Book Review: Smart Money Smart Kids
In an earlier blog post discussing my 4-year old’s materialistic obsession with toy trains I said, “I don’t blame him, but I do want to “train him up in the way he should go”. I want him to understand the difference between needs and wants. I want him to grasp that money doesn’t grow on trees. I want him to learn the value of hard work.” You know what happened the day after I posted that blog? I received an e-mail saying I had been selected to the book launch team for Smart Money Smart Kids, written by Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze. Talk about timing!
I have finished reading the advanced copy of the book and, honestly, it’s hard to decide how to begin explaining how remarkable it is. It provides answers for all my concerns stated above plus so much more. It is a practical guide to train your kids to make smart decisions about money. Let me stress again that it’s a practical guide, not theoretical, because as a parent, who has time for theoretical?
Rachel Cruze was a baby when her parents filed for bankruptcy. While recovering from this difficult time, Dave and Sharon Ramsey “made the declaration that where money was concerned, we would start a new family tradition—a tradition of money knowledge, money character traits, and wealth.” Rachel and her older sister and younger brother are successful products of this declaration. Dave and Rachel share in great detail, from their respective perspectives, the money lessons taught to the Ramsey kids through the years and how you can apply them to your family.
The book has chapters dedicated to the subjects of work, spending, saving, giving, budgeting, staying away from debt, and contentment (this one is critical to your child’s success). Whether you have a preschooler or a teenager about to enter college or anywhere in between, this book has you covered. It offers sensible tips broken out by age groups.
Rachel Cruze says, “It doesn’t matter if you are deeply in debt or have a million dollars in the bank, your kids are a clean slate! You CAN start teaching them how to handle money and your family tree can be changed no matter what kinds of mistakes you may have made.” If you’ve spent most of your adult life drowning in debt, can you imagine how awesome your child’s wealth building potential would be if she never, ever took on debt of any kind? This book shows you how it’s possible. Maybe you’ve worked hard, avoided debt, and saved hence you’re doing pretty well with money, but you’re worried about your child growing up to be a lazy, entitled, immature adult. Oh, is this book for you!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. All of the methods in the book to train your children to be money smart are fairly easy to implement – except one. One of Rachel Cruze’s favorite sayings is “More is caught than taught”. Sorry, there is no way around this one. If you want your child to eat healthy, you have to eat healthy. If you want your child to have good manners, you have to have good manners. If you want your child to handle money well, it is vital you learn to handle money well. But it’s ok, the book will teach you a lot about handling money too. I’m here to help too. If you’re struggling with debt, can’t seem to get any traction on your retirement savings, or just feel like there’s too much month at the end of the money, contact me about a one-on-one coaching session.
What is your biggest worry or struggle regarding your kids and money?