I started working full time every summer once I was 14 and learned the value of every dollar I made. (The minimum wage was $3.75!) I scavenged my way to as many scholarships and grants as possible so I could make my way through college with very little debt. Somehow, I lost my way for a few years, racked up some credit card debt as a shopaholic, and learned a second lesson while I paid that off. Then I got married, and watched Murphy's Law strike us at every turn, and here we are, struggling again. Even though we're not in debt because we went on world cruises or having closets full of expensive clothes and shoes, I still worry about making sure my daughter doesn't fall into some of the same traps we did. I'm trying to teach her the value of a dollar, but I worry that maybe once she's older, she'll think we're a little crazy with some of the ways we save money. You know, living on one income, purchasing second hand, etc. ;)
The authors of The MoneySmart Family System raised five kids while spending 77 percent less than the USDA predicted. I'd call that pretty thrifty! The money this family did spend was also used to train their children to become financially independent. From earning a little allowance doing chores to showing children the value of savings, to even preparing kids for their first job, you'll find the topic covered here. And don't think this is an outdated system - they even discuss social media, so trust me - this book is geared towards any family right now!
I loved how there was easy to accomplish tips, such as laying the ground work for responsibility and making sure your children finished all chores and homework before fun downtimes like playing games or watching TV. (cough, cough, I think my inlaws should have used this with my husband!) While there was lots of things we already have put into place around here - such as purchasing lots of clothing used, and then turning around and selling it after it's been outgrown or donating to charity, there was lots of new ideas for my family to try out - such as creating lists and getting the financial path towards college (or whatever she should choose when the time comes) started.
That's the beauty of the book - it covers on up to age 24 (and beyond), so no matter how old your children are for the most part, there are tips you can start to put into play to help them onto a better financial path and keep them out of debt. Sure, not every strategy or tip might be right for your family, but even if you walk away with one or two ideas to help your children out, it's not time wasted reading.
The MoneySmart Family System: Teaching Financial Independence To Children Of Every Age by Steve and Annette Economides is a business & economics/personal finance paperback book published by Thomas Nelson. It is 272 pages long. The suggested cover price is $16.99, but Amazon has it available for $15.38 as of this posting. It is also available as an audio CD and as an e-book for the Kindle and other e-readers.
I received a copy of this book in order to read it and share my thoughts on it. All opinions are my own, and not that of the author(s) or publisher.