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Raising Financially Fit Kids, Revised Paperback – June 4, 2013
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“If we could, we’d bring Joline Godfrey into our home for weekly lessons teaching our kids how to manage money. This book is the next best thing. Joline’s ability to help parents and kids align their financial actions with their values is truly unparalleled.”
-Joan King, head of Atlanta Girls’ School, and Kevin Salwen, author of The Power of Half
“Few parents had the benefit of the kind of financial education that kids require to be economically independent and safe in our dynamic world. Godfrey’s book provides straightforward advice about how to prepare children to make financial decisions aligned with your family’s means, values, and aspirations—while giving parents a hand in building their own level of financial fluency. No one is better suited than Godfrey to advise parents about how to raise children able to make financial decisions and build productive fulfilling lives.”
-Linda A. Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration and Faculty Chair, Leadership Initiative, Harvard Business School
“Invest in your family’s future today! Use Godfrey’s wisdom to help your children develop the social and financial skills to responsibly manage the fruits of their success.”
- Stuart E. Lucas, chairman of Wealth Strategist Partners and author of Wealth: Grow It and Protect It
About the Author
Joline Godfrey has been a pioneer in the field of financial education since 1990. Today she is one of the country’s foremost experts on kids, families, and money. Godfrey is founder and CEO of Independent Means, Inc., a leading provider of financial education for families. Recognized in features for the Today show, Oprah, Fortune, BusinessWeek, and the New York Times, Godfrey is a frequent speaker and consultant worldwide. She lives in Ojai, California. Visit www.independentmeans.com.
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There are some helpful ideas to teach your kids financial concepts in this book, the Sample Lifestyle Budget she provides is excellent. The proposed scavenger hunt to the mall idea is horrifying. Ms Godfrey proclaims that "shopping is entertainment." Whaaat? This is exactly what I'm trying NOT to encourage in my children. Later in the book she says that yoga is helpful in calming the high you get from shopping- also she recommends meditation, exercise and a cup of tea. Really?
I bought this book because I wanted to know how and when to explain this stuff to to my 7 year old who, just last week when told that a price of an item was too much, told me I should just write a check for it. There is no help in here for explaining the mechanics of a checking account to a 7 year old. Also no discussion of living beneath your means, what a 401-K is, the benefits of saving early vs late, how much you should be saving, what social security is, taxes, an explanation of what stocks and bonds are, etc. While there was an explanation of using credit cards, there was not much in the way of showing kids how easily you can get into trouble with debt or how to calculate the cost of debt.
I didn't get much financial training from my parents and neither did my husband, so we don't know how or when to discuss it with our kids. We both learned it the hard way and with self-education, but would like to spare our children the mistakes we made. Not much help from this book- we will figure it out as we go I guess.
There is a clear liberal slant to this book. If the information had been good that would have been irrelevant to me, however some readers may object to the suggestions of steering your children towards green and impact investing, low impact living, becoming activists, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, etc. For example, the book suggests that you sign up for an investing newsletter to help your child understand investments which is a great idea. The newsletter it recommends is a green investing newsletter instead of Kiplinger's. I guess what I object to is that the book doesn't try to teach financial concepts like how to evaluate stocks, it tries to promote a values-based way of addressing money. It would have been easy to address this in a non-partisan way, since financial concepts, like pay yourself first, compound interest, debt- are all politically neutral.
On another note, the book is very well designed and visually engaging, which as a designer myself, I definitely appreciate.
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