Not Your Parent’s Money Book

A Review by Eric Hammer

Not Your Parent’s Money Book, by Dean Chatzky and Erwin Haya - Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 2010

The thing about money books is that they're usually written for adults -- after all, as adults, we're the ones who need to worry about making money and spending it right? Not so says "Not Your Parent's Money Book" by Dean Chatzky and Erwin Haya. This is a book written for children to help them to understand the money concepts that their parents often throw around.

Written to Address Kids Problems

Lest you think that Not Your Parent's Money Book is written in a lecture like way, realize that this is a book aimed directly at kids. It discusses both typical teenage problems and money issues so that kids can make sensible use of the money they get as allowance or as payment from working at an after school or summer job. The book also discusses what's involved in working, paying taxes and saving money so that kids are prepared for life lessons that they'll need in the future.

Also Covers Adult Topics

In addition to being written in a style that makes kids actually enjoy learning about money, the book is also designed to give kids the maximum benefit of a money book by showing them concepts that they may have heard of and explaining them in plain English in a way that kids can actually understand. The book covers such topics as unemployment, recessions and dealing with debt.

In fact, an entire section of the book is devoted to discussing things like credit cards and the problems that they may cause for some people. It's the sort of guide to the adult world of money that kids actually need to read when they are kids and not when they're adults and already swimming in debt.

Not Taught in School

Probably the most shocking thing about Not Your Parent's Money book is the banality of the book. It's not earth shattering and it doesn't show kids anything that's extraordinary. It's not going to for instance turn your kids into instant millionaires by following this, that or the other path. It just offers common sense advice that kids need; the kind of advice that schools used to offer to kids before it got crowded out for advanced mathematics, computer courses and other classes that seem to be all the rage in public schools today (not that those aren't important - it's just that the idea of cutting basic skills from the curriculum in favor of things that will help kids get ahead seems penny wise and pound foolish).

Possibly Even Useful for Adults

The truly remarkable thing however about Not Your Parent's Money Book is that the book could potentially have an impact on the adults in a child's life as well. Many people like to read the book together with their children and, if some user reviews are to be believed, end up feeling all the more enriched for the experience, coming away with new insights into their own personal finance lives.

The bottom line, buy Not Your Parent's Money book for your kids. But make sure to read it yourself so you can have an intelligent conversation with them when they have a question - and who knows? You might even pick up a few tips for yourself.

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