With social media, YouTube, and streaming, taking a break from the screen and opening a physical book can be a nice change. Especially when it comes to teaching your kids about financial literacy. Depending on how your child learns, a combination of educational mediums can be helpful but sometimes, going back to the basics (a book) is the way to go.
Whether you head to the library to peruse the bookshelves or search for a book online, there are oodles of amazing books for teaching kids about finances. In my opinion, these are the top money books that teach financial literacy.
Financial literacy books for your kids
When introducing the topic of financial literacy to little kids, it can be helpful to find storybooks that incorporate financial lessons rather than just reading about financial concepts. This helps to ensure that kids stay engaged and excited to learn more. The goal of reading financial literacy books to young kids is to simply start the financial conversations and introduce basic concepts. Here are a few book titles you can check out for young kids:
Financial literacy books for middle schoolers
For middle schoolers, who can easily read to themselves you can start to provide books that get into money concepts. Rather than just mentioning the topic of saving, investing, or giving in a story format, you can provide them with books that start to test their understanding of money basics. Some great books for middle school-aged children include:
Financial literacy books for high-schoolers
Useful financial literacy books for teens will focus on preparing them for life after high school. Books that teach money lessons related to managing their personal finances. How to pay bills, how to use a credit card responsibly, how to invest, and how to budget. The challenge with teens, and all kids, is to find books that are engaging enough to keep them coming back for more. Here are some great book ideas for your teens:
How to introduce money books to your kids
When you’re competing with social media and Netflix, it can be hard to slide a book about money management in front of your kids and hope that this is what captures their undivided attention.
Introducing money books to your young child
Introducing money books to young kids can be easy if you are already in a routine of reading before bed. Simply add in a few new storybooks that contain financial education elements and then talk about some of the concepts together. Learning about financial literacy is an ongoing process that develops through exposure to financial concepts, conversations about money, and then real-life exposure.
Introducing money books middle-schoolers
To engage your middle schooler, have them join you at the library or the book store so they can pick out the financial literacy resources that they find to be most engaging. If they are the ones to pick out the book instead of you, there might be a better chance of them reading it.
If you have a middle-schooler who enjoys reading and is interested in learning about money, then your job is pretty easy. However, if you have a child who isn’t a fan of reading, then perhaps you can find books that you can enjoy together. You can take turns reading out loud and you can add to the stories by providing some real-life examples of how you’ve managed money. Remember, sometimes the money fails to make the best stories and better money lessons (for what not to do).
Introducing money books to teenagers
With teens, try to find books that align with their interests. If you have a high schooler that loves the idea of entrepreneurship and is already coming up with business ideas, then bring them home a stack of books about entrepreneurship.
On the other hand, if you have a teen who is always spending all of their money and then asking you for more, you might want to purchase some books on budgeting and saving. In order to get them interested, frame it around their interests and goals. If they’re planning to go away to school or they want to travel. Great, but you need to know how to budget and save if you are going to be successful in doing these things. If you can frame why financial literacy is important and worth reading about in terms of their real-life goals and interests, you will probably have more luck keeping them engaged.
How to make financial literacy books fun
Part of getting your kids of all ages engaged in financial literacy books is in how you present it and how often. If you try to slip your high-schooler a book about budgeting and they show no interest, don’t stop trying. This is not a one-and-done deal.
Become a parent detective and inquire about their interests. “Oh, you want to be rich when you grow up, have you ever heard about investing?” “Oh, you want to travel to Thailand after graduation? How are you planning to save for that?” “You want to reach financial freedom by age 30, great goal! You better understand how to budget, save, and invest.” With younger kids it can be easier to sneak money-focused books into their everyday reading schedule so, if you can start early, that’s a great way to go.
In addition to the financial literacy books, continue to share your stories about personal finance and keep the conversation about money going consistently. Normalizing the topic of personal finance will also help to engage your kids on the topic. Lastly, make sure you hop on the personal finance book reading bandwagon as well. It’s good for you to model this behavior to your kids and it will also increase your financial knowledge.
— By Jessica Martel