“Your 12 year old can learn more about money --in 30 days-- than most adults will ever know…
…and she will love every minute of it!”
NOW YOU TOO CAN MAKE YOUR CHILD FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT FOR LIFE, for just pennies a day—before May 15th.
Dear Fellow Overworked Parent:
Like all parents, my husband and I struggle daily to do the best for our kids.
Our hopes and dreams for them are part of everything we do…from dragging them out of bed for school… choosing toys, clothes, (and friends, if we can!)…to picking cars and colleges.
The money we make is really theirs, too-- it shelters, clothes and nurtures them. It gives them time to grow, learn and finally choose their own path. Our kids are part of every financial decision we make.
But…how good ARE most of our financial decisions? Are we setting our kids the best example? Are we preparing them to avoid mistakes we’ve made—or are making right now? Are we teaching them to save regularly, budget carefully, and avoid debt?
Or, more often, do they see us bickering over money, impulse buying, and using credit cards to spend beyond our means?
Does money equal STRESS AND UNCERTAINTY for our kids? Is it a surprise most kids deliberately ignore or sidestep money issues?
Even worse, what happens when our kids DECIDE EARLY NOT TO DEAL with money and finances in their lives? In today’s flypaper economy—it is so easy for kids to get, and stay…. STUCK!
STUCK….unable to move out of their parents’ home…floundering in minimum wage, part time jobs that CAN’T PAY THE RENT…
STUCK…can’t get around, or even hold a job, since they CAN’T AFFORD A CAR…
STUCK…working full time for low wages, with no real idea of HOW TO BREAK FREE, TO EARN AND SAVE MORE MONEY, to really TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR OWN LIVES.
“Of the 5,775 high school seniors who took
the Jump$tart personal finance test in 2006,
62% received failing scores.”
[Journal of Consumer Affairs}
As a time-starved, overworked mom I had absolutely no idea that children everywhere GROW UP AND LEAVE HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETELY UNABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. Many have only the vaguest ideas about jobs or bank accounts, and may already owe thousands of dollars. Each year, many kids just wind up STAYING HOME, unable (and sometimes just too scared) to figure out how to live on their own.
Fellow moms and dads…there MUST be a way that we can TEACH OUR KIDS TO BE CONFIDENT AND FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT…
So….where can we look for help with this? Our kids learn reading, math, history, computers, language…at SCHOOL, right? We can count on SCHOOL to nail this, right?
YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL: ABSENT!!!
Most of us parents, especially with pre-teens, don’t have much time to think about WHAT SCHOOLS DON’T TEACH. We are too busy herding and cajoling our brood just to pass the courses that ARE offered, and maybe squeeze in some after-school dance or karate…
About the sixty-eighth time my 12 year old asked me for money this year, I got to thinking…what is school telling him about this? Are they teaching him that “parent” = “ATM”? Is “mom” the same as “financial planning”?
I was curious enough to check with the school, and found there were NO FINANCE CLASSES offered there—or at any school in our southern Michigan school district! The school counselor said “there was no funding,” buts she did email me some links and suggestions. I tiptoed out on to the Web….
…and what I found was TRULY SHOCKING.
Most public schools don’t teach finance classes. At all. The few classes offered are not taught the same as math or reading—over multiple semesters or even years. Most are very short, and even fewer classes are offered separately from other subjects.
“Four states—Utah, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia—require
high school students to take a one-semester course devoted to
personal finance. In Virginia, this year's high school freshmen
will be the first students who must take the class. Twenty other
states require that personal finance instruction be incorporated
into other subjects, such as math or home economics.
[US News and World Report]
That’s four states out of FIFTY. And you don’t see any really big, populous states on that list, either. You also see that other states want to “piggy back” finance on other subjects instead of offering separate classes. And even the required classes last only one semester, compared to math, reading, and science that are studied for years! Is this the best way to learn an important real-life skill? Maybe not….
“Laura Levine, executive director of the Jump$tart Coalition,
an organization that supports financial literacy efforts in 48
states and Washington, D.C., says semester-long classes are
a good start, but that students need to learn about personal
finance over a longer period of time.”
[US News and World Report]
And even the little bit SOME schools do…is not hitting the mark…
YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL: GETTING AN “F”
Jump$tart, a nationwide nonprofit educational coalition, measures high school student financial literacy every year. A recent survey showed really disappointing results:
“The results of the survey taken by 5,775 high school seniors in 37 states
were unveiled at a news conference in the boardroom at the Federal Reserve.
Nearly 17% of the seniors had taken a money management or
personal finance class, down from 20% in 2004. Surprisingly,
students who had taken a class actually fared worse
than those who did not.”
Yes, you read that right. The classes DID NOT HELP.
Are schools likely to improve this dismal track record? It doesn’t seem likely. Schools complain they don’t have enough time for standard classes, and there are more and more electives being piled on. Also, there is no direct (or even indirect) public funding for finance classes:
"Because of No Child Left Behind, schools don't get rewarded for
improving the financial literacy of students," said Robert Manning,
author of "Credit Card Nation" and a professor at the Rochester Institute
of Technology. "If it's taught at all, it ends up being folded into another
subject and becomes less of a priority. Financial literacy in public schools
is far more a desire than a realistic initiative."
I found that it’s only within the last few years that schools even looked at this—mostly due to outside pressure! A huge turning point came when the National Bureau of Economic Research funded a detailed policy study called “Financial Literacy Among The Young.” This was reported in The Journal of Consumer Affairs in 2009. (See NBER.org for the full report…it is scary!)
As they found, most kids leave high school without the faintest idea of how to manage their money:
“Of the 5,775 high school seniors who took
the Jump$tart personal finance test in 2006,
62% received failing scores.”
