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book review: make your kid a money genius (even if you're not)

Book Review: Make Your Kid a Money Genius by Beth Kobliner

Last week, I mentioned that this book—Make Your Kid a Money Genius by Beth Kobliner—was on my list of reads for 2020. Well, I started and finished last weekend, and I can't recommend it enough! So I thought I'd do a slightly more in detail book review. Now that I've finished it, I can tell you why every parent should read this book...

Overall, my favorite thing about this book is how easy it is to read and how Beth breaks down various financial topics by subject and also by kids' ages. So chapters on: Saving, Working, Debt, Investing, Insurance, Charitable Giving, and more...are broken down with an overview of each topic but also discuss how to talk about those topics to your kids starting from pre-school all the way to young adult years. I found myself reading the ages that were relevant to my kids (pre-school and elementary school), but also looking ahead to understand how that sets up future conversations. I love that this book is now my financial bible that I can come back and reference as my kids get older, too.

A few highlights of things I learned and loved from this book:

-Find ways to involve your children in a decision or walk them through your own purchases. Tell them why you decided to save for something vs. spent money on it. The author gives lots of examples as to how you can teach them about investments, inflation, opportunity costs, and savings accounts. I found that when it was explained in a way that kids can understand, it also make it feel much less scary for myself to feel like I could have these conversations with my kids. Plus, I love how early she advises to start the conversation about college and starting to save early so that kids feel a sense of involvement in the conversation.

-The things you should and shouldn't talk to your kids about when it comes to money. Should your kids know how much big things (like cars and houses) cost? Should they know how much money you make? I love how she also explains how not to talk about other family's money as a way of comparing why your child can or can't have something in comparison to his or her friend. It shouldn't be about that the other family is "rich" or has more money, it should be about how your family chooses to spend the money that you do have. 

-These conversations apply to other parts of parenting as well. Although this book is related to money, so many of the tips here make sense for other parts of parenting as well...like talking through with your child WHY you are doing something so they understand your thought process and can learn from you when they need to apply it to their own lives. This works for money but also so many other things in parenthood!

-Parents tend to talk to boys more about money, especially about investing. She empowers parents of girls to remember to have the same conversations with girls that you're having with boys. So that all of your children—no matter which gender—have the same information at their fingertips.

-I learned a TON myself. Money has never come natural to me, and I honestly feel like I learned a lot of financial facts way too late in life. But that's why I challenged myself to read more books about money this year. My poor financial decisions of the past were based on lack of knowledge, and I want to better equip myself and my kids for better financial confidence.

I truly cannot recommend this book enough. Even if your child is mid-way through this age range, you can pick up on so many tips that have already changed the way I think about our family's financial future.

{Written by Joy Cho}

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