Financial literacy has become increasingly important for all of us these days. A variety of problems, including high levels of consumer debt, have led experts to believe that financial education is the only way forward. Of course, for adults, it is a little too late, as many are already in a difficult financial situation. However, steps can be taken to ensure that the younger generation does not end up in the same boat.
More and more experts are now keen to see personal finance become part of the national curriculum. They believe that giving children an early insight in relation to money management could stop them from getting into the same situation that many adults today have found themselves in.
Not all schools offer financial literacy education to kids yet. However, as parents, you can play a big part. Giving your children the best financial knowledge from an early age is something they will thank you for all of their lives. Remember, as they get older they will have to deal with everything from managing their student loans through to paying a mortgage and bills. In this article, I will talk about some of the best personal finance books you can show to your children to set them on the right path.
Finance books for children – 6 of the best
No child is going to want to sit there and listen to you spouting on about the dos and don’ts of money management. However, if you present them with an interesting book that is geared towards their age group but has an underlying financial lesson, they will most likely become quickly engrossed.
There are many adult personal finance books on the market these days. However, you will be surprised at how many there are for kids as well. Some of the top books you can choose from include:
- Follow the Money (author Loreen Leedy): This is a truly fascinating book for kids, as the main character is actually a coin! This may seem a little odd to us adults but to kids, this is something unique and exciting. More importantly, it helps to build a relationship between them and money. The story follows the adventure of a quarter, which finds itself in a range of sticky situations. The adventures include the need to solve various money-related issues, which can prove invaluable for younger kids.
- Money Madness (author David Adler): Young kids wouldn’t normally consider the value of money, which is part of the issue that experts want to address through financial education in schools. However, this book makes them think about the value of cash and the part it plays in our day to day lives. The book discusses what our lives would be like without money and what sorts of issues this would create. Adler also provides an insight into the history of money. There are plenty of great illustrations and even some humor thrown in to capture the interest of children.
- The Coin Counting Book (author Rozanne Lanczak Williams): You might think that a book about counting coins is going to be completely mundane. However, this book is anything but and your kids are likely to love it. The book brings together everything that young children love including big pictures and colorful illustrations as well as rhymes, quizzes, and lessons. This is a book that kids will find both fun and educational. The author is actually a school teacher herself so has a professional insight into what will capture the interest of kids.
- Once Upon a Dime (author Nancy Allen): We’ve all heard the expression ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’. Well, in this fascinating book it actually does. The character in the story, a farmer, has a tree that is able to grow different types of money based on the type of fertilizer he uses. This is a book that contains lessons about different types of money with plenty of animal adventure thrown in. An unusual farmyard story, it is brightly illustrated and a great read for kids.
- If You Made a Million (author David Schwartz): This is a unique book in that it takes adult financial matters and puts them across in a way that is interesting and understandable for children. Your kids can learn all sorts from this book including valuable information on spending, why it is important to save money, interest payments, writing and issuing checks, and the link between carrying out work in order to earn money. The book covers a lot of information relating to finances. However, the way in which it is written coupled with the eye-catching illustrations makes it a fun and educational read for children.
- Deena’s Lucky Penny (author Barbara Derubertis and Cynthia Fisher): This story has a tried and tested formula but one that never fails to fascinate kids. It follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl, Deena, who wants to buy a gift for her mother but realizes that she can’t because she has no cash. Not put off by this, she finds a penny and decides to find out more about the concept of money. She learns about how little bits of cash can quickly add up and finds out more about the value of money.
As you can see, the choice of books is varied with plenty to suit different age groups and interests.
No matter which of these books you choose for your children, you will see that they all have a valuable lesson to teach. The books are great because they manage to deal with everyday financial issues and problems in a way that children will find interesting and digestible. These books aren’t designed to make your child want to suddenly become an aspiring banker when he gets older. They are designed to teach financial life lessons to children from an early age. This will put them on the right footing for greater financial success in the future.
Editor’s note: Kostas Chiotis is an economist, forex trader and entrepreneur. You can check his blog at FinanceBlogZone.com