Very, very few of us have ever had any formal personal finance education in the course of our regular schooling. Most of us learn from the money school of hard knocks,and then feel embarrassed by our trip-ups! It’s time to break the cycle! Here is a list of five top-notch resources that you can use to teach your kids (or have your kids teach themselves!) about how to become financially responsible.
Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not!): A Parents’ Guide for Kids Ages 3 to 23 by Beth Kobliner. Wondering what your child should know about money at each stage of their development? Confused about how to teach them this information? Look no further. This guide is hands-down the best resource for parents who want to incorporate financial literacy into the set of life skills they want to make sure their children learn. This is especially valuable given how few schools are presently teaching this topic.
I Want More Pizza: real world money skills for high school, college and beyond by Steve Burkholder. Ahhh… what kiddo could resist learning from a book with this title? Added bonus: less than 100 pages,raising the odds your child will actually read it cover-to-cover. Using a clever (and yummy!) pizza metaphor throughout, this book teaches the basics of savings, spending prioritization, goal setting, compound growth, investing, debt, credit cards, student loans, mental blocks AND taking action on these learning in the real world. The book is a great way for your young adult to get on the path to financial independence.
Financial Peace Junior Kit: teaching kids to win with money by Dave Ramsey. For ages 5-10. This truly is a “kit.” It comes with a parents’ guide that explains the big picture of how to use the range of tools inside to help your child learn the basics of: working, spending, saving, and giving. With illustrations, coloring pages, reward stickers and more this “financial education in a box” will make it easy to teach your young child lifelong lessons. Added bonus: included in the price of the kit is a free digital download of Dave’s book on teaching children, Smart Money, Smart Kids.
Talking Cents: sparking conversations about money with your kids. For ages 7+. Put out by the University of Chicago’s Financial Education Initiative, these cards rock. Many parents tell me they’d like their kids to have more fluency around money but don’t know how to get these types of money talks started. Thank goodness for this super fun solution! Backed by research, this set of cards enables you to put your kids in the driver’s seat (they will love that, right?) by selecting a card and asking YOU to be in the hot seat when answering. Examples of questions include, “Describe an experience with a credit card good or bad” or “What career would you choose if all jobs paid the same amount of money?” Personally, I think these are great ice-breakers for kids of all ages (i.e. even the grown up type! They’d be great for date night with your honey if you want to work through financial tension!)
EverFi’s (free) Online Financial Education Classes. For grades 4th-12th. Designed to provide teachers a free, extremely well-developed interactive online resource for teaching elementary, middle and high school children about money.This is also available to parents who want to homeschool their children in all-things-money. (And if you don’t want to do that, you can share this information with your child’s teacher or principal and see if they will incorporate it into their curriculum.)LOTS of engaging lessons to make this topic a surprising amount of fun.