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Raising Financially Fit Kids, Revised Paperback – June 4, 2013
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Money, a powerful factor in family dynamics, is often a difficult subject for families to address. Godfrey aims to help parents send their children into the world as financially savvy adults by identifying 10 specific skills that can be mastered by children ages 5 through 18. These include saving, keeping track of money, spending wisely, living on a budget, investing, handling credit responsibly, and using money to help others. Godfrey contends that her advice is for parents of every income level because the same financial issues confront those with means as confront those with few resources, regardless of race, class, culture, or political orientation. While this book conveniently doubles as an infomercial for her consulting practice, it does offer valuable insight into an important subject. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“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
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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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