The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money
The Berenstain Bears books have a knack for tackling all of life's little lessons in ways that are so relatable. Brother and Sister seem to think that there is an infinite supply of money to buy all the things their hearts desire. Mama and Papa Bear encourage them to start businesses (i.e. pet walking, lemonade stands) so they learn to appreciate the value of a dollar.
Kids' Books about Money Teach Valuable Lessons
Good money habits can and should be encouraged in children from the time they are little. We are moving toward a cashless economic system, which can make money seem intangible to kids. With the swipe of a card or the input of a password, we buy all the things we need and want on a daily basis. But kids today rarely witness the exchange of real dollar bills for goods and services. That's why it's so important, more than ever before, that we take a proactive role by reading the best kids' books about money management. The stories share a variety of experiences where characters learn important money management lessons, usually the hard way. Kids will relate to quandaries they face between buying a new toy or saving up for a rainy day.
The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense
Brother and Sister Bear have gone on a spending spree. Their hands are full with baseball cards, ice cream cones, and candy, but their pockets are woefully empty. Papa Bear decides it is finally time to teach his offspring a thing or two about self-restraint and budgeting.
Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock
A very relatable story for kids about twins who have very different approaches. Their fiscally-minded grandfather wants to impart a valuable lesson so he makes a deal with the boys. He will give them each a dollar every single week for a defined period to do what they want with it. They are free to squander it on toys, treats, and junk. But, as a financial incentive, he makes a deal to give them a dollar for every dollar saved. Kids will learn a valuable lesson and perhaps even avoid making some mistakes of their own.
Follow the Money!
A creative book that follows the path of a brand new quarter, who happens to be named George. Readers will have fun following the exciting day of a single coin as it gets spent, lost by one person, found by another, inserted into a vending machine for a snack, and placed in another machine at the laundry mat. A fun lesson for kids who will learn about the value coins play in the overall economy.
Curious George Saves His Pennies
Curious George has his mind set on a pretty cool toy train. So, like any responsible little monkey would do, he saves his pennies (for a VERY long time) until he finally has enough to buy it. Of course, as always is the case with George, his plan does not go smoothly and he manages to lose his piggy bank enroute to the toy store. But, really, the main point of this valuable book is George's realization that it takes a lot of work, patience, and savings to buy things you want.
A simple, short concept story for preschoolers about the value of a dollar. Told from the the perspective a bunny, whose currency is carrots, this picture book shares a valuable lesson about not always getting everything you want.
Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday
A classic, funny book about a boy who gets in his own way most of the time. In this case, Alexander's grandparents gave him a generous amount of money (Ok, just $1, but a kid could do a lot with this amount in 1987 when this book was published!). Alexander dreams about all the things he could buy when he saves up. But, like most kids, his impatience gets the better of him and he squanders the single dollar almost immediately. That feeling of being rich is oh so fleeting.
Arthur's Funny Money
Arthur wants a new shirt and cap, but he doesn't have enough money to purchase them. With the help of his sister Violet, he puts together a plan to earn the cash he needs. Lots of funny moments and valuable business lessons in this illustrated, easy reader book.
Froggy's Lemonade Stand
Froggy is back with a plan to make a lot of cash selling lemonade so he can buy all kinds of cool things. The only problem is that the day isn't so cool! And froggy ends up slurping down all the lemonade himself, leaving none for his paying customers. Laugh along with Froggy's friends as they brainstorm together and come up with quite a solution.
Learning about entrepreneurship at an early age sure has some benefits. A savvy little girl wants a new soccer ball with a price tag of almost $25. That's a lot of cash, so she develops a plan to earn it herself. She observes her surrounding neighbors and discovers a "dirty" opportunity to make a little cash. A creative picture book that packs in some good lessons about mathematics, starting a business, learning from mistakes, and working toward financial goals.
Ruby and Max learn an important lesson while planning for their grandmother's birthday. Picking out the perfect present doesn't seem to be a problem. However, the two bunnies run into some snafus as they watch their savings vanish before they have a chance to purchase the birthday gift. A solid introductory lesson on math and finance skills perfect for young elementary aged children.
The Squirrel Manifesto
This is one of our favorite books about how to budget for children. An overriding theme is the idea that kids develop their money habits based on what they witness of their parents. The three pillars of early fiscal responsibility- spending, saving, and donating- are all covered. Written by a successful financial planner, this book is packed with sound advice that could benefit all of us.
