I was given an electronic copy of Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine and mine alone, no other compensation was received. This statement is to make sure the FTC is happy. Because if the FTC isn’t happy, they can make a blogger’s life miserable.
Very very rarely do I get totally gung ho over a book. Not like this. However, if you have children, teach children, have grandchildren/neices/nephews/godchildren/are in contact with children on a regular basis, you NEED this book.
Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze set out to write a book to practically give parents the tools to teach their children how not to be in bondage to money and society’s standards of what our finances should be like. And they sure did succeed.
In Smart Money, Smart Kids, you learn the best age spans for introducing working for money, saving, giving. How money is tied to work, and letting the children learn that money can work for them. They give you ideas on how to teach about savings (which for kids, it is different than for adults with how their minds work) when to introduce giving and tithing to your children and how to set it up practically so they can understand.
You get shown through the teen years and how to broach the concepts of paying for college without student loans, saving for things like a car and even having your teen have their own emergency fund (what parent wants to keep replacing broken cell phones or lost items of your child? Let them have their own fund to do it themselves, they’ll learn responsibility much faster that way, I’m sure).
The over arching theme in this book is contentment and responsibility. As parents it is up to us to teach our children to be content with what they are blessed with. In our family, that is not letting them have the latest and greatest of everything that comes out. We involve them when it comes to service to others and giving things to a local mission. It probably also helps that our girls (Bugs, 7 going on 30 at times and Beans, 6) aren’t exposed to the normal marketing to children their age (we don’t own a television, so no commercials to infiltrate them. Though, I will say, last summer they got to watch way more regular broadcast TV when we were dealing with my mom’s health crisis and subsequent passing and to this day [a full year later] my youngest still can tell you the commercials she saw those weeks on the TV and asks for those items. The marketing worked, that is for sure, and it is very disturbing how well it did).
It is also our responsibility as parents to teach our children to be responsible with whatever blessings they are given. Children learn responsibility step by step as they grow and mature. It isn’t an overnight process. My 7 year old is normally very responsible. She can be trusted to cook on the stove top. She didn’t get there overnight. She was with us as we cooked from a young age, then allowed to help add things to the pot and stir. She can now make better pancakes than I do. I’m not saying we let her go for it totally unsupervised (we don’t) but she is now capable through systematic training to able to do such a task. The same holds true with money. We give them a little to manage and plan with and as they learn to be responsible for a little (for me it is a big thing to let them bring their money to the store and not lose it) they are learning to be responsible for much more in the future.
This book is also good for helping those of us who were not raised with smart money principals to start to deal with our pasts. I was raised in a home where money was always worried over, argued over between my parents, but never discussed with us children. I was ten before I was allowed to spend any of my own money ever and when I did buy my pocket popple from the Base Exchange, I was made to feel guilty because I didn’t *need* the toy and I had *wasted* my money. I deal with extreme guilt spending my own mad money on a regular basis to this day from how I was raised. I want better for my children. I don’t want them to hear my voice in their head when they are an adult telling them that spending their mad money is wasteful, stupid or a bad idea. I don’t want them to live in the bondage I have to break through near constantly in regards to money. Smart Money, Smart Kids is helping me to give my children the legacy I was denied. They will have a legacy of freedom with money unlike I do, and the thought thrills me.
This book is so wonderfully written. It is done with both Dave and Rachel taking parts and in such a wonderful conversational tone that it is nearly like you are sitting in a room with them having a nice chat. The tone is so encouraging throughout the whole book that it makes such a tough and complex topic seem so much easier to handle.
So please, do yourself a favor and go buy this book as soon as you can fit it into your budget. You won’t regret the decision. It will help make teaching your children about the proper place of money in our lives so much easier. It isn’t a quick fix or a simple solution, but it will set you on the right path to have adult children someday who know how to handle money and not let their money handle them.
You can purchase the book from Dave Ramsey’s Online Store, Amazon (not an affiliate link and none of my links are affiliate links thanks to my state’s stance on earning commission from the internet and taxes) or your other favorite store where you purchase books. If you are able to make it, you can visit with Dave and Rachel on the BOOK TOUR (why can’t anything be close enough to SW MO for us to go? I’m trying not to be jealous of those of you who can attend a stop on the book tour. Hubbs and I got to see Dave and Rachel in Tulsa last October for the launch of the Legacy Journey. It was terrific)
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