[Journal of Consumer Affairs}
The study was really important. It was the first comprehensive look at how current lifestyles and public policies affect – or DON’T affect—this huge problem.
(A few schools have found a low cost, innovative approach, and more are following—see below).
You might say…so what? Most kids do okay in life, right? Most of us (parents) didn’t get fancy finance classes, and we haven’t gone bankrupt! How big of a deal can this really be?
IT’S A 2.2 MILLION DOLLAR PROBLEM FOR EVERY SINGLE CHILD
Well, kids today face a different world—certainly a different economy. Even average kids spend A LOT of money….
“The average 21 year old in the U.S. will spend
more than 2.2 million in their lifetime”
[Journal of Consumer Affairs]
And how are these newly-minted adults spending their money? Are they investing, buying property, building businesses? Are they saving up for future expenses or even college? No, they are ALREADY PAYING OFF DEBT…
“People in the 18 to 24 age bracket spend
nearly30% of their monthly income
just on debt repayment”
[Journal of Consumer Affairs}
…and they are NOT happy about it.
DEBT + MONEY STRESS = REDUCED LIFETIME EARNINGS
My husband and I make a decent living but actually run out of money in some weeks, to keep the darn credit cards paid! This really stresses us out—imagine how it could affect kids who are coming out of school. Not surprisingly, it turns out that worrying about debt is just as bad as owing the money…
“A 2006 USA Today/National Endowment for
Financial Education (NEFE) poll of young adults ages 22 to 29
found that, of those with debt, 30% said they worried about it frequently;
29% had put off or decided against furthering their education because of debt;
and 22% had taken a job they would not have taken otherwise because of debt.”
That’s right. Kids stress about money and debt ENOUGH TO PUT OFF GOING TO COLLEGE. They take dead-end jobs instead, to try to handle their payments. Some kids never get out of this rut. How many great kids do you know who are still working in fast food or retail, living with roommates, just getting by…years after graduating from high school?
Where is the debt coming from, you might ask? Fear the answer…
CREDIT CARDS FOR 12 YEAR OLDS?
Some kids have auto loans, a few have student loans. Far more kids, under age 22, with crippling debt are paying off…our old friend the credit card…
“More than 1 in 5 youths ages 12 to 19 have their own credit cards.” [Jump$tart.org/Making The Case for Financial Literacy]
Yes! Kids really do get credit cards that young. Sometimes their parents even HELP THEM with this. My Jonny started getting credit card offers in the mail when he turned 12—thank goodness he didn’t know what they were! We just threw them away.
Somehow kids do manage to set these up, with or without their parents’ help. Many just see it as a way to buy games and pay for movies without bugging their parents. They don’t realize that even “minimum payments” can outstrip income—especially if they rely on cash-strapped mom and dad.
What’s really sad is how many of these kids, unprepared to do anything but “buy now and pay later,” wind up seriously broke:
“The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and
Urban Affairs reported that the fastest-growing group
of bankruptcy filers was those age 25 and younger.”
[Journal of Consumer Affairs]
Dead broke is about as far from FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT as you can get.
Where can kids look for examples of a smarter lifestyle? How about…TV? Internet? Facebook?
POPULAR MEDIA TO THE RESCUE (…NOT!)
Can we cash-strapped, time-starved, overworked parents leave our kids to pop culture for the right coaching and role modeling?
Sorry!!! Forget TV, movies, Facebook, Twitter, and 99% of video games! Most content is about killing zombies, wrecking cars, building fairy castles or running drugs. What do kids see in games and media? People HAVING FUN SPENDING (OR STEALING!) MONEY--not saving it.
Even parents with a little extra money (or TIME) can’t just google “financial workshops for tweens” in their local area. Most chatter online is about how bad the problem IS, not about workable, long term solutions.
And, as we’ll see shortly, the finance stuff kids CAN find online is a seriously mixed bag.
It’s up to us parents, right? Can’t we ourselves go mano a mano with this issue, in our own homes? School is not helping, and most popular culture is actually hurting (see below for the ONE important exception to this sad rule)…
BRUISED, BATTERED MOM AND DAD: THE BEST TEACHERS (???)
As I considered this….it did seem to come back to us, the weary mom and dad.
We wanted to see what other parents were doing, so we polled our parenting group and the big PTO at school. Informally we spoke with 97 different couples, hoping each time for a magic formula or “aha” moment. In all but four homes, both parents worked, at least part time…and EVERY SINGLE ONE said the same thing:
FIRST, whether you have one or ten kids, you never really have time to teach “a real class” at home—and, the more kids you have, the less time there is.
SECOND, even worse---when you try, most kids just don’t pay attention.
“My kids do okay at school but I can NOT get them to listen to ME for
more than a few minutes, especially talking about money. I can’t
even bribe them to pay attention (trips, clothes, presents—you name it!)…
and this is something adults actually pay me to talk about!”
-- Genny Storm, financial planner
Most of us aren’t financial planners, so it’s even less wonder that our kids’ eyes glaze over when we try to talk money. Also, (as I’m sure you know!), most kids 10-12 years old NATURALLY RESIST WHAT WE TELL THEM. After all, we are usually saying…
“Don’t do that!”
“No, we can’t afford that!”
And as parents everywhere know, after school and other daily activities are over, kids really just want to wind down and play… to have fun. The last thing they are interested in is being lectured by mom or dad on the evils of credit cards.
Sounds hopeless, doesn’t it? We thought so…until Jonny came home with a solution that has really boosted his money smarts AND his learning skills.
A CHILD SHALL LEAD US…BY ASKING FOR MONEY ONE MORE TIME!
LUCKILY, last year, my Jonny asked me—again! -- for money for a new video game.
