Child reading

Giving Kids a Gift That’ll Pay Lasting Dividends

Do you have any kids on your gift list this holiday season?  Why not give them the gift of stories that’ll help them understand how to use money wisely?

Our kids are still pretty young, so most of the books that I have direct experience with are for younger kids.  However, several parents of older kids have passed along suggestions, so their ideas are included in this list as well.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.  Great lessons about how difficult it can be to resist the temptation to spend all of your money right away, and the benefits of delayed gratification.

The Gift of Nothing.  Sometimes the best gifts are those that money can’t buy.

The Polar Express.  I like the fact that what the little boy prized wasn’t some expensive toy, but a simple gift that reminded him of an amazing experience.  That’s an important lesson as researchers have found that people who value experiences over stuff tend to be happier.

The Seventeenth Swap.  Great lessons about helping others and bartering.

The Toothpaste Millionaire.  Good lessons about entrepreneurship.

A Chair for My Mother.  A family works through some hard times.

Ramona and Her Father.  Dad loses his job, which gets second-grader Ramona thinking of ways to help.

Double Fudge.  A five-year-old discovers money, which leads to a series of adventures with his older brother and parents.

Bunny Money (Max and Ruby). Max and Ruby try to buy their grandmother a present, but they have a tough time hanging on to the money they’ve saved.

The Berenstain Bears.  I’m not crazy about how Papa Bear is depicted in this series (he’s usually the one with bad ideas), but there are several books with good money-related lessons, including:

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving.

The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need.

The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble With Money.

The Berenstain Bears and a Job Well Done.

The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmes.

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble With Commercials.

Note: I receive no compensation from steering you to any of the links above.

What are your favorite books for teaching kids about money?

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2 Responses to Giving Kids a Gift That’ll Pay Lasting Dividends

  1. Pam at MoneyTrail November 14, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

    You have some of my favorite books on here! Alexander and Ramona are just wonderful characters that portray kids so well! I just read another book about kids and money that you might like. “Lunch Money” by Andrew Clements is about a young boy who is quite the entrepreneur.

    • Matt Bell November 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM #

      Thanks for the suggestion, Pam. I just saw that our local library has “Lunch Money” available. I’ll check it out tomorrow! I’m always looking for great books to help teach kids about money.

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