It is that time again! Another Financial Friday post! This month I decided to read a book concerning children and finances. I picked Raising Financially Fit Kids by Joline Godfrey.
I have to say I loved this book! I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I was quickly won over however. The author has been teaching financial maters to children for decades. She takes all of her experience with children of all ages to write a "how to" book for ages 5-18. She breaks down financial literacy into 10 steps and then focuses on teaching those financial steps in age appropriate ways through out the child's life.
She begins with a simple three jar system and progresses to checking accounts and having the children be in charge of purchasing their daily needed items. The one point she makes very clear is that an allowance is NOT an entitlement or a salary, it is a teaching tool. It can, and will be, taken away if the child proves they are not ready to handle the responsibility. This helped me greatly. I have always said we would never pay our children for completing work attributed to being in a family. This helped me to make the separation in my brain from allowance for labor and allowance for learning. After all I would have no problem paying $6 a month for an app that teaches my child financial independence. It makes much more sense to pay that $6 a month to my child and help her handle the money in the way we feel is appropriate.
The author gives quite a few hands on activities for each age range. These include ideas for starting investment clubs, scavenger hunts, and charity circles. While attempting to think of financial activities for our girls I came up short. This book definitely helped me in that regard! We are in the process of starting an investment club and a charity circle among our homeschool friends.
I loved this book so much I finished it in 2 days and immediately put her words to action. Our 11 year old daughter now has her own checking and savings accounts. She is responsible for budgeting and paying for her rabbits monthly supplies. She also is in charge of paying for her own new shoes and clothes. I move the money over into her account at the beginning of the month and she is responsible for handling the budgeting and doing the comparison shopping. After teaching her how to use her bank account, ATM card, and budget I am moving to a totally hands off method. She is extremely responsible so I am not seeing too many hiccups in our future. I always stand to be corrected however!
I highly recommend this book to any parent at any stage of raising their children. The author has a straightforward approach and makes the process very easy to understand and implement. I plan to search out the rest of her books in the very near future!
I would love to hear what you have been reading this year! Come on...you know you have been reading something!