Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids Book Review

Raising Money Smart Kids

Before we became parents, my husband and I asked a number of seasoned veteran parents a list of questions to gain wisdom in raising our own children someday. We received incredible advice about raising kids to love God and love others. We got advice on schooling, friends and even dating. Much of that wisdom still guides our parenting philosophy today—more than 10 years later! 

There was one question that we asked that continuously stumped parent after parent; “What do you do to teach your kids about money?” We got a lot of blank stares and very few pieces of advice. Why? It seems as though most parents simply didn’t have a clue as to where to even start, let alone how to actually raise money-smart kids.

That was us five years ago. Our kids were 3 and 5 years old and we felt overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to care for our young family on a pastor’s salary while staring at a mountain of college debt.

We knew something needed to change in our financial lives so we decided to take our small group through Financial Peace University. To make a long story short, we paid off $25,000 worth of debt over the next 14 months! During our time in FPU, we were inspired not only to get our own financial life in order, but also to help others along the way and most importantly to change our family tree.

However, we found ourselves frustrated by the lack of kid-specific resources to help us navigate this new world of teaching kids about money. Over time we were able to create something that works well for our kids and our family, but it was done with a lot of trial and error.

I found myself wishing that Dave Ramsey would write something specifically for parents to help us raise our kids to be smart with money so they would never have to know the burden of debt that we felt.

I desperately wanted a manual, a guide, a road-map to follow to help us navigate these uncharted parenting waters of raising money-smart kids. Well, it took a few years for my wish to come true, but alas, IT’S HERE. And it’s way better than I ever could have anticipated!

Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, co-wrote a book called Smart Money Smart Kids. It is everything I could have hoped for and so much more.

The book is written in a fun conversational style which gives readers both Dave’s and Rachel’s unique perspectives.

My favorite quote of the book is from Rachel, “I like to say that my dad is the emergency surgeon, and I’m the preventative medicine. Nobody gets people out of a financial crisis like Dave Ramsey, but we’d both prefer it if people never got into that kind of mess in the first place. That’s become my crusade.”

As much fun as it was to hear Dave’s perspective on raising money-smart kids (which he obviously knows a great deal about), I found myself dare I say, even more intrigued by Rachel’s perspective than his. This is not to say that I wasn’t captivated by Dave, but Rachel has a voice of her own that I firmly believe is going to resonate with countless parents who will use this resource as a way to change their family tree for good.

I am confident that Rachel will be used to impact the next generation perhaps even more-so than Dave has. That’s the beauty of raising kids, there’s always a chance to leave a legacy, to change your family tree and to leave this world better than you found it. Dave’s greatest impact on this world may very well be through his kids and grandkids. I am hopeful the same will be said of me someday!

Just after the quote mentioned above, Rachel goes on to talk about exactly what you will find in the book. “I’ll walk you through what it means to raise money-smart kids. I’ll explain how I learned the importance of a strong work ethic, and we’ll explore specific ways you can pass that on to your children. I’ll teach you what my parents taught me about spending, saving, and giving. We’ll talk about debt, why it’s so devastating for young people, and how to teach your kids to avoid it—especially when it’s time to head to college or buy a car. We’ll tackle some tougher topics like entitlement, enabling, and contentment so that you can help your kids define what “enough” means for them. We’ll talk about relationships and how money often gets in the way, sometimes actually destroying families and friendships. And finally, we’ll talk about how to raise children who have the emotional, spiritual, and moral backbones to receive the financial legacy you might leave them one day.”  

Rachel (and Dave) cover all of that and so much more in Smart Money Smart Kids. It really is a must read for parents with children of all ages. If I were the begging kind, I really would beg you to please, please, please pick up this book. Read it. Dwell on it. Put it into action. It WILL change your family tree!

You are reading a series about Raising Money-Smart Kids that I am writing as part of a

Smart Money Smart Kids book launch team. We are often asked what we do to teach our kids about money and good stewardship. In this series I will share our story along with some of our best loved tricks and tips for helping kids win with money in a debt-filled world. Click here to read more posts in this series.

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