Confession: We aren’t money geniuses. We have savings accounts, but we aren’t exactly sure how a bank differs from a credit union. We contribute to our 401(k)s, but we don’t know the benefits of a money market account. So when it comes time to explain finances to our kids, we know we’re going to have to brush up on our skills first. That’s where Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) by Beth Kobliner comes in handy.
This book’s title offers not one, but two major benefits: 1. You’ll learn how to make your kids money geniuses, and 2. You’ll be able to do it even if you don’t know much about money. The first part is important, but the second part is key. Even if you aren’t a math whiz or a financial guru, Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) makes it so you can still talk about money with your kids in a smart way. No jargon, just cents. (Get it?)
Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) reads in chronological order, starting with how to talk to three-year-olds and going all the way up to how to talk to 23-year-olds. Author Beth Kobliner distilled down research in psychology, child development, and behavioral economics and applied the findings to real-life situations. For example, did you know that giving into a preschooler’s demands for a candy bar could make him more likely to misuse credit cards as an adult? Yes, really.
Sections like “If Your Kid Comes into Big Bucks” and “Parenting and Plastic: Which Cards Are Right for Your Kid?” spell out advice and solutions you didn’t even know you needed. Some sections are helpful for adults as well, like “The Money Genius Guide to Understanding Your Paycheck” and “The True Cost of Paying the Minimum on Your Credit Card.” Because let’s be real: Paychecks can be super confusing no matter how old you are, and even financially responsible adults could use a refresher on APRs.
The bottom line is, teaching your kids about money when they’re young is important. Forming solid financial habits as children makes kids more likely to succeed as adults. Here’s hoping your kids become such money geniuses, they grow up to take care of your finances for you. We can dream, right?