Saturday, June 27, 2015

Children's Book Review: Family Money: How Families Spend Their Money--and Why

Family Money: How Families Spend Their Money – and Why
By William Whitehead
Illustrated by Mark Beech
Publisher: Norwood House Press
Source:  ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Family Money is a great book to include in your family library.  As kids get older they should begin to understand how money works and that it’s not always possible to have everything they want.  This book is a great way to help teach that in your family.  Costs are broken down by category and each category is only a few pages, with fun pictures to accompany the text .

I thought one of the best sections was the vacation one.  It not only reminds kids that the vacation depends on the amount of money budgeted for that.  It also gave some ideas for fun vacations that might not cost as much because of various reasons. 

In addition, the section that discussed food costs will be beneficial in teaching kids why you can’t always eat out at restaurants or you aren’t going to buy the name brand food this time.  It would be a great time to let them help in the shopping with a limited budget.

The only sections I didn’t feel quite belonged in this book were the ones on taxes and services. This is good to discuss because families do pay taxes.  It’s part of the family money.  The problem is that then the book went into details about where the taxes went and spent a few pages on different services and departments that receive that tax money.  It didn’t make sense to focus on so much on different services when you’re focusing on family money.  I think it would have been sufficient to note that taxes go towards paying for each of these important services.

Family Money would be great for kids from as young as 1st grade, through 5th grade.  In the younger grades, I would definitely recommend that you read each chapter one at a time and then have some experiences with each topic if possible.  For example, when you read about the cars and how it costs to fuel them up, repair them, etc., it might be beneficial to take a trip to the gas station and have your child guess how much it will take to fill up the car.  Then write down the date and see how many days you make it before you have to fill up again—how much did you do on those days? Although 5th grade might be pushing it, you can definitely have older kids read it on their own and then discuss it with parents.  They’ll benefit from having time to digest the information and then create their own budget, including all of the categories of expenses. 

I think there is a lot you can do with Family Money, whether you are a parent or a teacher

Image Source: Netgalley

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