Financial literacy is important for all ages to understand. When it comes to children, however, they are often not taught about financial concepts until they are in middle or high school. Teaching kids basic money concepts can be beneficial to them later in life, as they are more likely to have a better handle on their finances if they understand money from a young age. These 8 book recommendations will ensure your child has a better understanding of finances, whether they’re in pre-school or middle school.
The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense by Stan and Jan Berenstain
This book is great for children ages 3 to 7. In this story, Papa Bear decides that it’s time to teach Brother and Sister Bear about budgeting. The lessons he imparts upon them may not stick, however. This book demonstrates the importance of budgeting through examples and helps readers understand the true value of a dollar. This is a fun read for kids and offers important financial wisdom in a way that’s easy for them to digest. If your child likes this book, it’s not the only Berenstain Bears story focused on financial lessons.
A Moneybunny Book series by Cinders McLeod
The series contains four books: Earn It!, Save It!, Spend It!, and Give It! The books are set in another universe, known as “Bunnyland,” where dollars are replaced by carrots. Each book features a different main character, always a bunny rabbit, of course, who has to figure out how to properly use this carrot currency. These books serve to teach a different financial lesson, and each lesson corresponds with the book’s title. As you may have guessed, one book focuses on saving, one on earning, one on spending, and one on giving. They are recommended for preschoolers, or kids ages 3 to 5, as they are bright and fun.
The Four Money Bears by Mac Gardner and illustrated by Chris Matthews
This book focuses on basic financial lessons for kids ages 3 to 7. The book’s main characters all represent a different types of money personalities, as there is Saver Bear, Investor Bear, Spender Bear, and Giver Bear. It shows how these different types of financial characters can work together to learn about finances. The book uses relatable content to keep both kids and parents engaged.
Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock by Sheila Bair and illustrated by Barry Gott
Rock and Brock are brothers who are one day approached with a plan by their grandpa. He tells them that he’ll give them a dollar a week to do chores and gives them the intriguing proposition of matching their savings or doubling their money, every week if it has not been spent. Rock ends up being a spender, while Brock turns out to be a saver. By the end of the story, Rock goes broke, and Brock ends up with over $500 saved.
Brock shows his brother that it’s never too late to start saving, and Brock mends his ways before the story ends. This rhyming tale of two brothers shows kids the importance of saving through an entertaining and interesting story. At the end of the book, there is a table showing how Brock grew his savings and how Rock lost it all, gently introducing the concept of compound interest. Bair’s story is recommended for kids ages 4 to 9.
If You Made a Million by David M. Schwartz and illustrated by Steven Kellogg
Schwartz uses a whimsical magician to teach children ages 4 to 8 about the concepts of money and counting. The magician demonstrates how different combinations of money and coins add up to different things. He starts this mathematical journey with just one penny and ends it with a million dollars. The concept of interest is also introduced to kids through the mathematician magician, and he covers both the kind that is charged to borrowers for loans, and the kind that banks themselves pay on deposits. If your child enjoys this read, it isn’t the only kid-friendly financial literacy book that Schwartz and Kellogg have created.
How To Turn $100 Into $1,000,000 by James McKenna, Jeannine Glista, and Matt Fontaine
This story is meant for children ages 6 to 12, although it will probably be more beneficial for readers at the older end of that range. The authors cover saving, investing, budgeting, earning, financial goal setting, and what starting a business looks like. The lessons taught within this book are extremely beneficial to any child who reads it and emphasize that wealth doesn’t happen magically overnight but that it takes time, hard work, and discipline to build that wealth. There is also a business plan, a budget tracker, and a plan for becoming a millionaire included in the back of the book.
Finance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to Miss by Walter Andal and illustrated by Richard Peter David
The goal of this book is to give kids access to important and basic information about financial literacy that will help them develop financial responsibility and the skills needed to make intelligent financial decisions early in their lives. This book is meant for ages 8 to 12, as it is slightly more advanced than the rest of the books on this list. Andal covers topics such as saving, investing, earning, credit, foreign exchange, the stock market, inflation, supply and demand, and unemployment. The clarity of this book makes it great for its target age range and not too difficult for kids to read on their own if they so choose.
B is for Bitcoin by Graeme Moore
Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency. Surely a topic too advanced for children. As the world moves towards becoming more and more digitized, it’s important for children to have a basic grasp of the concept of cryptocurrency. B is for Bitcoin is a great introduction into this world for kids ages 5 to 10, although kids on the older end of this spectrum will likely get more out of it, as it is important to have some understanding of money in general before diving into cryptocurrency. This book teaches kids the basics of what crypto is and how it works. It’s great for children and adults alike, as the illustrations are goofy and the words educational.
These 8 books are fantastic ways to introduce children to concepts surrounding financial literacy. They impart important financial lessons and wisdom upon their audience in a fun and easily digestible manner.
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