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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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                  Published on September 17, 2018

                  How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                  How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                  Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                  With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                  So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                  1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                  It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                  You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                  So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                  2. When you want something big, wait

                  Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                  It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                  We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                  A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                  So, you get the itch.

                  You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                  Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                  Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                  Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                  It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                  The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                  3. Live smaller than you can afford

                  You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                  You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                  That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                  Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                  Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                  The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                  But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                  4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                  Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                  But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                  Create a grocery budget

                  Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                  Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                  I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                  Make a list… and never deviate

                  Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                  You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                  These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                  Eat before going grocery shopping

                  It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                  If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                  After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                  Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                  However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                  This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                  5. Cancel your gym membership

                  Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                  The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                  Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                  I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                  Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                  Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                  For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                  Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                  There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                  It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                  I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                  Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                  The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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