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What’s the deal with inflation?

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A title card showing a man shrugging with the the text "What's the deal with inflation?"

Arnel Alinea

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This week, Ryan and Bridget hear from a kid who can see the future! Or, at least, a kid who knows our dollars will be able to buy less stuff as time goes on. It’s all because of inflation, which seems to have the grown-ups concerned. After traveling back in time to stock up on snacks, the pair get a chance to try to control runaway inflation … but their ideas don’t quite go as planned.

Arnel Alinea

And now … tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids

Money Talks

This one was a little more complex. Here are some questions you can ask to figure out how well your child understood the episode.

  1. What is inflation? What does it look like in our day-to-day life?
  2. What happens if inflation gets too high, too fast?
  3. Would inflation be easier to deal with if everyone stopped buying things for a while? Why? Or why not?
  4. How does the United States’ central bank, the Federal Reserve, keep inflation under control?

Tip Jar

If your kid got a little lost in this one, that’s OK! We don’t need to tell you that inflation can be a drag for grown-ups right now, too. It’s worth talking to your kids about what inflation is and how it might change some of the decisions you’re making in your household.

We mentioned the “basket of goods” the government uses for one measure of inflation, the consumer price index. Check out this video demonstrating the concept in more detail, then try it for yourself! Over a few weeks (or longer), have your kid note the price of a grocery store staple, like eggs or toilet paper. Note the changes in price over time and talk about what might be influencing those changes.

If your kid has a good handle on the concepts from this episode, consider taking it a step further with this lesson plan from The New York Times (it’s not behind a paywall, though some of the articles might be). There’s a tool to help your kids understand charts as well as timely articles showing inflation in the real world.

If you do decide to make a negotiation opportunity out of this inflationary moment, consider refreshing your negotiating skills with our episode all about it.

Gimme Five

Our other Marketplace shows want to hear your kids’ best metaphors for explaining inflation. Send them to us using this online form and we might put your kid on air!

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