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The First National Bank of Dad: A Foolproof Method for Teaching Your Kids the Value of Money Paperback – April 24, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416534253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416534259
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lively and entertaining, filled with self-deprecating humor, anecdotes, insights, and clear explanations." -- USA Today

"Saving money . . . should be the child's choice. For an idea that might get your kids to a nest egg voluntarily, take a look at David Owen's book The First National Bank of Dad." -- Jane Bryant Quin, Newsweek

"When your children grow up, few things will affect their lives as much as the presence or absence of money. Unfortunately, most teachers and parents devote little systematic attention to teaching them how to live their economic lives. Start with this enjoyable book for some excellent suggestions." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"This is a terrific little book that could completely change the way many parents think about children and money." -- Publishers Weekly

About the Author

David Owen plays in a weekly foursome, takes mulligans off the first tee, practices intermittently at best, wore a copper wristband because Steve Ballesteros said so, and struggles for consistency even though his swing is consistent -- just mediocre. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a contributing editor to Golf Digest, and a frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly. His other books include The First National Bank of Dad, The Chosen One, The Making of the Masters, and My Usual Game. He lives in Washington, Connecticut.

More About the Author

David Owen is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a contributing editor of Golf Digest, and he is the author of a dozen books. He lives in northwest Connecticut with his wife, the writer Ann Hodgman. Learn more at www.davidowen.net or (if you're a golfer) at www.myusualgame.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I saw it recommended on a finance website. I was hoping for different ideas dealing with how to teach kids about money.

The first half of this book was great and talked about the author's experience teaching his kids and how he was able to motivate them to save because they wanted to (not because he thought it was the "right thing to do"). He also talks about giving them a safe environment where they can have good and bad experiences with money while they are young and the consequences are still limited. I like his philosophy and his explanations. The first half did a great job offering a new perspective on teaching kids.

The second half was simply too basic for what I wanted. Very basic explanations on "what is a stock" and "what is a mutual fund". This would be helpful if you didn't know anything about these and had to explain it to kids but the explanations were extremely basic.

I couldn't put the book down during the first half but then I couldn't stay awake during the second half.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jason Seagraves VINE VOICE on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author's most illuminating insight is this: Children's perception of time is radically different from adults', and thus, their "time preference" is different. When you're eight years old, a year represents 1/8 of your life. Holding on to $20 to earn $0.60 in interest (if you're lucky) is completely undesirable, and parents who force their children to do so are imparting bad money values. In doing this, what they're teaching is that money received should be spent as quickly as possible, before parents can expropriate the cash and put it into "savings" -- a black hole in the eyes of youngsters.

What the author did was create savings accounts for his children that conformed to their perceptions of time. Instead of offering 2-3% a year in interest, he offered 5% PER MONTH interest. This made saving more attractive and taught spending restraint. Additionally, the author and his wife gradually gave more and more financial responsibility to their children as they grew older. One example stands out: While on vacation, the author watched another child beg and plead and throw a fit until his father agreed to buy a $5 tomahawk at a souvenir shop -- the cheap tomahawk was broken before the pair even made it to their car. The author's child, by contrast, since he was spending his own money, and since he had an incentive to save rather than consume, bought a $0.30 item (after negotiating with the shopkeeper). People, including children, make much wiser decisions when they're spending their OWN money.

Additionally, the author talks about how he established a virtual stock exchange (using real money) when his children were interested in stocks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stepan Riha on July 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
David Owen's Book meshes well with my philosophy on allowance (partially influenced by Alyson Schafer's books). Let the kids have some money and make them responsible for how they spend it. Not that is easy seeing them blow it on stuff that they'll lose interest in a few days later - but I guess I wasn't any different as a 6 year old. The idea is that it's better if they figure it out when it's only small amounts...

[...] to the rescue:

When my daughter got old enough to actually start a virtual bank for her allowance, I was dreading setting up a spreadsheet and conscientiously keeping up with deposits, withdrawals and interest. Luckily I discovered First Kid Bank ([...]) which is a virtual online allowance bank and does everything needed to follow David's approach. You can set up multiple accounts (Allowance, Savings, Charity, etc.), pay interest on a daily, weekly or monthly basis (with different rates for each account) and even cap the interest paid. You can transfer money between account and do most other transactions you'd expect. And it even has a nice mobile interface so that you can easily withdraw money using your smart phone. And it's free (at least for now)!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bktw on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great book when trying to figure out how you feel about giving your kids an allowance. I read it several years back and recommend it to many preschool/kindergarten age parents. It definitely gets you thinking about your kid and how you want to have them think about money. It was a fast and fairly entertaining read - so much so that my husband decided to check out other books by the author (and wasn't nearly as amused by the other books). I don't bother giving my kids interest as he suggests as they are able to save fine when they have a goal in mind but I did put their allowance on Quicken as it was the only way any of us remembered to track it weekly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Hinkle on December 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am always skeptical about parenting advice, yet I keep reading it. Owen breaks down a plan to teach fiscal responsibility in a simple way peppered with humor and illustrative stories. After using some of his methods, my son is 7 years old and is now an active saver. He is responsible for his money and makes careful decisions with his spending (I don't always agree with those decisions but they are careful). Now that my son has mastered responsible spending and saving, I look forward to guiding him towards frugal investments
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