Monday, March 26, 2012

Piggy Banks to Paychecks book review: How to teach your kids to understand the value of money

Piggy Banks to Paychecks
Helping kids understand the value of a dollar
By:  Angie Mohr, CA, CMA
Publisher:  Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Publish Date:  3/1/2012 -- available now!
Buy at Amazon (Canada)

Many, many years ago, I got my first job.  It was washing dishes at a local restaurant and I remember my mom helping me get my very own checking account at the bank in town where I would go and cash my check, keeping some spending money for lunches and snacks, but keeping most of the money in there for future college expenses.  I felt so grown up being in charge of my own money and paying for my own wants instead of having to ask my parents for money.  It felt like a huge step, at 15, toward what every kid wants at that age:  to be a grown up!

Thank goodness my parents had the good sense to talk to me about money back then.  They cautioned me that you can't write checks for more than you have in your account and not to go MAC card happy and rack up fees that would eat away at what I did have in my account.  I was in charge of my finances and even filed my own tax returns, after mom looked them over, of course.

Piggy Banks to Paychecks is easy to read and I found the conversational tone engaging.  I can remember my eyes glazing over with having to read economics texts back in college, but financial concept discussed in Ms. Mohr's book is very easy to understand and offers suggestions on how we, as parents, can easily and seamlessly incorporate money smarts into our kids' lives without having to sit them down and give them a boring lecture.  There are fun, educational activities listed that parents can use to teach concepts such as compound interest, why and how currency developed, and developing a business plan for a child's business (such as lawn mowing).

What I took away from Piggy Banks to Paychecks is that while I'm doing an OK job of teaching my kids money smarts, there are a few areas where I could be doing a better job of teaching them how ultimately be a responsible adult with some money sense.  Simple things like asking my 10 year old to plan a grocery store trip with a budget in mind and money challenges that encourage frugality and giving to others.  No matter how old your children are, whether they're toddling around or older teens, there is practical advice inside to help your child gain the financial tools they'll need as an adult.

You can't count on schools to teach financial literacy -- we parents have to step up to the plate and make sure that our kids graduate high school with the money smarts that they'll need to get by in life.  

Disclosure:  The author of Piggy Banks to Paychecks, Angie Mohr, provided me with an advanced reader copy to facilitate this review.  Though her book was provided to me at no cost, the opinions herein expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.  I was not compensated for this review, though I do disclose that I am friends with the author. 

If you'd like to purchase a copy for yourself or as a gift to someone else, Piggy Banks to Paychecks is available on and

Buy at Amazon (Canada)
Post a Comment