Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Book Room: The MoneySmart Family System

 
Is it possible to raise financially responsible kids of any age in a society filled with consumerism and entitlement? New York Times best-selling authors Steve and Annette Economides raised their five kids while spending 77 percent less than the USDA predicted. And the money they did spend was also used to train their children to become financially independent. The MoneySmart Family System will show you how to teach your children to manage money and have a good attitude while they’re learning to earn, budget, and spend wisely.
Learn how to:
  • Get the kids out the door for school with less stress.
  • End the battle over clothing—forever.
  • Teach your children to be grateful and generous.
  • Inspire your kids to help with chores as a member of a winning team.
  • Prepare your kids for their first paying job.
  • Help your kids pay for their own auto insurance, and even pay cash for their own cars.
  • Employ strategies for debt-free college educations.
  • Truly help your adult children when they want to move back home.
  • Be prepared to deal with your adult children when they ask for bailouts.
With clear steps for children of every age, The MoneySmart Family System proves that it’s never too early, too late, or too hard to start learning financial responsibility.

My thoughts: This book has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf. If you're a fan of Dave Ramsey and/or have children, you absolutely need to read this book. While Dave presents general concepts for how to teach financial responsibility to your children, this book presents actual ways to teach lessons. The authors share what they personally did with their children and offer many suggestions. I personally would not tweak what they said at all, except in one instance: the authors suggest that beginning at the age of 9 or so, children should pay for all of their clothing themselves. I personally feel clothing is a basic necessity in life, like food. So while I would continue to pay for clothing, I can absolutely see why the authors are saying what they are. As children get into the tween and teen years, they often want very specific brand names. I would know my specific price point, say $15 for a new pair of jeans, and if my child wants a pair of jeans that is more than that, I will gladly pay $15 for the jeans, but my child has to pay the difference. I think that's a safe and responsible way to handle the later years of a child's life and clothing wants.

I really cannot say enough good things about this book. There are so many practical ideas laid out in this book - things I never would have thought of. It is incredibly obvious that the authors have truly lived this life and raised children who have grown up - while making some mistakes, I'm sure - with a fantastic background in money. While I was taught not to use credit and to save money for a rainy day, that was literally all I was taught. Jason feels he was taught little about money as well. I don't want our children to feel as lost as we were. And even though the mistakes we made don't really affect our lives now (I still would have taken out student loans to obtain my college degree), we could have been more set in life and I want our children to learn from the mistakes we did make.

No matter what age your children are, or even if you don't have children yet, you can benefit from this book. I highly, highly recommend it.

Thanks to booksneeze.com for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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