The game didn’t seem to be about killing zombies or running drugs. It had something to do with money and math (not Jonny’s strength), but Jonny said all his friends were playing it. He seemed really excited about it.
In the five harassed minutes I had to decide…well, it wasn’t expensive so we signed him up for something called BUDGET BRAINIACS. We added our daughter Penny too, (no extra charge)….and promptly forgot about the whole thing.
After a few weeks, though, we noticed both kids spent more time in BUDGET BRAINIACS then their other games. We also realized they were asking very adult questions about our family finances. Some actual examples…
“Mom, do you and dad have a savings account? What interest rate…
and is that simple or compound interest…compounded how often?”
“Dad, do you have a 401k at work? How diversified is it?”
“How many credit cards do you and dad have?
What is the monthly total finance charge you guys pay?”
I have to say we felt a little on the spot, and had to dig through our files a couple of times!
We finally asked how they were learning all this, --and they just laughed! They said THEY WEREN’T “LEARNING” AT ALL, THEY WERE JUST HAVING FUN PLAYING BUDGET BRAINIACS.
BUDGET BRAINIACS: THE FIRST TRULY SAFE, SELF CONTAINED, LONG-TERM ONLINE FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE THAT KIDS LOVE --AND DOESN’T DEMAND PARENT TIME.
THE ORIGINAL BRAINIAC (MOM) TO THE RESCUE!
In July 2013, investment banking executive—and mother of two tweens—Genevieve (“Genny”) Storm first encountered this widespread problem. She tried teaching her own kids, and as she freely admits…it just didn’t go well! Even Genny, who commands top fees to give financial advice, could not hold her kids’ interest!
Instead of just throwing up her hands, like so many of us overworked parents everywhere, she GOT MAD AND DUG IN TO FIND A SOUTION. It turns out she was just the right mom to take on the problem—USING HER WHOLE FAMILY!
Genny drafted her husband, Morgan, a well-connected video game executive. They looked at all the clunky, poorly designed, low-tech resources available…and saw an opportunity to help kids everywhere. Over two full years, they evaluated options and consulted with experts. Genny was determined to create something that would give her own kids, as well as kids everywhere, the tools they needed to be financially self sufficient for life.
Genny had spent 20 years educating families and businesses of every size, on all levels of finance, investing, pension and succession planning. Her background in commercial banking, estate planning, as well as information technology, was invaluable. She mapped the progression and relationship of all the basic modules herself, and retains full control over curriculum and development.
Morgan, after 21 years in video game development, had just collaborated on the 2013 releases of “Dragon’s Crown” and “Bioshock Infinite,” and was deeply involved in designing and marketing several other top games that year. Using his extensive industry contacts, he recruited A-list designers and programmers—many of whom jumped at the chance to design something their own kids would love.
Genny also involved her two daughters as much as possible. “We had to be able to keep the interest of the most finicky, demanding, self-absorbed, short-attention-span kids,” she said in a recent interview, “so it really helped to have two of them on tap!” The girls, their friends, and later many pre-teen test- and focus groups, contributed heavily during development. Kids were involved in every phase.
MOM IS DOING THE THINKING HERE!
Like her enclosed letter says, their team went over the existing online financial games and activities—and found many issues. Most games were boring, short term, childish or even patronizing, and some were just plain confusing! Many were obviously cheap and slapped together, had tech issues…or worst of all, demanded HOURS OF PARENT TIME.
Genny realized that the new game could not rely on constant parent involvement. The biggest cause of financial illiteracy is…PARENTS JUST DON’T HAVE (or TAKE) THE TIME.
“We were so relieved to find BUDGET BRAINIACS! We gave up on
“Practical Money Skills” and a couple others—they just want too much
of OUR time when the kids are playing. My husband works a 12 hour day
and I work part time too. Not enough hours in the day to make them
worth it. But now, the kids come and teach US things we didn’t even
know—and we have put in maybe 20 minutes total on setup. That’s it!”
--Brenda McLoy, Lansing MI
She knew this also meant the game had TO GRAB KIDS WITHOUT PARENT PROMPTING…
PUTTING THE FUN-NY BACK INTO MONEY
She saw that other games tried to make finance fun for kids…but she also saw what others did not: not everyone gets what FUN really means to kids!
So she started with Wise Mom Rule #1: DO WHAT KIDS THINK IS FUN, NOT WHAT PARENTS OR TEACHERS THINK IS FUN FOR KIDS!
“The kids tried that US Mint game, and were bored out of their skulls. Then they tried “Planet Orange”…which made them feel like five years old! Can you believe it? Even the “Millionaire Maker” site, what a snooze! The kids had agreed to try new stuff but nothing was grabbing them. I would have given up if we hadn’t found BUDGET BRAINIACS. Now they have loads of fun—and they earn all that free cool stuff! It’s really NOT LIKE A
BORING EDUCATIONAL GAME.”
--Paul McTeague, Stanford KY
Kids want …
…and as Morgan knew, EVEN POOR STUDENTS will find ways to teach themselves to learn and thrive in online games…WHEN THEY ARE HAVING FUN…
THE BEST TEACHER: YOUR CHILD!
Morgan and Genny analyzed the most successful online NON-educational games… WHY they were successful…at HOW KIDS TEACH THEMSELVES TO PLAY in these complicated, long term online communities.
They saw how even really young children thrive in complex games. These kids routinely have to make snap judgments—or long term decisions—that affect online families, towns, armies, or even countries. They easily navigate multiple lists of game factors, balance complicated scenarios, and manage resources.
Genny and Morgan spent months with gaming executives, educators, and parent (and child) focus groups. They knew BUDGET BRAINIACS had to drive and inspire kids the same way…
“My 11 year old is veteran gamer, and knows when he is wasting his time.
