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8 Fun, Must Read Books for Kids That Teach Valuable Money Lessons

8 Fun, Must Read Books for Kids That Teach Valuable Money Lessons

It’s a popular complaint among young adults these days that their schools never taught them personal finances. How to balance a check book, how to do taxes, and the value of money. Since its less and less likely for schools to change their curriculum, that means it is up to parents to teach their kids how money works. Here are a collection of books to help teach your kids about money.

1. Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins

Money Lessons

    One of the earliest experiences a child has in becoming an entrepreneur is opening a lemonade stand. In this book, two kids open a lemonade stand in the middle of winter. It teaches some basic math and entrepreneurship and it also teaches kids that something may not be a good idea even if it sounds like one. If there is anything kids should learn early, it’s how to deal with disappointment so they can bounce back and try again.

    2. Bunny Money (Max and Ruby) by Rosemary Wells

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    Money Lessons

      Learning how to budget money is an important skill to learn. In Bunny Money, Max and Ruby have saved up $100 to buy gifts for their grandparents. Unfortunately, some things happen and they have to spend some of it. It’s a great book to teach kids how to budget and save money. There are also some math skills involved and it teaches kids that emergencies can drain your wallet unexpectedly. It’s some life lessons definitely worth learning.

      3. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

      Money Lessons

        What happens when a kid breaks something? They immediately ask for another one! In Simms Taback’s Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, a child can see a story that shows the value of re-using things. In the story, Joseph’s overcoat is really nice but it starts to get worn. Joseph continuously re-uses the material from the coat to make other items until it becomes a cloth button. The book is great for teaching kids how to be frugal and the importance of re-using things. Until they grow up and get a good job, they may end up having to find creative uses for things they thought were ruined.

        4. Annie’s Adventures (The Sisters 8) by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

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        Money Lessons

          The jungle of nonsense that is adult finances is tough enough to get a hold of even if you know what you’re doing. In Annie’s Adventures (The Sisters 8), Annie is put in charge of her parents finances. She has to figure out how to write checks, pay the bills, and balance a budget. It’s a delightfully lighthearted adventure that puts a fun spin on the basics of adult finance management. There are even elements of entrepreneurship and frugality. It’s a really great choice and it’s especially great for girls.

          5. The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

          Money Lessons

            The Lemonade War is a humorous and fun adventure about two siblings who open two lemonade stands. They use some simple ideas to take their lemonade war to ridiculous heights and it’s a truly fun read for kids. The book teaches entrepreneurship, money management skills, how to implement ideas to challenge the competition, and other business-oriented lessons that are essential for tomorrow’s business leaders.

            6. Junior’s Adventures: The Boxed Set by Dave Ramsey

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            Money Lessons

              Okay so this is actually a series of books rather than a single one but all of the books revolve around a central premise. In these books, Junior learns the value of working, saving money, spending money, and the pleasure of giving to others. They teach selflessness and how intelligent money decisions can allow you to have nicer things. Kids definitely need to learn the value of the dollar and this is a good series of books to do it!

              7. One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway

              Money Lessons

                One thing that no one really learns before graduation high school is how to manage a loan. Or what you need a loan for. In this story, a boy from Ghana named Kojo takes out a loan and uses it to start a farm to feed and provide for his family. It’s based on true events and it’s a heart warming story of a boy who learns the value of money, how loans work, and how to start a business with very little.

                8. The Federal Reserve comics by The Federal Reserve

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                Money Lessons

                  Yes friends, this is a real thing. The Federal Reserve has a host of comics that illustrate lessons about money. It is a comic and the situations are a little more mature than these other ones so we recommend either reading these to your kids or waiting until they’re old enough to understand them. The link above goes to the search page where you can download the PDFs of each comic for free.

                  Wrap up

                  There are a whole bunch of children’s books out there that teach a great number of things. A lot of them will come through personal experience or through school. However, money management is something that rests almost solely on parents. It’s tough to do but with books like these you can teach your child the value of a dollar and the value of work.

                  Featured photo credit: Indiana Public Media via indianapublicmedia.org

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                  Last Updated on January 2, 2019

                  How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                  How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                  Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

                  Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

                  Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

                  This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

                  Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

                  What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

                  Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

                  When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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                  How It Leads to Financial Improvement

                  It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

                  Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

                  Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

                  It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

                  Types of Personal Finance Software

                  When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

                  Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

                  For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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                  Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

                  When to Use Personal Finance Software

                  So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

                  Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

                  1. You Have Multiple Accounts

                  There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

                  If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

                  Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

                  2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

                  Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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                  There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

                  With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

                  3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

                  Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

                  Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

                  Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

                  4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

                  Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

                  You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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                  How to Get Started

                  From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

                  Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

                  It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

                  When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

                  Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

                  In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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