Friday, November 16, 2012

The MoneySmart Family System

The MoneySmart Family System by Steve and Annette Economides was provided to me on my nook from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

The subtitle is "Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age." It does teach financial independence but it also teaches basic independence and character as well. Because of that, I think this book is more of a parenting book than a money book. For example, some of the later chapters are much more parenting advice involved with some finance thrown in: "Activities for Character, Strength, and Scholarships," "Playing and Paying: Toys, Recreation, and Technology" (gives helpful websites for movie/gaming reviews) "Gifts and Gratefulness," and "Friends, Love, and Marriage." They are well written chapters and I agree with them almost 100%;
Ex: "Parental involvement is critical, and so is honesty. We know one family who allowed their eleven-year-old daughter to lie about her age so she could have a Facebook page. She learned an "important" lesson from her parents - she doesn't need to follow the rules."
they just seem out of place in a "money" book.

The book starts by explaining the 5/50/500 rule. Steve was a graphic designer and learned that if a mistake was caught early in the printing process it may only cost $5; if the mistake is caught a little later, that mistake may cost $50. But if the mistake is caught near the end of the process it could cost $500. And so it is with raising our children. If we train them well when they are little, their mistakes will cost less ($5). As they get a bit older, the mistake could cost more ($50, $500, $5,000, etc.). Throughout the book this analogy is used in a helpful way.

This book goes into detail about chore charts, points, and 'pay days,' including chart examples and pages to copy. (However, on the nook that doesn't work.) Many ideas the Economides' family uses are very similar to ideas we currently use. There are a few things I think we may implement after reading this book: raising the 'pay day' amount to include clothing money and/or extracurricular activities.

The best part of this book, I think, is the number of references provided. Books and websites are mentioned if you want more information on certain areas, lists are made for you as to how to buy a used car, how to file for college scholarships, etc. They also tell you about two more chapters they have online, which I have not yet read.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Heaven Changes Everything

I received this book by Todd Burpo from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Since I read Heaven is For Real a year and a half ago, I was very interested in reading this next book, thinking it would be a sequel of sorts. Although there are some updates as to what the Burpo family has been doing, this is much more of a devotional than a sequel. But that is okay; it was great!

The Burpos share their losses and victories in this life and how they reconcile all of that with God's Word. They admit the difficulty in knowing their son survived his near-death experience when not everyone has that joy. They also tell of the difficulty and grief in the miscarriage they experienced and how hard (impossible) it is to explain to someone who has not gone through it. The Burpos travel around the country sharing the Hope they have; this book shares bits of that.

Here are some parts I highlighted in the book so I could remember them for myself:
  • "You can always find a reason to give to God when you realize what He's done for you."
  • "You see, God doesn't do anything without a bigger purpose than we can imagine. But because we can't even begin to imagine it, we sometimes end up stuck in feelings of hurt and confusion."
  • "There are things God allows to happen because he knows the outcome is going to be greater than anything we could ever do on our own."
One other thing to note about this book: If you haven't read Heaven Is For Real, you may be a little lost. They did a good job filling in and explaining parts so that I could remember from eighteen months ago but I don't think it was enough for someone who has never read their first book.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

God's Love Letters to You

I received this book, God's Love Letters to You by Larry Crabb, from Book Sneeze for an honest evaluation.

I started it immediately after receiving it but just couldn't get into it. I set it down and forgot about it. Now that I have picked it up again, I still can't get into it. There just doesn't seem to be much substance. I was excited to have a "quick" devotional that would really make me think throughout my day. But this only held up to the "quick" part of my expectation.
Maybe for someone who is just starting to know God, this would be better. But I want more depth in the devotionals I read. I am sorry to give this only a two-star rating.