We tried seven or eight educational games, including “3 Jars” and “KidWorth”,
but he says they are too much like school…too much work! He just goes
back to “Halo”. He heard about BRAINIACS from friends, and tried it at their house. He actually called me from there to say: MOM CAN WE PLEASE GET THIS ONE? ...and he hasn’t touched “Halo” for weeks!”
--Patty Sanderson, Red Bluff CA
A NEW CLASSROOM: YOUR CHILD’S IMAGINATION
Finally, Genny knew her game had to COMPETE NOT WITH SCHOOL, BUT WITH WHAT KIDS CHOOSE TO DO IN THEIR OWN FREE TIME:
“We knew the game had to be a real option that kids would seek out on their own,” she says, “We had to draw them in and then keep them hooked. The only way to do that was go head to head with “Warcraft”, “Final Fantasy” and the others. We actually hired the guy who designed “Minecraft” and several other hot game developers…”
Using the same talent behind the world’s most successful non-educational games, they created a TOTALLY NEW, UNIQUE AND IMMERSIVE ONLINE WORLD WHERE KIDS HAVE MORE FUN, THE MORE THEY LEARN…
“Ben kept talking about “guarding his gold!” and finally showed me his current game character—this really awesome looking ogre that lives on a mountain of gold and has to keep it safe from crooks and swindlers – including even a foreign government! The artwork is like a blockbuster movie, and the ideas are way fresh—is there a version parents can play?.”
Heidi Dahlgren, Medford OR
KIDS CREATE AND PLAY IN THEIR OWN WORLD
Players choose from several avatars or characters called “personas” (no extra charge for changing genders!). There are currently seven different game environments, including “everyday” or alternative/fantasy worlds.
Kids can play from any internet-enabled device including most phones or tablets.
“We were really surprised by BUDGET BRAINIACS compared to
the Disney and Mastercard games. The other games are cheap-looking,
clunky, and sell, sell, sell. BRAINIACS is a high end game that creates
its own world, kind of like “World of Warcraft” meets “Minecraft.”
Kids don’t feel talked-down to or sold to or anything like that. When
BRAINIACS brings up outside ideas, they are always related to our
own family life, or school—you can tell a mom designed this thing!”
--Paula Waterford, Kitchener, Ontario
WORLD CLASS CONTENT:
BUDGET BRAINIAC game “tracks” include
Determined learners who complete the above and want to forge ahead (and earn even more great BRAINIAC gear) can dive into:
Each “track” progresses through several developmental modules. Each succeeding module reinforces and gradually expands the material, using real life examples
“By day I am a programmer and develop software. By night I am a
single parent to three demanding young girls—who know a lot about
computer games! We went through seventeen money games including
the Disney, they are all really simplistic—or don’t have near enough information. BUDGET BRAINIACS has really stepped this up—it’s
more like playing “League of Legends” or “Minecraft” than the usual clunky
educational game. The girls will only play BRAINIACS now—and they each
earned those really cool purses and jackets from the site too.”
--Zdenka Croft-Barrow, Platteville WI
SHARING THE WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE
Each track finishes with a module adapted to GIVING A PRESENTATION. Materials can be printed out and used for classes or discussion groups.
The game encourages kids to PRESENT TO PARENTS at the end of each module.
Great lists of FAQ-s are included with the handouts.
PLAY LONG: THE GAMING LIFESTYLE AS FINANCIAL EDUCATION
BUDGET BRAINIACS is designed for play over several months, and modules are being developed that allow additional play for up to two years.
Kids who complete all levels of the game in less than 120 days get extra credit at the BRAINIAC BARGAIN BASEMENT (see below), and for future upgrades.
SAFE AND SECURE
Personal and financial information is protected by state-of-the-art, next-generation cyber security software. These are the same programs used by big banks and investment firms.
BitArmor is the primary provider, with additional elements from Yoggie.
Our children play online in a completely safe, secure, hacker-proof environment.
After setup, required parent time is ZERO. The game prompts players to get info from parents, and to TRY TEACHING PARENTS (as a skills test), but needs no regular supervision. The SELF TEACHING tools were modeled on “World of Warcraft” and “Minecraft,” and have been extensively parent-tested, parent-reviewed and parent-approved.
PARENTS CAN AUDIT at any time from any mobile device or computer. They can review game history or even observe remotely while kids are playing. BUDGET BRAINIACS really is…
THE FIRST TRULY SAFE, SELF CONTAINED, LONG-TERM ONLINE FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE THAT KIDS LOVE --AND DOESN’T DEMAND PARENT TIME.
“My local mommy group has done a lot of research to try and find programs
that teach our kids about money. Most websites are too boring or too
cartoon-y/childish. We needed something for older kids (tweens) which was
very hard to find. Then we came across BUDGET BRAINIACS and all I can
say is HOORAY! Our kids love earning points for stuff they really want,
while learning these really important concepts.”
--Judy Wilson, Finger Lakes NY
BRAINIAC BARGAIN BASEMENT ONLINE STORE:
UNLIKE ANY OTHER EDUCATIONAL GAME, BUDGET BRAINIACS offers an ONLINE STORE filled with themed merchandise tailored to your 9-13 yr old. KIDS EARN POINTS towards totally cool gear like
Kids can use any combination of cash and points to purchase items using parent-approved credit cards.
CREDIT CARD WIZARD
---Using parent credit cards at the store? The kindly old Wizard appears and CHIDES THE PARENTS TO KEEP THEIR CREDIT CARD BALANCES DOWN, great reinforcement for the kids.
---Credit cards in the name of a CHILD? Parents MUST review (and acknowledge) the longer, sterner lecture by the Wizard when they pre-authorize these cards at setup, AND AGAIN AT EACH USE. (The lecture is hilarious but very pointed, and the celebrity voice used is a big surprise!)
