Saturday, May 12, 2007

Economics books for kids and adults

I was talking with some friends the other day about how to teach my kids about money, and especially about how to be a smart consumer. My younger child wants "something" whenever we shop, and then when we get home, he's disappointed in it and said he didn't really want it, but there was nothing else to get. He is a very impulsive buyer. My older child is getting the idea that you can wait and get what you truly wanted after some comparison shopping or just going to another store the next day or week. This is a difficult thing for many adults to deal with, so I don't expect my kids to become smart about money overnight. But, I have come across a series of books, called the Uncle Eric series, that is published by Blue Stocking Press. It deals mostly with economics. From their site:

Before you begin your study of history, economics, and government, it's important to develop a model of how the world works. The model used at Bluestocking Press is consistent with the political, economic and legal principles of America's founders. This model is explained in detail in the set of books called Uncle Eric's Model of How the World Works written by Richard J. Maybury and published by Bluestocking Press.
I purchased the whole set a few years back from FUN Books, I think. The first title I read was called "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?" and I've continued through several of the titles. They even have study guides. Recommended for ages 12 and up, mostly.

So, this isn't exactly what I need at this point for my kids, but if I understand the books, I'll be able to help them with them later on.

The two I did end up getting from the library are "If You Made a Million," by David M. Schwartz, and "Neale S. Godfrey's Ultimate Kids' Money Book," by Nealy S. Godfrey. They're more helpful for where my kids are now. There used to be a magazine published by Consumer's Union, called Zillions, but they stopped printing it years ago. It was a Consumer's Report magazine for kids, basically. There are even some Zillions videos that can be purchased.

If anyone has other recommendations, I'd really love to hear about them. And I plan to follow up on some of the books in this listmania list on Amazon.

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bkmarcus said...

You might also look into -- I listened to and enjoyed the audiobook, which is specifically about how to raise financially literate children. The book is by Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, which I also recommend.

Scott Crittenden said...

You may be interested in a money management website for kids called "the mint" ( Lots of great advice there about earning, saving, spending, tracking, and so on.

wahoo92 said...

More great book rec.!! Thanks. I had all of these great ideas about teaching financial responsibility to our kids (8,5,and 2), and so far, it's a bust. I don't know if this is good or bad, but they just don't ask for things when we are out. Occasionally, on a trip they will want something from the souvenir shop, but since they rarely spend their own money, they usually have money for it. If they don't they don't get upset and just ask to put it on their birthday list which they then forget about. It makes it easy, but doesn't allow for many teaching opportunities. Sarah H.

Brandy said...

You can also check out "Guide to understanding Money". It's a tall thin book, and talks about what money is, where its origins came from, and how it is handled- on the stock market, in the banks, and in your home. It's not a guide that will teach you to use money wisely, but it is a fascinating history into getting kids to understand the abstract nature of the beast.
Off-topic- I met a man in Nepal on my travels who made his living trading money. He bought yen, and sold it for deusch, and then traded it back to American currency again. He never produced a service or tangible thing, and yet he made millions. It made me really think about what money was.