If your kids are interested in learning more about money — or if you want to teach them about earning, saving and spending but aren’t sure where to start — a new podcast from Marketplace can get those conversations started. Million Bazillion launched in July and with just five episodes so far, it’s already tackling a wide variety of money-related topics that kids (and you) will find interesting.
The podcast episodes are often centered around a question from a young listener. The first episode of the series starts off, rightfully so, with perhaps the most basic of financial questions: Who invented money? The question, answered by host Jed Kim, along with producer Bridget Bodnar, introduces kids to concepts like bartering, making pacts with close friends and, eventually, the creation of actual coins.
Other topics so far include:
- How to become a good negotiator
- How we determine how much something should cost
- What advertisements are and how to spot them
- How to get better at saving money
Each episode is approximately 25 minutes long, which sounds like it would be too long; but they’re not. They feel fast-paced, thanks to the hosts’ quirky personalities and humour, and the episodes are broken up into several different segments, many of which feature real kids. There’s a man-on-the-street-style segment in which kids answer questions like, “If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?” And each episode features a young “Dollar Scholar,” in which a child who is savvy with money is featured and interviewed.
Toward the end of each episode, we are treated to a recorded message from a celebrity as they answer a money-related question. (If LeVar Burton could put anyone on the $20, it would be Harriet Tubman, and if Kristen Bell could design a new type of currency, she’d make a bill in the shape of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s famous dissent collar.)
Each episode also has its own webpage that kids and parents can visit for summaries, talking points, and additional information and resources. That’s also where you can go to participate in the questions the hosts ask the audience or to submit your own question to be featured in an upcoming episode.