A debut guide offers advice on training children in fiscal responsibility.
Gina and George Plytas begin their concise manual with some general philosophical principles about wealth and finance. “Money doesn’t bring happiness,” the husband-and-wife team asserts, “but personal wealth is the catalyst that allows one to explore their gifts, inspire their talents, seek their interests, and contribute to this world in a unique and satisfying way.” There’s nothing sordid, they imply, in concentrating on the skills and mindsets necessary to create financial competence. They suggest that children should focus on such things very early in life while receiving training in how to think about money with responsibility and foresight. The authors break down their approach into six general strategies: “The Spirit of Advancement,” “Pay Yourself First,” “Pay for Performance,” “Save for a Rainy Day,” “Invest in Your Future,” and finally, “Give Back,” all designed to “develop a success mindset, to demonstrate personal resiliency, and to practice effective money management in a way that children can understand and apply.” The method for implementing these strategies largely boils down to setting a superb fiscal example for kids and teaching them good habits while they’re young and have no bad ones to forget. To a surprising and refreshing extent, the authors look to the broader philosophies of self-help books like Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking and even Watty Piper’s popular children’s book The Little Engine That Could. The authors make money matters a reflection of personal attitudes toward life in general: “Focus on filling your subconscious mind with uplifting and motivational thoughts. Think positively about what you can accomplish.” In clear and concise chapters, the authors dissect basic financial ideas like “Show your kids how to set and achieve personal goals” and “Teach persistence to overcome failure.” This general tactic effectively counteracts the negative reaction to the whole idea of getting children to care about money.
A compact and multidimensional financial manual for kids that should profit many adults as well.