American Dream

5 Finance Books for Kids That Parents Will Love Too

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In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, learning about finance early on can have a profound impact on a child’s financial future. Books for kids covering money management and basic economic principles may be introduced to children as young as three or four years old, while basic business lessons can masquerade as adventure-filled chapter books for the older crowd. If you’re looking for an entertaining way to teach your kids about finance, here are five books to read with your family. And who knows? Mom and Dad may learn a thing or two as well.

1. “Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun With Math and Money”

This fun picture book by Amy Axelrod, illustrated by Sharon McGinley-Nally, is a great way to introduce budgeting. When a group of hungry pigs run out of food, they must scrounge through the house to find the money to buy some. With their assorted coins and bills in hand, they set off for a nearby restaurant, where they’re challenged to find menu items they can afford. With its bright illustrations and easy-to-read text, this book suits early grade-school students.

2. “Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday”

Author Judith Viorst (who wrote “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”) does a wonderful job of showing how quickly money can slip through your hands with the story of Alexander and his brothers. The story tells of how last Sunday, their grandparents had visited and given each boy a dollar, and it doesn’t take long before Alexander is left with nothing but bus tokens in his pockets. This picture book, illustrated by Ray Cruz, teaches lessons about money management, frugality, and making wise financial decisions.

3. “The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense”

This book for kids is part of the popular Berenstain Bears series. When Brother Bear and Sister Bear have trouble managing their allowances, Mama Bear sets out to teach them important lessons about savings, needs versus wants, and delayed gratification. Children between the ages of three and seven will enjoy this simple and entertaining story from popular children’s book authors Stan and Jan Berenstain, and they’ll learn a thing or two about the importance of saving as a good money habit.

4. “The Toothpaste Millionaire”

If you’re the parent of a fourth to sixth grader, this chapter book by Jean Merrill may be a good choice for your family to read aloud together. It tells the story of Rufus Mayflower, who, in his attempt to save money on toothpaste, develops his own. This book covers such finance concepts as entrepreneurship and how to use math to problem-solve for money issues in typical personal and small-business situations.

5. “Lawn Boy”

Introduce your eight to twelve year old to market economy basics with this entertaining read about a boy who grows an entire business (complete with employees) from the old riding lawn mower his grandmother gives him. Covering economics and business topics ranging from supply and demand to investing in the stock market, this enjoyable read by long-time favorite author Gary Paulsen is as funny as it is educational.

Looking for some fun ways to teach your children about money? Visit Mathwire for free lesson plans and recommendations on books for kids that teach valuable finance lessons.

Sarita Harbour is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, entrepreneurship, and green living. As a former financial adviser with over a decade of banking experience, she has been writing for American and Canadian digital audiences for the past three years. Her work is featured regularly on Capital One's Spark Business IQ, Forbes, and The Lending Tree, and also appears on sites such as Fox News, Yahoo! Homes, Bob Vila, Equifax Insights for Small Business, and Intuit Small Business. Sarita graduated from the University of Guelph where she studied Psychology and Computer Science, and she holds the Personal Financial Planning designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Sarita is also a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada. She lives with her family in an off-the-grid cabin outside of Yellowknife, NWT.