Talking big bucks with the smallest members of your household will make the world a better place argues New York Times personal finance columnist Lieber (co-author: Taking Time Off, 2003, etc.).
Do you know the going rate for a visit from the tooth fairy in your neighborhood? If you have children, you’re probably all too aware of the playground rumors that range from $5 up to $50 for the prized first tooth. So what do you put under your child’s pillow? Does it matter? Yes, these seemingly small family financial decisions matter a lot, according to Lieber. In his third book, the author addresses affluence, its effect on child-rearing and the lessons most of us are not teaching our children about managing wealth. As practical as the first half of the book is—it’s packed with suggestions on everything from allowance to college tuition—Lieber’s advice skews toward the upper-class family, leaving out the many families who make less than the $75,000 annual income he acknowledges as his base line. For instance, when he counsels that an appropriate clothing budget be calibrated on Land’s End prices, he largely ignores the fact that many families are struggling to afford even a wardrobe from Wal-Mart or Target. Later chapters get into tougher territory, and Lieber makes a good case for using early money management training to help children eventually tackle society’s bigger problems, such as homelessness and hunger. Humble stories of kids raising money for Down syndrome research or creating kit bags to give to people living on the street offer inspiration for those who do have money to spend it wisely in the world and to teach their children to do the same.
Sound advice on managing family finances but only if you have sufficient finances to manage.