GREAT INCENTIVES THAT KIDS ACTUALLY WANT
Kids accumulate points as they complete quizzes, activities, and modules. Extra points are available depending on how quickly, or in what order, benchmarks are reached.
Average players can earn FREE T shirts, pens or calculators after only a few hours in the game. Longer play can earn them even more cool items…
“The kids took a math test at school and had to get out their calculators. My daughter says that 19 out of 35 kids were using BRAINIAC calculators. The teacher liked the cool purple color and wants one too….”
Jane Penrikovski, Kearney NE
“At Leo’s birthday party every single kid was wearing something from that BRAINIACS store that goes with the game. They all play it. Leo just earned enough points for the big backpack and was showing it off to everyone.”
Phil McDowell, Nampa ID
*Sign up before May 15th for BUDGET BRAINIACS and get a
head start on points in the online store---see below for details.*
A GREAT GAME…FROM A GREAT COMPANY
Genny and her gaming-executive husband, Morgan, founded BestFin, Inc., in December of 2013, to develop and promote BUDGET BRAINIACS. Initial funding came from their own resources, private venture capital firms, and even state and federal educational grants. The company is already profitable, due to unexpected word-of-mouth success—which has dramatically reduced their marketing costs. BestFin is already developing other unique educational games based on the success of BUDGET BRAINIACS, and anticipates its first public offering in March of 2016.
“Savvy investors are lining up already for the BestFin shares.
They should easily outperform Take-Two or Activision…”
“BestFin surprised everybody in their first year, and continues
to outperform most other privately held gaming companies.
Stay alert for their public offering…they look to be here to stay.”
WIDELY ENDORSED BY EDUCATORS AND FINANCIERS
Since it was introduced on September 6, 2014, BUDGET BRAINIACS has been endorsed by numerous educational groups including:
“Every year the Board looks for extra-curricular resources we feel can improve college success, which we highlight in our Annual Report. Truly worthwhile activities for middle schoolers are few—but BUDGET BRAINIACS is in a class by itself. It has already made an impression, at even the early high school level. We are eager to watch how today’s younger teens progress as they play through this outstanding, incredibly well conceived and executed activity.”
Alfred A. Whiton, Vice President of Education Review, The College Board
“At our spring Convention I found that the children of OVER HALF THE ATTENDEES play BUDGET BRAINIACS. In our focus groups, this game came up over and over as a revolutionary and valuable resource. More than one administration admitted they are rethinking their finance (and math!) programs based on these materials--especially the self-teaching!”
Kari Mendiny, President, National Middle School Association
…to name only a few, and by many financial organizations:
…among many others.
“We can’t say enough about BUDGET BRAINIACS. After two or three months in that game, most children have a firmer, more realistic grasp of basic finance than many of the CEO-s who come to us for advice….one of our senior consultants plays every week with his kids—he has said several times that the game taught him something new. We now make unpaid, unsolicited recommendations to all our new clients who have children:
GET THIS GAME AND PLAY IT WITH YOUR KIDS.”
Peter Longstaff, Vice President of Communications, T. Rowe Price
There are dozens of different resources available online. Maybe hundreds.
BestFin’s materials mention 129 different options they looked at, including investment company sites, like ING (“Planet Orange”) or T. Rowe Price (“Great Piggy Bank Adventure”). We looked at “Rich Kid/Smart Kid”, “Millionaire Maker”, “Three Jars”, “Practical Money Skills”, “Camp Millionaire”, and all the Disney games and sites, among many others.
There so many cute, well-intended games, like “Bite Club”, “Bad Credit Hotel”, “Budget Ball”, “Financial Football”, “Awesome Island”…and they are all GREAT –AS FAR AS THEY GO, BUT…
Many games and online activities require constant checking in with parents, completing worksheets with parents, parent feedback and oversight of real or imaginary bank accounts. YES, parents should be involved, as much as possible…but how much is really possible? A big cause of the whole financial illiteracy issue is…PARENTS JUST DON’T HAVE THE TIME.
Strong, obvious sales content was a big turn-off, especially in games from investment or credit card companies—or multimedia companies like Disney.
Content varied widely—even wildly! Some games or activities turned out to be really shallow or short-term. Others lacked structure, or any kind of introduction to finances. A few would jump right into very specialized or complicated areas.
Navigation was not clear or intuitive. Even game-savvy kids would get stumped—not by the content but where to go, or what to do next. Sometimes “next” was a blank page, on hold for future upload or even maintenance. Some games just redirected players to pages of math problems!
Kids know when they are being patronized, too, so HOW the material comes across is a big deal. Artwork and graphics, as well as style and tone, are often clumsy, cartoonish, and obviously cheap. There is a definite “last minute, slapped together” feeling about many of these games.
GET A “COMPOUND RATE RETURN” ON YOUR PARENT TIME
When you give your kids the gift of BUDGET BRAINIACS…
“When Patty, all of 11 years old, came to me very seriously and asked about how much interest we were paying each year…I was really surprised. But even better, I realized we are talking more this year than ever. We usually start gabbing about money but then move on to all kinds of stuff…and this is all because of that game we got the kids for Christmas. Wow!”
Jack Bush, Whitefield ME
“I should be embarrassed to admit this, but really I’m very proud. My daughter Kristy begged me to go over our household budget—and I had to admit we didn’t have one! Well, we do NOW, and Kristy is the one who runs it. She actually taught ME something with those BUDGET BRAINIAC handouts.”
