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Raising Money Smart Kids: What They Need to Know about Money and How to Tell Them (Kiplinger's Personal Finance) 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1419505164
ISBN-10: 1419505165
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Janet Bodnar, Kiplinger's Personal Finance editor and mother of three, is a nationally recognized expert in the field of children's and family finances. Janet's column appears in Kiplinger's magazine, and weekly on Kiplinger.com. She has appeared on Oprah, the Today show, Good Morning America, the Early Show on CBS, and is frequently quoted in publications ranging from Parents to The Wall Street Journal. An award-winning journalist, she has covered a wide range of personal finance topics on investing, money management and the economy, and is a regular guest on the CBS-TV affiliate in Washington, D.C.


Bodnar was also recently named an AOL Coach.  The AOL Coach program is a new AOL offering made in conjunction with Better Life Media, intended to provide to consumers avenues for self-improvement, and featuring such top-selling life-improvement authors as John Gray, Tom Peters, and Stephen Covey. Content and other resources offered by the AOL Coaches is available to AOL members at AOL keyword ""coaches"".


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Product Details

  • Series: Kiplinger's Personal Finance
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Business; 1 edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419505165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419505164
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
With each generation the children seem to have more money available to them than their parents. With this should come responsibility and learning how to spend or save wisely. The problem is that most just learn to spend as soon as they get it, get it by begging parents or an allowance with no responsibilities involved or similar. Enter Janet Bodnar, deputy-editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, mother of three, and writer of the Money Smart Kids column in Kiplinger Magazine. This is not a collection of hard and fast rules to force good finance habits onto kids but a framework within which parents can use good common sense to handle any situation. The book starts with a quiz to test your money smarts. This quiz is excellent and presents most of the potential situations you are likely to encounter with children and money. The author even includes examples of questions kids ask and how to answer them. One of the insightful sections is one on how kids think about money and how to deal with these concepts from preschool to teenager. Ms. Bodnar even includes a fascinating chapter on questions and answers about money's history, composition, and dozens of other miscellaneous facts. Prepare your children to know how to deal with money when they are grown. Raising Money Smart Kids is highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Too many children think their parents have an endless supply of money for them to tap into. When denied a purchase, they think the parent is being mean. Setting up a structure and helping your child understand and respect money is a chore, but it will pay off in the long run.

I like that the author advises against credit cards for teens and that she gives advice for dealing with adult children returning home.

Here's what is covered in the book:

Quiz: Test Your Money Smarts

Chapter 1: The Perils of Being an Expert [or The Perils of Giving Advice, or something else]

Chapter 2: A Kid's-Eye View of Money

Chapter 3: The Adman Cometh

Chapter 4: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

Chapter 5: Small Change: The Preschool Years

Chapter 6: Surviving with 'Tweens

Chapter 7: Why Is Money Green?

Chapter 8: Allowances: A Hands-On Experience

Chapter 9: Penny Wise: Kids & Saving

Chapter 10: Your Kid, the Investment Guru

Chapter 11: Of Lawnmowing & Milkshake Stands

Chapter 12: Teens: The Early Years

Chapter 13: To Work or Not to Work?

Chapter 14: Off to College & On Their Own (Sort of)

Chapter 15: Giving & Getting with Grace & Gratitude

Chapter 16: Lost Wallets & Other Sticky Situations

Chapter 17: Money-Smart Grandparents

Chapter 18: Mission Nearly Accomplished

Chpater 19: They're Back. Now What?
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Format: Paperback
This book is an easy educational read, providing parents with different options to handle financial decisions when raising their children. Keep your highlighter handy because you will want to use this book as a reference book. Use your highlighter to mark ideas along with websites so you can refer to them easily. (Probably all this book is missing is a quick resource listing all the websites in one place.)

One of my favorite chapters was "A Kid's Eye View of Money" which gives a glimpse of how children think. Devoting an entire chapter to this subject might surprise parent's, get our attention, and make us think twice. (I consider my children above average when it comes to their financial education but one day, one surprised me when she said, "Mom, the banks don't USE our money...") In this chapter, Janet Bodnar highlights many other examples where children's view of personal finance may need just a little more clarification from adults.

Some chapters are distinguished by age, but I recommend parents be sure to read all chapters. Many ideas are applicable to children of all ages. So, don't skip chapters thinking, "My child is older so I don't need to read that." You do and will be glad you did.

There is hardly a dull moment because topics are presented with both humorous examples and letters the author received from both parents and children. Readers will likely relate to more than one of these tales with a, "Been there, my child's done that..." and, "Oh yeah, we still have to address that..." attitude. This book provides issues for parents to think about along with many choices for solutions. It should be part of every family's home library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll be honest. I'm half way through the book. But my kids are only 23 months, so I figure I have some time. What I like about this book is that it's a really easy read. It's full of great tips and advice along with funny anecdotes.

A lot of the concepts are common sense, so it's not wacky financial stuff, just good, legit info.
The book is broken out into different age groups so it's easy to change your strategy as the kids get older.
There are tons of resources like allowance systems, etc.
It's non-judgmental. The tone is, YOUR the parent. Do what's right for you.

This will require work as a parent (darn, can't kids just figure it out?)
You will have to revisit this book over time so you can make adjustments to your action plan.

Recommend taking notes and tabbing things that you find helpful. There's so much good stuff that you might trouble finding it again easily.

Good luck!!
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