Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze
I’ve written a few posts about this book already (First Step to Teaching Our Kids About Money and Putting Your Kids to Work), but today it’s time for the full book review.
Synopsis:Financial guru Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, team up to teach parents how to “raise money smart kids in a debt-filled world.” Starting with how to teach your children to work, and continuing through what your child should do with their hard earned money (spend, save, give), Dave and Rachel talk about the principles of good money management for children as well as giving the reader plenty of stories of what life was like for the Ramsey kids. The second half of the book dives into more advanced issues such as how to be debt free for life, including how to go to college debt free.
My Thoughts:I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan and I’ve read a lot of his books, but this is his first book written with his daughter, Rachel. As usual, Dave presents a no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is guide to raising money-smart kids. However, the addition of his daughter as an author changes the feel of the book. She offers story after story of what life was like growing up as “Dave Ramsey’s daughter.” The stories she adds give the book humor and somewhat soften Dave’s usual writing style.
Reading a book with two authors can sometimes feel disjointed. Not so with this book. Dave and Rachel identify themselves before each section that they write. They also use two different fonts in the book (one for Dave and one for Rachel) to help the reader remember who is writing at that point. It’s a nice touch that helps make the book feel more connected.
The information presented in Smart Money, Smart Kids is the same information that Dave Ramsey has been preaching for years, but it’s tailored to apply to children. Not only do we get stories of how these principles were applied to Dave’s own children growing up (which are the best parts of the book, in my opinion), but we find out specifically how to implement them in our own families. After talking about each concept in the book, Dave and Rachel break it down by age group and tell us how to apply that concept to our own children. For instance, in the chapter on saving, we’re told that kids younger than 6 need to see their money so it should be kept in a clear container. Six to thirteen year olds need to set small savings goals such as saving for a toy. And children ages 14-18, need to learn how to save for something big, such as a car or college. What you end up with is a very practical guide for how to train your children to handle money at every age.
This is a very well written book. The information presented in it is practical, timely and opposite of what the rest of the world may teach your children about money. And best of all, it’s fun to read. I highly recommend Smart Money, Smart Kids for parents of children ages 18 and younger. Your children will thank you one day for reading this book.