Candi Wallace, Paramount CA
WHAT WE PARENTS WANT MOST
“Jason, age 12, got into BRAINIACS about 6 weeks ago. Yesterday he said he wants a job NOW so he can save for college. When I told him he couldn’t work until he was 14 he was really kind of freaked out. Then he came back to me today with printouts from Google on all the exceptions to local child labor laws—did I say he was 12?—so we are starting with help around the house, and he can actually work a few hours each month on my brother’s
farm—legally! He figured this out on his own! ”
Jorge Marino, Athens GA
“Laurette, who is now 13, has a small inheritance from her great grandma, which we had put in a CD. After Laurette had played the game for a couple of months, she INSISTED that we change to a mutual fund, chosen by her with our bank manager’s personal help. You should have heard them talking—she really held her own! He said she could come to work for him any time.”
Mindy Wechsla, Flint MI
BUDGET BRAINIACS IS THE ***ONLY *** SAFE, SELF CONTAINED, LONG-TERM ONLINE FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE THAT KIDS LOVE --AND DOESN’T DEMAND PARENT TIME.
If your kids game online already, they can keep doing it and learn about money & finance (and life too)—at low cost, and without hours of your time.
For a limited time, this high-quality learning environment is available to your family at a low price ($21.99 per month, see below for even greater savings) and with great free introductory gifts. This is less than half of what most families spend on coffee and soft drinks each month!
Also, the monthly fee includes all family members, who can earn free clothes and other free gear with no limit just by playing the game.
NO OTHER ONLINE EDUCATIONAL GAME OFFERS THESE FUN, TANGIBLE, HIGH QUALITY—AND ACCESSIBLE-- REWARDS!
“LEVERAGE” SCHOOL TIME…FOR KIDS AND TEACHERS TOO
Last October, my Jonny and several other kids wore their BRAINIACS T -shirts to school. The math teacher asked them about it. He was excited by how much they liked the game and what they seemed to learning.
He asked Jonny to present the first basic modules to his math class. Luckily, the game includes those great printed handouts, which we are allowed to use. Jonny had his sister Penny help him with these, and they actually got to show everyone what they had learned!
They were SO proud. There were three presentations, and I was able to get off work to see the last one, on interest and investing. I tried to hide my tears, not too well either!
AND, my Jonny has not looked back. He was a straight C-minus student in math and science then. His Spring report card just came back—with a B in math and a B+ in earth sciences! I try not to make a big deal out of it, but BRAINIACS, and especially doing those presentations, has really boosted his self confidence. Since then, he studies harder, and is not afraid to ask questions…and you can tell he loves showing off all his newfound knowledge.
BRAINIACS gets kids thinking….
“Brianna played BUDGET BRAINIACS all summer, and changed her school electives –at the last minute!--from Dance and Drama to Economics and Health Sciences. Suddenly she is not afraid of math, and actually balances MY checkbook. Where was this game when I was a kid?”
Gentry Bildheit, San Diego CA
“George has played “Warcraft” since he was 9, but doesn’t really
share much with me. I know he was a level 60 Grand Master
or something like that by age 10, that’s about it. He liked it
way better than school, and it showed in his grades.
But now, after a few months in BRAINIACS, he has really
changed—we talk more, sure, but he is actually doing better
at math. When I asked him why, he said that BRAINIACS
showed him how important math skills are…I am not complaining!”
Mary Kaylor, Manti UT
Schools want more BRAINIACS….
“Our district can’t offer finance classes due to funding and time issues. And, most teachers either don’t have the after-school time, or are committed to other programs. It’s just not high on the list here, which is really a shame. One of my students showed me BUDGET BRAINIACS, and I was floored—it was worth replacing the chess club (only 7 kids) with a new finance discussion group, based on the game. We have 21 kids so far and may run out of space!”
John Tensleep, Burns Flat-Dill City math teacher, New Cordell OK
“Two of our teachers told me about BUDGET BRAINIACS—so I asked my kids to check it out! We really appreciated the 6 month money back guarantee---but have no intentions of giving it back. The info is rigorous enough for study groups or after-school. It really fills a need which is currently just not addressed in our curriculum.” Curry Prentice, Assistant Principal, Columbia Ridge Middle School, Ephrata WA
BUDGET BRAINIACS IS THE ***ONLY *** SAFE, SELF CONTAINED, LONG-TERM ONLINE FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE THAT KIDS LOVE –AND TEACHERS RESPECT.
INCREDIBLE VALUE…BUT PRICES GO UP SOON
As you can see, a lot of attention and care has gone into BUDGET BRAINIACS. It was not just slapped together as a band-aid type solution—like practically every other finance game out there! It is a real stepping stone for our kids—and they are stepping up in droves!
Like any other world class game community, BUDGET BRAINIACS gets upgrades from time to time. A new, in-depth version will be in place after May 15, including two new modules and the very first high-school “track”—as well as wicked new color schemes in the BRAINIAC BARGAIN BASEMENT store.
FEES WILL RISE after this upgrade. Be the BUDGET BRAINIAC for your family by enrolling before May 15th, and receive:
See the attached order card below for details, and the GREAT FREE BRAINIAC GEAR you can get by signing up before May 15th.
DON’T WAIT---SO YOUR KIDS CAN START LEARNING…TO WAIT!
Our kids love the gear in the online store, and I am sure yours will too. Yes, you can purchase any of the items any time—but they are carefully designed to spur your kids to greater effort in the game. If you sign up before May 15th, you will receive some great free bonuses to show you the high quality and great artwork offered in the BRAINIAC BARGAIN BASEMENT.
