Let’s Get Reading! The Best Books to Get the Money Conversation Started With Your Kids
Talking to your children about money is a difficult conversation for many parents to have. Starting the talk is the hardest part. No matter how old your children are, here are some ideas to get the ball rolling. Sometimes reading a book to children gives you a script to start that conversation, and then you can take it from there.
Under 6: Reading with Young Children
The Berenstain Bears and Mama’s New Job by Stan and Jan Berenstain
I love this book because it brings up many different topics. Mama Bear starts a hobby that she loves and turns it into a job. You can talk about things you love to do and turning them into a way to make money. This book also covers issues of how families change and grow. Mama is working more and the rest of the family has to help by doing more around the house.
Little Critter: Just Saving My Money by Mercer Mayer
I like Little Critter books! I find them engaging for little children. They’re short but to the point and can help practice reading. This book talks about how Little Critter wants a new skateboard and how he must earn and save the money for this goal. It’s a great way to start the conversation about saving for things we want.
Have a minute? Here are some more helpful ideas for involving your kids in everyday budgeting and financial decisions.
Ages 7-12: Talking with Your Middle Schooler
The Everything Kids’ Money Book by Brette Sember
This book is great because it starts with how money is made and moves on to what money can buy. It talks about how credit works and ways to watch your money grow in savings and stocks in an age-appropriate way. It also includes information about online technology and opening a bank account.
The Kids’ Money Book: Earning, Saving, Spending, Investing, Donating by Jamie Kyle McGillian
This book dives into basic financial planning ideas. It covers how to create a budget, invest your earnings, and donate to charity. It does a great job explaining the difference between needs and wants, getting the most from an allowance, becoming an entrepreneur, and sharing the wealth. This is an excellent book to help you start talking about some of the concrete ideas around financial planning.
13 and Up: Continuing the Conversation with Young Adults
How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000 by James McKenna, Jeannine Glista, and Matt Fontaine
This book really takes you into the world of finance, and any teenager will love the title. It includes chapters on setting financial goals, making a budget, getting a job, starting a business, and investing smartly – and how to think like a millionaire. Plus: a one-page business plan template, a two-page plan to become a millionaire, and a personal budget tracker. This is a great way to start your teenage on the path to good financial skills.
Money Smart for Young Adults from the FDIC
For the teenager who prefers computer learning, the FDIC has created Money Smart for Young Adults. It’s an interactive computer game that covers banking, setting goals, buying a car, and even renting an apartment. This is a great program to get your teenager to start learning the financial lessons that will take them into being a financially savvy adult. They also have a podcast you can listen to together and further your financial conversations.
You’ve already taken the biggest step, deciding to talk to your kids about money. Just take it step-by-step. It may feel weird and uncomfortable to begin with, but you will feel better the more you do it. Just think of all the things you wish you had known when it came to handling money and pass that wisdom onto your kids.
Megan is an Accredited Financial Counselor® and Financial Fitness Coach®. She has been doing financial counseling and coaching for the military and government for 16 years. She believes in educating, motivating, and helping her clients stay on the financial path they have set. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, cooking, and appreciating the different seasons that Vermont offers.