Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Kids' Money Book

The Kids' Money Book was written by Jamie Kyle McGillian and illustrated by Ian Phillips.  It was published by Sterling Publishing in 2003.

The Kids' Money Book is an informational book about teaching kids how to earn, save, spend, invest and donate money.  It is separated into six chapters -- Moments in Money, Money Matters, Making It, Using Your Money Smarts, Growing It, and You're in Control. 

I chose this book because I am all about Dave Ramsey and his budgeting advice and guidance he gives adults for financial planning, so I thought it would be interesting to see what financial advice McGillian gives to kids.  Not surprisingly, it is very similar to what Dave gives to adults.  In the introduction, McGillian writes, "Some parents say the only thing their kids know about money is how to spend it.  Is that true about you? If it is, unless your guardian angel has deep pockets, you are in for trouble -- because money makes the world go 'round!" He uses the rest of the book to teach the best ways to earn, save, and use your money.

The first chapter, Moments in Money, is about the history of our money. This could be a little dull and boring for our kids, so he presented it in more of an interesting way. Instead of wordy paragraphs, he used a quick timeline, highlighting important dates and information about how money was made or used around that time.  There are also fun stories incorporated in, such as the Yap people literally making money out of large boulders.  They used rocks as money as a deterrent to people stealing the money.

Chapter two, Money Matters, McGillian starts off with a money quiz, asking what we would do in certain financial situations, such as finding money in a old coat, getting cash for a birthday and wanting something that is out of your price range. He is trying to determine the importance of spending money wisely. Depending on your answers, you get a certain score, and he gives advice for each score range, suggesting how to use your money in a different way or save until you have what you need to buy what was out of your price range.

The rest of the chapters go through suggestions on how to make  money (allowance, car wash, lemonade stand, after school jobs), and how to spend, save and invest money.  His chapters are broken up with lists, stories, quizzes and illustrations, which makes it a quick read and something kids could attend to.  Many of the headings are asking the reader a question, which makes you want to read on to see how the question was answered.  He has suggestions for kids of all ages and progresses through the book with the understanding that many readers will have many different experiences with money and gives different advice for different levels of experience. 

The one part of the book I wasn't thrilled with was the illustrations.  This book is intended for kids at an age where making money is plausible, but many of the illustrations were of young kids, or even babies, and I didn't care for that.  There were also some illustrations using adults. I feel as though the illustrations should reflect the people this book was written for -- school age kids and teenagers.  Illustrations aside, this is definitely something I would want to share with my children to help explain why we mandate that a third of their allowance goes into savings. 

After reading, if you'd like to have some fun and give more information to kids, you can go to The Mint, which has fun games and good suggestions on how to help kids be financially literate.

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