AFTER THAT, Genny Storm, the proud creator of BUDGET BRAINIACS, suggests you let the kids earn the next few items so they can experience the “WAITING CAVE”…
As players accumulate points for their successful quizzes and progress, they can either use the points immediately to buy items—or they can leave their points in the WAITING CAVE to GROW. The longer they leave their points, unused, in the CAVE, the more points they get! Additional points are added to reinforce the “COMPOUND INTEREST” and INVESTING lessons, as well as the concept of SAVINGS OVER TIME toward large purchases.
“Annie, all of age 9, loved the T shirt we got for signing up, and really had her eye on the book bag in that BRAINIAC BARGAIN BASEMENT store. She needed 500 points to get it, and got to about 400. Then she got sick, and after that we went on vacation—she didn’t get to play for almost a month! When she got back to the game she had 489 points in that cave thing—she was so excited! She played for another few days and earned her book bag and a calculator.”
Jessie Pullman, Peoria IL
BUDGET BRAINIACS IS THE ***ONLY *** SAFE, SELF CONTAINED, LONG-TERM ONLINE FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE THAT REALLY REWARDS YOUR KIDS –AND DOESN’T DEMAND PARENT TIME
Sign your family up now for BUDGET BRAINIACS, and enjoy peace of mind—knowing you have created a lasting foundation of knowledge and contentment that your children will rely on for the rest of their lives.
LOCK IN CURRENT RATES FOR A YEAR (OR MORE): ENROLL BEFORE MAY 15TH
The basic monthly rate is 29.99. Enroll before
May 15th and pay only 21.99 for the first six months.
Pay monthly, or once for the whole year.
Both enrollment plans include a bonus “deposit” of at least 100 points (“Brain Bucks”) into your child’s account for the Brainiac Bargain Basement store.
NO SETUP FEE for pre-May 15th enrollees. (Normally $49.95)
*100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE ANY TIME
IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS*
BRAND YOURSELF AS A BUDGET BRAINIAC—PROUDLY WEAR THE FREE HIGH QUALITY SILK SCREENED T SHIRTS YOU WILL RECEIVE JUST FOR SIGNING UP BEFORE MAY 15T!
We are completely confident you will remain a member of the BUDGET BRAINIAC COMMUNITY, but want you to feel
ABSOLUTELY NO PRESSURE…
ENROLL WITHOUT ANY EXTRA CHARGES…
TAKE UP TO *6 MONTHS* TO DECIDE—WITHOUT RISK…
ACCEPT OUR GIFTS AS A SINCERE WELCOME TO THE “BRAINIAC COMMUNITY”—THEY ARE YOURS TO KEEP EVEN IF YOU OPT OUT
NOT JUST ANOTHER GAME—AND A BARGAIN AT TWICE THIS PRICE
Never in my life would I have thought I’d be urging other overworked parents to give their kids ANOTHER video game, but this can be such a turning point! You deserve the chance to consider it carefully. This is an incredible opportunity, even at twice what it costs today:
MOM AND DAD, HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU REALLY HAVE?
Do you have the time and resources to put together your own long term financial education for your kids, who may actually fight you every step of the way -- or just tune you out? (Mine would have!).
Doesn’t it make sense to get help from a committed educational team headed by a FINANCIAL EXECUTIVE MOM? One who spent years researching and developing options WITH HER OWN KIDS IN MIND?
YOU CAN’T FIND ANY THING ELSE LIKE THIS…
…that balances a small monthly investment with the highest-quality, consistently engaging material. It’s not really FAIR to compare BUDGET BRAINIACS to other sites, even KidWorth, Practical Money Skills, Three Jars, or Nick Jr….They just aren’t in the same league. They are short-term or shallow, patronizing or cutesy, demand HOURS of parent time, don’t work well… or even crash your computer!
****Try any of them—or all of them--and then try BRAINIACS.****
WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET – TO MAKE YOUR KIDS FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT…
…for the rest of their lives? You can pay less for some games, and your kids COULD find a lot of FREE games online, but will they play them? For longer than 15 minutes? Without you looking over their shoulder? Can you spell U-H U-H?
--YOU COULD PAY MUCH MORE
…hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on tutors (if you can find the right one!), or on “financial boot camps” that may or may not appeal to your child…
--YOUR CHILDREN COULD PAY MUCH, MUCH MORE
… in needless credit card, mortgage, or other debt—or maybe, like we saw, even delaying or avoiding college altogether, stunting their ability to earn for the rest of their lives…
--OR YOU COULD SPEND LESS THAN THE PRICE OF A JUICE-BOX PER DAY TO MAKE YOUR KIDS *FINANCIALLY* SELF* SUFFICIENT*—FOR LIFE…
…And enroll your kids in BUDGET BRAINIACS for $21.99 per month, before May 15th, !
ENROLL BEFORE MAY 15TH, AND PAY LESS FOR MORE
BestFin will update BUDGET BRAINIACS on May 16th, adding two new advanced modules, as well as the first HIGH SCHOOL game track. Many new items and the top-secret new COLOR SCHEME will show up in the BRAINIAC BARGAIN BASEMENT the same day. Monthly fees are set to go up 21.5% , **BUT** we will honor the pricing above if you enroll prior to 12.00 AM Central Daylight Time on 5/16/15….
And, if you start with the monthly option, you ***reserve your right to select the Annual option at any time during the first six months***
…letting you preserve the original price offer for a full EIGHTEEN MONTHS . YES, your future annual payment could include the NEXT TWELVE MONTHS---EVEN IF YOU PAY AT THE END OF MONTH SIX!
That’s right: you have six months to check out BUDGET BRAINIACS at a steep discount, and then lock in the pre May15 rate for ANOTHER YEAR if you want.
ENROLL BEFORE MAY 15TH, and please remember the No Risk Guarantee:
BestFin guarantees to refund all monies any time within the first SIX MONTHS, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! We always appreciate feedback but will not delay your refund.
