Updated: Aug 14, 2020
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In celebration of National Book Lover’s day, the team at Common Cents wanted to share some of our favorite books about personal finance that you and your kids will love. The books highlighted cover many of the core principles addressed in the Common Cents community including: saving, spending, budgeting, earning, giving and delayed gratification. Some of the reads are age-old favorites, while other titles you may not recognize. Yet, all are sure to please. Without further ado, here our top ten picks!
MoneyBunny Series (Save it, Spend it, Earn it) Cinders McLeod
This series is an excellent starting point for parents looking to introduce basic personal finance principles to their children. The first three books outline saving, spending and earning. The fourth book, coming this September, covers giving (a Common Cents core value). MoneyBunny books flow with rich illustrations that drive home the importance of understanding and managing money responsibly. Your little bunnies will love the humor and fun dusted throughout the pages as carrots (bunny currency) are gained, saved and dispersed.
Have your kids asked for a pet? If not, the question is likely coming. Join Ms. Hilda’s class as they develop a plan to earn enough money to buy a pet hamster. The book outlines starting a business as a vehicle to earn money. Your kids will learn the value of money, teamwork and how determination and diligence propels us to reach our goals.
3. One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cents, New Cents: All About Money Bonnie Worth
Although not penned by Doctor Suess himself, The Cat in the Hat spins a delightful tale detailing the history of currency, bartering and ancient cultures. This book veers a bit from the financial lessons we traditionally cover at Common Cents. Expect to learn more about ancient civilizations and the introduction of money systems into society. Nevertheless, the pages are filled with silly rhymes and classic Cat in the Hat drawings your children will love.
Count coins with Chester the cat! The colorful pages of this book will cover the basics of counting coins and adding the values. Simple mathematical concepts are introduced and emphasize how math is used in everyday life. This is a great supplemental resource for kids learning how to add and subtract in school.
5. The Everything Kids Money Book, Brette Sember
Prepare to dive deep into personal finance concepts with this page-turner! Endorsed by Bill Nye the Science Guy, the lessons in this book are a bit more advanced and will cover basics such as taxes, investment and starting a business. The content covered here is appropriate for the more advanced or intellectually curious kid. Still, you will be able to keep the kiddos rapt attention as your cover how counterfeiting is prevented and how to invest in some of your kids’ favorite brands through stocks.
6. The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
Taking it back with this beloved favorite. Although this pick is not directly related to personal finance, it’s a classic with lovely sketches and thought provoking prose. While Common Cents is dedicated to helping you raise financially savvy kids, we also value well-rounded citizens, and believe generosity and giving should be core values instilled in your tiny tots. The message is open to interpretation. Yet, you can easily use the story as a guide to illustrate the benefits of generosity versus selfishness, and why limits are sometimes necessary.
7. Those Shoes, Maribeth Boelts & Noah Jones
The concept of wants versus needs is addressed as the protagonist, Jeremy, battles the overwhelming pull of fads and peer pressure. He desperately wants the popular sneakers the kids at school are wearing. However, they are expensive, and certainly not necessary. This story describes his journey as he realizes what he truly needs and what is important in the grand scheme of life. The book is peppered with a multicultural cast of characters of differing socioeconomic backgrounds, which can be used to teach empathy and open mindedness. Side note, it’s a tear-jerker. Have tissues handy.
8. Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock, Sheila Bair & Barry Gott
Alright, time for giggles! Two twins learn the value of delayed gratification and responsible spending as their grandfather implements a clever savings scheme for them one summer. The text dances with rhythm and rhymes as the two boys navigate their different strategies (or lack thereof). This is an excellent choice if you notice your child is evolving to be an impulse buyer (ahem, maybe like mom).
9. Alexander, who used to be rich last Sunday, Judith Viorst
Undoubtedly, this is another gem in the Alexander collection. If your kids do not already love Alexander, they will soon. Kids seem to love this book! We’ve heard giggles late into the night only to discover Alexander is the culprit. The message drives home the importance of wise spending, saving and delayed gratification. We love Alexander because he’s so relatable, and find kids have significant “ah-ha” moments as they follow his story.
10. You Can’t Buy a Dinosaur with a Dime, Harriet Ziefert
Dimes, deals and dinosaurs are all found here as Pete, the main character, navigates concepts in spending and saving. We dig this book’s sing-songy text and the educational activities it includes. It’s message is also a great reminder that there is always financial redemption! You might make a fool-hardy decision today, but you can always reassess and make better decisions moving forward.
There you have it, our top ten books on personal finance for kids. Have you read any of these titles with your kids? If so, how did your kids respond? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on Instagram!
Ca$hing in on change,
The Common Cents Crew