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.

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