Bottom line: This book has some good ideas in it and is definitely worth a read
Do you have financially confident kids? We all want the best for our children. When teaching my kids about money, I had never really thought about financial confidence being as important as financial responsibility, but I think they go hand in hand.
I asked our local library to buy this title when I first heard about it a while ago, and thankfully they did. This book has some good ideas, so I hope more people will read it! Since the publisher has summarized it nicely on the back cover, here is what that says: “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.”
I liked the author’s plan of transferring financial decisions to her kids in a gradual way so that by the time they leave the house, they are already used to making choices. I also liked the points she raised about things that we need to talk to our kids about – for example, how the no payments, no interest arrangements for furniture typically draw people in and what the catches are to those arrangements.
The chapter on entitlement attitudes had some good discussion, but I definitely did not agree with keeping kids out of stores. I understand the idea of not wanting to increase the desire for things by limiting exposure, but I take the opposite view of how to deal with it – I take my kids shopping with me most of the time. Perhaps this is partly out of necessity – I am with my kids most of the time and I am not wasting my limited hours of solitude by going grocery shopping alone. I choose to use each opportunity to show my kids how to navigate the store and meeting our family’s needs while spending the least amount possible.
There were a few other approaches that I didn’t necessarily agree with and things that we will do differently in our family, but that is totally normal. No book is going to provide a plan that is going to fit exactly with every individual situation. We have to tailor the approach to what we think is going to work in our own homes.
Overall, this book has some good ideas and is worth reading. Your local library may have a copy, or the book is available for purchase at bookstores, Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. A reader also let me know that this author was featured on a recent Focus on the Family broadcast. You can listen to that here.