As a mom and personal finance blogger, I get the opportunity to review many books. One that I just reviewed that I can’t recommend highly enough is Sunny Lee’s book, Is Your Child a Money Master or a Money Monster?
Sunny Lee is a financial advisor, and she has taken the time to teach her twin sons about money. In fact, her strategy has worked so well that she’s sharing all her techniques in this book.
Lee has a variety of strategies for teaching kids about money in a fun, incentive-filled way.
Offer rewards. Lee’s strategy of offering her children rewards helps shape their behavior in a positive direction. For instance, when her sons were in 1st grade, Lee developed the Morning Stuff Allowance Project. Each morning, her kids had to get up when their alarms went off, tidy their rooms, get dressed, pack their backpacks, and make and eat their own breakfast and get to school on time. If they did this every day, they earned $3 a week.
While the kids were motivated by the money, they were also unknowingly developing skills that would help them through the rest of their lives. Even better, Lee didn’t have to fight with her boys in the morning to get up and get their chores done. Everyone in her household could enjoy a more peaceful morning.
Play games. As the boys got older, part of Lee’s strategy to teach them about money was to give them a safe place to experiment. She did this by finding a variety of free, money based games online. Her boys experimented online with running a coffee shop. They had to decide when to discount their coffee based on the season, how much inventory to buy, etc.
Try out your skills in the real world. Finally, Lee let her sons experiment and try their money skills in the real world. An important component of this was to let them fail in small ways. One son spent a large sum of money on a hat, which he loved, but then he didn’t have money available for a while after that. Her other son learned from his brother and bought a hat at a discounted market so he wouldn’t use all of his money on one item.
Lee’s book contains seven strategies to teach your kids about money (and as a byproduct, teach them personal responsibility). One thing I loved about the book and her strategy is that she keeps adding layers to her plan. For instance, after her kids mastered the Morning Stuff Allowance Project, that remained in place, but Lee added on the Special Incentive Project. If her boys chose to, they could earn additional money throughout the week by completing a book report, doing an art project, etc. Again, she helped her children grow academically and artistically through an incentive.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to not only give their children a strong financial footing, but also a strong work ethic.
Have you read this book? What is your favorite book to teach kids about money?