs, bank loans, credit card usage and interest, bank 'start-up' funding (ie - where do banks first get money to be a bank) and the US Mint (that it's not sitting there just printing money off copy machines -may seem like it some days but in theory - NOT).
The participants were enthusiastic!:
All that said, the girls are playing a competitive game of Monopoly as I type this. So I have high hopes for their future. They will also be opening bank accounts when we return to the States - the old fashioned way at first. Take their saved allowance money down to the local branch, open an account, go in to make a withdrawal, learn to read their bank statement.......
They must have gotten some of our genes, right?

1 comment:

Makila said...

The girls look so excited over the flow chart! I love it. Good work!