My Rows and Piles of Coins
Set in Tanzania, a little boy with a generous heart saves diligently so he can buy a bicycle. His mother carries heavy loads to market every single day, so he decides he could help her with this task if only he had a bike. An award-winning book about generosity and community.
Isabel's Car Wash
Lots of little kids start their own businesses, like lemonade stands and car washes. But how many of them have to first purchase the items they need to get their businesses off the ground? In this cute story, a girl desperately wants a new doll but she doesn't have enough stashed in her piggy bank to buy one. So she decides she will wash cars to earn the cash. But, wait! She first needs to buy supplies to run her car wash. A great lesson about the cost associated with starting a business in the first place.
Lemonade in Winter: A Book about Two Kids Counting Money
Don't let the naysayers get in your head! Selling lemonade in the winter, or whatever other zany business idea your child has imagined, can be done! Join these siblings on their entrepreneurial journey and put to use their savvy marketing and mathematical skills. An engaging picture book packed with lots of text for readers with long attention spans.
The Everything Kids' Money Book
We highly recommend this comprehensive manual that covers a lot of material. Tons of cool, useful information about the stock market, credit cards, and the value of a dollar. Good, practical advice about opening a bank account, understanding interest, and watching investments grow. Consider this more of a reference guide or coffee table book for kids who want to browse, rather than a book to read cover to cover.
Just Saving My Money
Saving up for a big purchase requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Little Critter learns this lesson the hard way when he decides he wants to buy a skateboard. Even though he diligently puts all his coins away in his piggy bank, he never seems to be able to reach his goal.
Show Me the Money
A terrific guide for kids ready for a more sophisticated education about finance. It's more of a lesson about economics than collecting coins in a piggy bank for a new toy. Business, personal financial and ethical topics are discussed throughout. The history is covered from the origin of currency to e-commerce.
Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money
A family of very hungry pigs learns a lesson! They have run out of food at home, and like many of us, decide they should eat out instead. But there's just one little problem- they don't have enough money. So off they go on a treasure hunt throughout their house, gathering coins under the carpet, in the washing machine, under the sofa cushions, and everywhere else nickel, dimes, and quarters accumulate. Then they learn a lesson in math as they add up their findings and figure out what they can afford on the menu. Lots of solid material in this picture book.
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Children's Financial Literacy Books Pay Dividends For Life
Opportunities to Teach Your Kids About Money are Everywhere
Instilling responsible habits can start from the time your children are young. Every single day there is an opportunity to talk about budgets, spending decisions, and savings goals. All of these little lessons can have a big impact on your children's ability to stretch a penny when they have their own financial obligations. Here are some situations when you share your wisdom with your little ones.
1. Show Your Child How to Save When Shopping
Whenever you make a purchase, there is a learning opportunity. If your child is with you at the grocery store, point out the Buy One, Get One Free sales. Also, download the food store app and point out all the digital coupons. If shopping for clothes, start by showing your little one the discount rack in the back where items are significantly reduced. Be sure to point out the difference in price between the retail price of new inventory at the front of the store versus the sale items.
2. Be Transparent About Household Expenses
Share some key information about the fixed expenses that are incurred by your family every month. Rent, mortgage, insurance, utilities, car payments, and cell phone bills are all examples of what to share with your children when they are old enough to understand. In doing so, you are providing them with a fundamental understanding of what it takes to support your family and why you make certain purchase decisions based on your budget.
3. Share Financial Mistakes You've Made
Nobody is perfect when it comes to managing personal budgets. Perhaps there was a time when you made an expensive impulse purchase that you couldn't afford. Or maybe you racked up credit debt by spending more than your income and ended up paying high credit card interest. Lots of people have paid unnecessary bank fees from an overdraft or failing to maintain a minimum balance at one point in time or another. Share the lesson you learned with your child to help them from making the same mistake.
4. Talk About the Importance of Saving for a Rainy Day
Life throws a lot of unexpected curve balls our way. Cars break down, people get sick, roofs leak, jobs are lost, and so forth. When your family experiences one of these events, share with your child the way you prepared financially to deal with it. Talk about the sacrifices you made in order to save for your emergency fund. This type of honest dialogue will stay with your children into adulthood when they will need to responsibly manage their own bank account one day.
More Children's Books With Valuable Life Lessons