Summer is here, but the economic headlines aren’t taking a break.
If your kids are home from school and have been asking questions about the economic news they’re hearing, you should try to give them some answers. But if you’re wondering what to actually tell them, well, Marketplace has you covered.
Marketplace’s “Million Bazillion” answers the questions kids have about money. The show just launched its third season, with new episodes out now.
Marketplace’s David Brancaccio spoke with “Million Bazillion’s” co-host and senior producer, Bridget Bodnar, about this season and the value of talking to children about money. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
David Brancaccio: All right, so what do kids want to know about money?
Bridget Bodnar: OK. Well, I can promise you that the kids are paying very close attention to the news. Last year, we had all that GameStop coverage in the news. We got a ton of questions about the stock market. This year, we’ve got questions about inflation and cryptocurrency. So a lot to dig into.
Brancaccio: All right. Well, inflation in the news, you can imagine the parents muttering that word a lot. And there’s a new voice this season for the podcast.
Bodnar: That’s right, we have a new co-host. His name is Ryan Perez. He has a background in film and comedy. So he’s bringing a ton of really funny writing to the show. Some really cinematic sort of ways of approaching the questions, like as much as you can be cinematic in a podcast. So, like, in our second episode, when we talk about why it’s so awkward to talk about money, he actually wrote a song that riffs on the very popular “Encanto” song. And our version is called “We Don’t Talk About Money.”
Ryan Perez singing a part of “We Don’t Talk About Money”: We don’t talk about money/Adults don’t find it funny/We don’t talk about income/Whether we save it or spend some-om-om-om.
Brancaccio: Now that’s in my head, Bridget.
Bodnar: I know, I know. It’s in mine too. It’s OK. We’re a family here.
Brancaccio: All right. So you are now, after producing for years, now on this. You’re the pro on the following question: What should we keep in mind when talking to kids about money, when parents are talking to children about money?
Bodnar: I would say the thing to keep in mind is that you should just start talking to your kids about money if you’re not already doing that because a lot of parents just don’t. They don’t know where to start. The experts that we have talked to for the show throughout the seasons have always stressed that we should be talking to our kids about this stuff. Even when money is stressing us out — especially when it stresses us out. You are teaching them about money, even if you’re not saying anything. They just know that like … oh, money is a stressful thing. It’s probably better if your kids know more about the economy. They’re curious about it. They feel like when big things happen in the news, scary things happen in the world around us, that they kind of understand why it’s happening and what might happen next. And parents, we parents, can help with that.