Mary Hunt's book Raising Financially Confident Kids provides a lot of pragmatic advice on how to instill fiscal responsibility in youngsters. Hunt shares scary research (p. 108) that shows that 87% of high school students say they do an excellent job of managing their money, yet only 4% understand what mutual funds are, only 4% accurately understand Social Security, only 5% can correctly explain compound interest, and only 7% comprehend how life insurance works. No wonder we are a nation with more than half the population dependent on welfare, assistance, food stamps, loans, and credit cards.
To counteract this financial knowledge void, Hunt offers functional directives. She thinks young people should write out a mission statement with specific life goals. They should learn to create and follow a budget. She even says that as children grow older, they should become less reliant on their parents by being handed a "responsibility list" in which they will begin to pay for their own entertainment, special clothes, jewelry, and other fringe benefits. They also should be responsible for doing work at home and, in time, hold down an outside job. America's children spend $30 billion per year on themselves and influence another $100 billion spent by their parents and grandparents. Yet, they grow up poor very often.
Although this book has charts, lists, formulas, plans, outlines, and lessons, it is all presented from a secular perspective. There are no Bible stories of the widow's mites or instructions regarding tithes and offerings nor details about the parable of the talents or anything strictly religious. There's a quick reference to Moses (p. 79) and a quote from a book by Charles Swindol, but precious little else of solid biblical teaching about financial responsibility. Thus, this is a functional book for teaching children about money, but it is not a text for explaining solid biblical principles about fiscal liabilities and management. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
One of the most important lessons you can teach your kids is how to handle their money. Unfortunately, for most of us, giving our kids a financial education is an afterthought. Where do you start? And what if you don't feel financially confident yourself?
In Raising Financially Confident Kids, financial expert Mary Hunt draws from solid statistics and her own hard-won knowledge and experience as a mom who made it back from the brink of financial ruin to help you teach your children how to handle money responsibly. From preschool through the teen years, every stage of your child's development is covered, including how to talk to them about money at each age, how to help them start saving money and giving it away, and how to avoid the pitfalls of easy credit and a culture built on debt.
Money can't buy your children happiness. But giving them the skills to manage their money will allow them to take control of their future and work toward successful and satisfying lives.