BY THE WAY: total number of refunds paid out since BUDGET BRAINIACS went live 22 months ago---THREE out 55,792 total enrollments. Two of those were to kids who thought they were getting into “Minecraft”! NO ONE IS OPTING OUT---although YOU MAY DO SO AT ANY TIME.
AND DON’T FORGET: any of the gifts you receive for enrolling are YOURS TO KEEP even if you opt out during the guarantee period.
PARENTS: CHECK AROUND, OF COURSE—BUT DON’T WAIT TOO LONG!
I was thrilled to be able to share this important discovery with all of you. My husband and I are so happy and relieved to see the changes in our kids’ lives, and attitudes, even after just a few months.
You want to be a good parent. Do as much research as possible. I am totally confident you will find exactly what we did- - that BUDGET BRAINIACS is unique, completely worth the investment, and will MAKE YOUR KIDS FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.
Best wishes from the tween-zone!
Proud Budget Brainiac Parent
P.S. Yes, it is UNBELIEVABLE BUT TRUE, a video game really can change the course of your child’s life. SHIELD YOUR KIDS from credit card debt, binge spending, and financial-short sightedness. MAKE THE BEST POSSIBLE INVESTMENT in your kids’ future: spend pennies now, to…
MAKE YOUR KIDS FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT FOR LIFE!
This Knowledge Is Power! Show both with pride AND SAVE BIG BY ENROLLING BEFORE MAY 15TH.
*****TODAY IS THAT DAY*****
…enroll before May 15th and you will receive THE ORIGINAL CLASSIC BRAINIAC T-SHIRTS, one for mom, one for each child: BRAIN MONSTER in money green for the kids, and PROUD BRAIN MONSTER PARENT in classy purple. Specify sizes at order below.
You will be surprised how many times you wear that parent T shirt each week!
Check out these great designs at www.budgetbrainiacs.com/best-parents-ever/joinup/samples/html
YES, I WANT MY KIDS TO BE FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT FOR LIFE!
YES, I WANT MY KIDS TO BE FEARLESS, MATH SAVVY,
AND FLUENT IN….MONEY!
YES, I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO PREPARE MY KIDS FOR THEIR FINANCIAL FUTURE!
“Of the 5,775 high school seniors who took
the Jump$tart personal finance test in 2006,
62% received failing scores.”
[Journal of Consumer Affairs]
I am determined to be the best parent I can by protecting my children from ignorance about money, savings, and debt!
My kids will be the EXCEPTION, NOT THE RULE!
Please enroll my family in BUDGET BRAINIACS so we can give our children…
THE *ONLY *SAFE, SELF CONTAINED, LONG-TERM ONLINE FINANCIAL EDUCATION RESOURCE THAT KIDS LOVE
--AND DOESN’T DEMAND PARENT TIME.
…AND WILL MAKE THEM CONFIDENT
AND FINANCIALLY SELF SUFFICIENT—FOR LIFE!
100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
_______ (please initial) YES! I understand that I can cancel the program any time in the first 180 DAYS FOR A FULL REFUND, and any time thereafter for any un-used fees paid. I also understand that I may KEEP MY T-SHIRTS (and any other gifts) even if I cancel.
MONTHLY PAYMENT OPTION
(Regularly $29.00/mo but you pay only $21.99 before May 15th).
Family Brainiac Account receives $100.00 “Brain Buck” credit toward merchandise in the Brainiac Bargain Basement.
ANNUAL PAYMENT OPTION
(Regularly $348.00 but pay only $249.99 before May 15th)
Family Brainiac Account receives $250.00 “Brain Buck” credit toward merchandise in the Brainiac Bargain Basement!
***EARLY PAY BONUS*** If I pay before May 15th, I get a free BRAINIAC CALCULATOR!
***ANNUAL PAYMENT BONUS*** If I pay annually, I get a SECOND FREE BRAIN MONSTER PARENT T SHIRT in wicked cool black.
***BRAIN BUSTER ANNUAL EARLY PAY BONUS*** all of the above PLUS an ADDITIONAL 250.00 BRAIN BUCK CREDIT toward purchases in the Brainiac Bargain Basement online store, if I pay ANNUALLY before May 15th. I will start out with enough credit for my kids to buy cool stuff---immediately!
NO SETUP FEE IF ENROLLING BEFORE MAY 15TH.
Initial your selection:
_________ I am enrolling BEFORE 5/15/2015, for the special monthly rate of $21.99 per month (for the first six months). I understand the monthly rate will increase to $29.00 per month after six months, or that I can enroll ANY TIME after 5/15/2015 for $29.00 per month if I present a copy of this card.
Indicate number of child T shirts, sizes (S, M, L, XL):
Indicate size for Adult T shirt/s: S M L XL XXL XXXL
__________ I am enrolling BEFORE 5/15/2015 for the special single payment rate of 249.99 (one full year). I understand I can enroll ANY TIME after 5/15/2015 for $348.00 if I present a copy of this card.
Indicate number of child T shirts, sizes (S, M, L, XL):
Indicate size for Adult T shirt/s: S M L XL XXL XXXL
****ONE TIME SETUP FEE WAIVED BEFORE MAY 15TH****
____________ (please initial) I am enrolling BEFORE 5/15/2015 and will PAY NO SETUP FEE. I understand that I may enroll any time after 5/15/2015 for the above regular payments, and would pay the $49.95 one-time setup fee.
____________(please initial) YES! Send me my free calculator for paying BEFORE 5/15/2015!
Enclosed is my CHECK for $ _________________
Bill my credit card for $__________________
Personal information will be kept strictly confidential.
New Member Information:
Child/ren’s name/s ______________________________
Parent email address: ____________________________
Telephone number ______________________________
---billing address if different from home address: