I had the book Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) by Beth Kobliner show up on my doorstep the other day. I sat down in my living room and began to read through it. As an author of a financial book myself, I was excited to read another money guide for parents and their kids, but also somewhat skeptical.
Beth Kobliner has amazing credentials. She’s taught financial information on Wall Street, the White House, and Sesame Street. She advised President Barack Obama and headed up an initiative, Money as You Grow, to teach parents what their kids need to know about money, and she authored the New York Times Bestseller Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties.
So, I knew that Beth had a ton of experience, but I wasn’t sure she shared my values (a conservative stay-at-home mom), and I didn’t know if I would accept her money advice for my children. Boy, I was proven wrong! I’ve been very impressed by her book—and I’ve almost read it all in two days.
It didn’t surprise me too much that it captured my attention. After all, Kobliner is a New York Times Bestseller. However, what did surprise me was the on-point solid content, the formatting and the ease of consuming the information given, and that it was age specific. Each chapter is broken down into topics and is further broken down into age brackets. What also surprised me is how accurate and ethical Beth Kobliner is on almost every financial topic I’ve studied, wrote, or thought about. If we have the chance to meet and talk finances, she and I would most definitely become friends.
The advice she gives for teaching children is spot on, creative, often humorous, and highly needed in today’s society.
As I was flipping through the chapter “Save More,” I read fantastic financial advice for me that will help me teach my preschool children about saving more effectively. I also read advice on the same subject for elementary, middle school, high school, college, and young adult aged kids.
This isn’t a book you have to read cover-to-cover. You can pick it up, find a chapter you want to teach your kids (debt for example), and read the ideas highlighted for your child’s age.
Kobliner’s easy style and pertinent stories and examples are very refreshing. I also was pleasantly surprised at the broad range of information the book contains. There are chapters on saving, hard work, getting out of debt, how to spend smart, getting insured, investing, donating, college planning, and advice for us as parents—what to do and say and what not to!
I really loved the story Beth shared about her father and her grandparents: When Beth’s father was a young boy, his parents were financially struggling during the depression. Her grandmother was bearing the financial load for the family as her grandpa was incapacitated. Her father (a young boy) found ways to make money by picking up the phone in the candy store (the only phone for blocks) and running to tell the people who lived nearby that they had a telephone call. He made a few cents as a tip now and again and at the end of each day would hand the money to his mother. Not once did he spend money on candy. Through his hard work, the sacrifice of time, and restraint, he lessened his mother’s financial burden. Kobliner then goes on to give great advice that she learned from her father. She gives lots of examples of how we can teach our children how to work hard and value money and save at any age. Teaching your kids about finances is vital because our economy doesn’t necessarily force our kids to learn it the hard way like our grandparents had to.
Beth also retells the marshmallow patience test that many of us have heard. She does a great job of not discouraging us if we have a child who couldn’t wait to get a second marshmallow, yet gives ideas of how we as parents can actually help our children learn to delay gratification. Throughout the book, she is very non-shaming which is refreshing considering no parent is perfect!
Teaching our children about finances can be a tough thing. Often we ourselves may not know how to approach complicated topics. Or maybe we are great at one thing (helping our children earn money for example) but are not so great at explaining investments, inflation, college savings, and retirement. Beth Kobliner’s book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) is jam-packed with great information on all of these topics and more.
Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) is entertaining with charts, graphs, stories, and bullet points. I loved the graph on “Insurance Your Kid Probably Doesn’t Need,” and I agreed with almost everything. I also really liked the ideas given on how to teach kids about the insurance they do need—eventually.
The beauty of this book is that it teaches parents how to instill character traits that are important in all aspects of life: a strong work ethic, the ability to exert self-control and to weigh our choices carefully, the perseverance to work toward distant goals, a giving spirit, and how to distinguish between wants and needs. These lessons are so very needed among the entitlement attitude that is ever-present in society today. Overall, I’m so impressed by Beth Kobliner’s stories, advice, and knowledge.
Truly, this is a book everyone raising kids should own.
I’m sure that if used and applied it will save you a lot of money and Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not).
Order it right now at the links below. You and especially your children will be grateful you did.
• Amazon: http://bit.ly/mgpoamzn
• Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/mgpobn
It is available for purchase in most large retailers or local book stores starting February 7, 2017.
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