Money isn’t an easy subject, and too many kids grow into adults who don’t know how to manage it. We asked money managers, investors and disciplined savers for their favorite books about money management. Even some librarians chipped in with money books that people check out most.

For kids: 

1. "Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not)" by Beth Kobliner. A study from Cambridge University says kids’ money habits are formed by age 7, so parents might want to start money conversations early. One reviewer called the book a much-needed, tell-it-to-me-straight effort, written with wit and humor.

2. "Earn It!" and "Spend It!" by Cinders McLeod. In the introduction to the concept of earning money, an exuberant bunny learns that fame and fortune must be earned. In the second book, Sonny’s mother teaches him that he cannot buy everything with his allowance but must choose what is really important to him.

3. "Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Kids" by Gail Karlitz and Debbie Honig. This is a good place to start if you want your children to have a better financial education than you received. There are chapters on inflation, banks and bonds. One is devoted to the stock market, conveying concepts such as equity, dividends and IPOs. It even explains how to buy and sell stocks. A good read even for adults.

4. "Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children" by Neale S. Godfrey, Carolina Edwards and Tad Richards. This updated bestseller teaches kids, ages 3 to 20, about money. It offers exercises and concrete examples on everything from responsible budgeting to understanding the difference between “want” and “need” for children of every age.

5. "The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money" by Ron Lieber. The New York Times columnist explains how talking openly to children about money can help parents raise modest, patient and grounded young adults who are financially wise beyond their years. The foundation of the book is a detailed blueprint for the best ways to handle the basics: the tooth fairy, allowance, chores, charity, saving, birthdays, holidays, cellphones, checking accounts, clothing, cars, part-time jobs and college tuition.

For adults: 

1. "The 30-Minute Money Plan for Moms" by Catey Hill. Smart, simple strategies to help maximize your money in minimal time. Drawing on research about the cost of raising a child at each age, she shows how to save in every area of your life. Topics include lowering your grocery bill, saving on education and child care, and dealing with high-interest credit card debt.

2. "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. This is always in high demand at the Omaha Public Library. Ramsey offers a no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.

3. "Women and Money" by Suze Orman. The No. 1 New York Times bestseller has been revised and updated. Orman equips women with the financial knowledge and emotional awareness to overcome the blocks that have kept them from acting in the best interest of their money — and themselves.

4. "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness" by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. This was named a Best Book of the Year by the Economist and the Financial Times. The authors explore our often poor choices about what to buy or eat, our financial investments, and our children’s health and education. With tips for making better decisions each day.

5. "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. An easy-to-understand and easy-to-read book that reviewers say has changed their lives and helped make them more financially independent. One called it a great foundation book for improving your financial intelligence.

6. "Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together" by Erin Lowry. Feeling clueless about budgeting or overwhelmed by student loans and other expenses? Several experts say this is a good place to start as it deals with both paying off debt and planning for the future. It covers things like the benefits and pitfalls of moving back home in an approachable tone and with practical tips.


This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of the Momaha Magazine.

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Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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