Officials from financial institution A.G. Edwards have announced Savings Quest
, a web based serious game aimed to teach children nine and under about sound budgeting, spending and saving habits in an effort to reach their long-term saving goals.
The game, available now online
, is the latest phase in the firm's "Nest Egg Knowledge for Kids" initiative
, a dedicated effort to teach the basics of financial literacy to the nation's youth. In Savings Quest
, children get to simulate making real-life decisions, such as choosing a career, selecting a place to live, paying bills, and deciding how to spend or save extra money.
In addition, A.G. Edwards also offers educators a classroom kit of financial-literacy worksheet activities to incorporate as they choose as a supplement to the online game, while a CD-ROM of Savings Quest
is available in the classroom kit as well.
The Savings Quest game begins by letting a user select and customize a character. The player then walks through a series of tasks -- from selecting a job and a residence to choosing a savings goal -- whether it's storing away cash for a new video game system or a big-screen TV. The the player has six months in game time to complete a task to receive a paycheck each month.
Once the paycheck is deposited, the player must pay bills and make choices about fun and entertainment opportunities while keeping an eye on the amount of savings they are accumulating along the way. If the player saves enough after six months to pay for his or her savings goal, he or she "wins" the game. If the player falls short, he or she is encouraged to re-evaluate their budget choices and play again.
The larger "Nest Egg Knowledge for Kids" initiative was launched in April 2006 with a a half-million dollar pledge from A.G. Edwards in the form of grants and support to 17 children's museums across the country. Officials note that the grants have thus far been used to help fund unique educational programs at each of the museums to teach young people the concepts of earning, budgeting and saving money.
"We must teach children basic financial lessons early in life, so they are equipped with the knowledge they need to succeed," said Robert L. Bagby, chairman and chief executive officer of A.G. Edwards. "Savings Quest is the latest component of our Nest Egg Knowledge for Kids initiative to provide fun yet educational ways to help children understand the value of money and how to make responsible and intelligent financial decisions."