Saturday, June 14, 2014

Smart Money, Smart Kids (Review)


Smart Money, Smart Kids, by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze, was written to help parents raise their children with good money sense. I think this book was a brilliant idea.

I  am pretty good at managing my money…I have no debt, I’m an avid coupon and bargain shopper, and I have the self-control to NOT buy something if I can’t afford it. I know my children have picked up some of my viewpoints and practices, but I really haven't spent  much time consciously teaching them how to manage money. My older children are young adults now and, though they are probably more responsible with their money than most of their peers, I see that I probably should have offered more guidance when they were young and were still under my influence.

Dave Ramsey’s other books teach adults how to get out of debt, how to make sacrifices in order to save money for emergencies and for future needs, and how to develop a healthy attitude about money. Smart Money, Smart Kids, written as a joint effort with Ramsey’s daughter, Rachel Cruze, offers the same principles for children and teens—before they get to the point of being buried in debt and looking for a way out.

This book is packed with valuable guidance. I was familiar with some of the ideas, such as the envelope system of dividing money into envelopes for spending, saving, and giving. Other ideas were less familiar. The authors recommend having children work for their money starting at a very young age so they will understand the work/money connection. The principle of stewardship is emphasized—everything we own belongs to God and we need to use it wisely and to share it generously. Children should be taught to always avoid debt, including student loans, and examples are given about how to pay for a car or for college without borrowing money.

It was very interesting to hear Cruze’s recollections of growing up as part of the Ramsey family. The children learned very young lessons from the misuse of money, and that the parents wouldn’t supply more money when the supply ran out. They were encouraged to start their own businesses as teens. Their parents generously matched savings toward buying a car. They helped their kids, rewarding responsibility, but didn’t bail them out of bad choices.

I’m already gleaning ideas from this book and making changes with how I teach my youngest daughter to manage money. I think it will make a difference in her future. I highly recommend this book for anyone with children or teens.

I received this book free as a member of BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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