4 "money" books for kids (and their parents)
BY JULIA ANDERSON
Want to help your kids and/or your grandkids get smarter about money? Many would like to but how? Lecturing about credit card debt, rattling on about saving for the long term or bad spending habits doesn’t work. People don’t like lectures.
What does work? Below are four kids’ “money” books that might help. We reviewed them recently on my public television show, Smart Money but I also am sharing our thoughts, here.
If you search Amazon.com for books to help kids get started with saving, managing, and investing money, you will be overwhelmed. I chose these four not because they are the absolute best but that they offer four approaches to coaching kids and their parents on money – earning money, setting goals, saving, and planning for the long-term
Two of the books are truly directed at kids with lots of tips and illustrations while two others are geared more to parents who want to get their kids started on the right money path. Here they are:
No. 1 “How to Money” by Jean Chatzky in collaboration with several people. This book is as Jean puts it, “Your ultimate visual guide to the basics of finance.” She starts with a big question: What Do You Want from Your Life?
Directed at young adults, high school age and older. The book offers chapters on the best use of an allowance, starting your own business as a teenager and ways to turn your free time into a money-making opportunity.
There are chapters on how to budget, how to set money goals and spend money, and why credit is important. Part 5 of the book looks to the future – why and how to get an education, how to outline a career and manage a paycheck.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK: Chapters are easy to navigate and well-labeled. The information is presented in easy-to-understand short segments. The Book is WELL ILLUSTRATED with lots of entry points to explain concepts. Jean, a long-time national financial writer, asks a basic question of her readers – “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?” She suggests putting together a list of 5 things you enjoy doing and what majors would allow you to turn those passions into a career. $16.22 in paperback at Amazon. click here
No. 2. “I WANT MORE PIZZA – Real World Money Skills for High School, College and Beyond” by Steve Burkholder. This book offers real world money skills for high school and college kids and older. The author cleverly divides this book into pizza “slices” rather than chapters:
Slice No. 1: You. Your goals, priorities, and action. Think about your goals and write them down
Slice No. 2: Saving – how to save by making saving your priority. Budgeting. Use auto-save at the bank, for instance. You can’t afford not to save, says author Burkholder.
Slice No. 3: Growing your savings by investing and using compound growth. Put your saved money to work. Burkholder explains savings accounts, T-Bills, CDs, and mutual funds.
Slice No. 4: Debt, credit cards and paying for college. Use studentaid.ed.gov to research scholarship opportunities.
What I liked about this book: “I Want More Pizza” is jammed-packed with all the basics of getting off to a good financial start. Written for TEENAGERS (not about them) this book is a first-person money coach. Inside there’s room for notes as you work through the “slices” (chapters.). Steve’s bottom line: Never GIVE UP!!!
Available for $8.95 paperback at Amazon.com click here.
No. 3. “Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money,” by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze. This is an extensive 250-plus page book directed toward parents who want to get their kids off to a good start with money by establishing family money traditions, by offering tips to help little kids understand the concept of delayed reward and the mantra that work “is NOT a four-letter word.” Rachel includes first-person accounts of how she learned to manage her money, set up a business while in high school and how she got throught college without huge debt.
Dave and Rachel teach parents how to introduce DELAYED REWARD to young children. How to teach younger kids about work using family chores, discipline, and responsibility. How to help them understand that money comes from work.
With older high school kids, Dave and Rachel recommend they start their own business. They lay out a plan to how to get started by brain storming ideas. The book covers spending money wisely, saving wisely. Saving, they say, teaches patience, something we could use more of.
Debt is a big topic for Dave Ramsey…he hates credit cards and the burden of debt. His view is that there is no good debt. Dave and Rachel talk about kids and credit cards. They warn about kids going off to college and being offered credit cards and taking on huge student debt.
College: They discuss how to finance a college education without taking on debt. They talk about 529 savings accounts and education savings accounts. They discuss choosing a school…public or private. Choosing a major, winning scholarships. Working while going to school.
WHAT I LIKED MOST ABOUT THIS BOOK: Lots of good advice for parents who want to help their children get a good financial start to their lives from an early age. At the back of the book is a STUDENT BUDGET OUTLINE that I really like. How to help a college-bound student get a handle on expenses. How to look ahead. Available on sale at Amazon for $13.21 hardcover. Click here.
No. 4: “Smart Girl’s Guide MONEY: how to make it, save it and spend it,” by Nancy Holyoke. Part of the American Girl series.
This book is a hands-on guide to money for girls in the 10- to 14-year-old range. Geared to younger girls who are old enough to read, who might start their first job or set up a savings account. The book is well illustrated and has IMPACT. I liked this book for lots of reasons including a couple of pages that deal with “money emotions.” --- Greed, anxiety, guilt, confidence, jealousy, pride generosity etc. This book is inclusive and fun to explore.
Topics include allowances as a privilege, not a right. How to have a money talk with your parents regarding expenses, saving and spending. Making money: Going into business, getting a job,
There are quizzes throughout that ask young readers to identify their “money style.” In other words, how gullible might they be to “money pitches.” Another quiz helps determine spending styles, and another helps them determine “what kind of shopper” they are.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK: This is a hands-on book for young girls that will help them find out who they are when it comes to money. The book is well illustrated and easy to access with great tips for building good money habits. It concludes with 101 Moneymaking Ideas for Girls. I loved that. At Amazon in paperback for $11.99. click here.
These books are meant to help young people understand the value of good money management. They all emphasize that while money can’t buy happiness, but having it and a plan for saving, investing, and spending it does make life better.
I meet women all the time who face job and money transitions and who want to do them right. It’s about building confidence and taking charge of the future. This is your money. No one cares more than you do!
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