What were your favorite books when you were young? Their themes probably focused on dreaming big and sharing with others. But do you remember any books about saving and spending, or prioritization and self-control?
When I think about it, I don’t remember many children’s books about money and entrepreneurship from my younger years. But that’s not the case now. There are tons of books teaching kids basic concepts about personal finance through fun storytelling.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which operates on funding from the Federal Reserve, saw an opportunity to take these books’ teachings a step further and started a kids book club to open the world of personal finance to young minds.
This Kids Book Club is so Money
The Money as You Grow book club is a financial education program that uses children’s books to start conversations about money. The CFPB designed the book club for kids ages 4-10 to spend an hour at home or at the local library reading, then talking about each month’s book with a parent or facilitator.
The program has 12 key ideas in three main learning areas: planning, money and me. Kids learn about things like setting goals, prioritization, earning, spending, saving, self-control and flexibility.
The CFPB has even designed themed icebreakers for each category! One of them includes a piggy bank puzzle (I might just print that one off for myself).
The CFPB also offers parent guides for 18 books on the list that summarize key ideas, suggest talking points and recommend activities appropriate for various ages. The goal is to start positive discussions about money instead of negative ones and use fun activities to build good money habits.
There’s also a table of financial capability milestones so you’ll know which age groups can handle what.
Not a Numbers Whiz? Not to Worry
The best part is that parents don’t need to know much about personal finance to read the books and go through the brief reading guide with their kids.
CFPB says it believes parents and caregivers are the No. 1 influence on children’s future financial capacities. You can start your kids off right no matter your experience.
You can download the implementation guide and book list here. It walks you through every activity the book club has to offer. And if you’re interested in bringing the Money as You Grow book club to your library or organization, you can order free parent guides in bulk from the CFPB website.
Your Turn: Are you interested in a financial book club for kids?
Jen Smith is an editorial intern at The Penny Hoarder and the blogger behind @SavingwithSpunk.