Teaching your kids the basics around financial literacy at an early age can have a huge impact on their adult lives. The ability to save is one of the most important finlit concepts a child can learn. Not only does it give them the ability to create wealth, but more importantly it creates a habit of saving. If kids learn now to put away a part of every allowance or birthday money gift, they are more likely to continue saving as an adult when it’s time to put away money for retirement or a home.
Teaching your kids about finance may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to involve a complex powerpoint presentation. The best way to teach kids about anything, especially finance, is to make it engaging, relatable and fun for the child. An easy way to teach your kids about saving is through children’s books that have the lessons woven throughout the story. The lessons taught are more memorable and impactful if they can relate with the characters in the story, and understand their motivation for saving money. Just being exposed to the idea of saving at this age through stories will have a huge impact on their level of comfort and confidence with money matters in the future.
Below are 10 books that teach valuable lessons about saving money:
Bunny Money, by Rosemary Wells: Part of the Max and Ruby Series, Ruby has saved enough money to buy her grandma a beautiful ballerina box. However, she quickly learns how easy it is to spend her savings on other items. This book illustrates that saving money is just the first step; kids also need to learn how to manage those savings. Parents can use this to introduce their young children to prioritizing, especially when it comes to saving money.
A Chair For My Mother, by Vera B. Williams. This heartwarming story follows a young girl, her mother and grandmother, who save every penny they earn to buy a new chair for their apartment. One of the most important steps in saving is setting a goal, and parents can discuss the power of working to reach your goals with their kids.
The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense, by Stan and Jan Berenstain. In this book from the classic series, Papa introduces Brother and Sister to money. It’s a perfect introduction to teaching kids what to do with their money, and how to make the decision to save or spend.
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, by Judith Viorst. Most kids are familiar with Alexanders’ bad luck in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This time, Alexander is given a dollar by his Grandparents, and he’s excited by the possibility of what he can save up to buy. However, his money starts to disappear as he begins spending his money instead of saving it. The book is a fun and humorous way to show kids the consequences of not having a spending and savings plan.
Little Critter: Just Saving My Money, by Mercer Mayer. Another classic character, Little Critter wants a skateboard, so his dad tells him he needs to save his money to buy one. Parents reading this book with their kids can discuss things they want to save up for, and help create a plan to reach their goal.
Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock, by Sheila Bair and part of the Money Tales series. A perfect example of delayed gratification, this book follows two twins who receive a dollar from their grandpa each week. Their grandpa offers them a match – an extra dollar for each one they save. One twin ends up with over $500, and one twin has none. This is a great introduction to the benefits of saving your money, and parents can begin the conversation around compound interest.
Money Plan, by Monica Eaton. Mia and her mom head to the grocery store, where Mia learns about smart shopping and saving money. Mia’s mom shows her the importance of using coupons, making smart decisions and sticking to your plan – all vital aspects of saving money. Parents can implement this same advice when they are at the store with their kids, and show firsthand how they save money when shopping.
Grandpa’s Fortune Fables, by Will Rainey. This comprehensive book teaches kids about all aspects of money management through the eyes of 13 year old Gail. In addition to focusing on the importance of saving, Rainey includes a glossary of financial terms and a fun game where kids can earn a prize at the end.
Savannah’s Savings Jar, by Chelsea Addison. Although ten-year-old Savannah is called Saving Savannah, she wasn’t always a good saver. Kids will be able to relate to her story, as she struggles with spending her savings. The book teaches how you can learn good saving habits, and change bad ones. Parents can discuss the fundamental concepts introduced in this book, like budgeting and expenses.
Save It , by Cinders McLeod. Part of the popular Moneybunny books, Honey learns about the importance of having a plan when saving money. Perseverance, patience and creativity are importance concepts taught throughout the story.