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Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money Hardcover – April 22, 2014
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About the Author
Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored seven best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, The Complete Guide to Money, Smart Money Smart Kids and The Legacy Journey. “The Dave Ramsey Show” is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on more than 585 radio stations and digitally through podcasts, online audio streaming and a 24-hour online streaming video channel. Follow Ramsey on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
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Perhaps that is why the newest book by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, Smart Money Smart Kids, feels a bit like a life raft in choppy waters. It is written in the uniquely engaging narrative of a father and a daughter sharing thoughts in a game of ping pong. Dave shares the perspectives of a parent who admittedly and dramatically failed at finances before overcoming and raising money smart children, while Rachel presents the view of a child who was raised to be competent with money, one who skipped all the “ordinary” snares that so many of her generation get tangled within, one who represents what we hope for our children.
However, Smart Money Smart Kids, while full of anecdotes of their experiences (some that are laugh out loud humorous), is more than an encouraging and entertaining narrative about one father raising one daughter. Rather, it’s true strength is in the very specific parenting strategies that can help CREATE money smart kids. Some topics include;
- Steps to Intentionally develop a positive attitude toward work through chores and commissions at developmentally appropriate times.
- Showing a heart-change about the uses and purposes of money, teaching that saving, giving, and spending can all be virtuous in their time and place.
- How to demonstrate and require self-discipline from children in saving for purchases.
- Budgeting for kids starting when they are young and giving more independence as they grow and demonstrate competence.
- Developing hearts of gratitude and contentment within children.
This book was both mind blowing and encouraging. Oh, the heartache we can save our children if we can be open and honest in teaching them how to have a heart of gratitude, a belief that it is all God’s anyway, and a sense of the sacred responsibility we have as stewards of resources, both financial and otherwise. Money is never just about money.
Really, Smart Money Smart Kids is all about intentionality. While accidentally raising money smart kids may be impossible, INTENTIONALLY we CAN and WILL change our family tree.
Obviously we all have our strengths, and obviously Dave Ramsey's strengths were helping is kids succeed with money from a young age. His kids were earning money for their first cars before they were 10! My reality looks different than theirs, and I had to remind myself that what worked for them, isn't going to be what works for my family, but taking some of their ideas and basic principles, I can also help my kids achieve great things with their money. Quite frankly, step one is simply being aware of the value of money. What should it be used for, things you want, or things you need etc. Natural consequences, and letting your kids fail at the little decisions now are important (ie: Rachel recounts a story where she spent all of her money on one little game outside the amusement park they were at, and then had to watch her brother and sister have fun with their money inside while she was miserable and her parents wouldn't relent and give her more).
I really liked though too how they encourage you to give your kids grace. Rachel recounts how one mom was proud of herself that she didn't help her son out when he went to buy the xbox he had saved up for and didn't have enough to cover tax. Rachel was incredulous and told the mom that if her 10 year old son had managed to save up nearly $400 to buy an xbox the mom should have gladly covered the tax! You want to encourage your kids, help them feel like they have succeeded, not be so caught up in semantics that you miss the opportunity to help them feel like they accomplished their money saving goal.
This book was really encouraging to me, and helpful on my parenting journey. I would recommend it to anyone looking for ways to help kids understand money, and give them a foundation for succeeding later. Five stars for sure.