Back to School: Financial Literacy 201

Welcome to another school year. Hopefully, you’re actually sending your children off to class this year – no more remote learning! Maybe that means you can take a little time to catch up on your own educational reading.

Financial literacy is an important topic that traditionally has not been taught in schools much, and many adults wish they understood more about how money, particularly their money, works. If you’d like to take your financial knowledge to the next level, feel more empowered with the financial decisions you need to make, and help your kids understand money, then try reading one of these books recommended by Aspiriant wealth managers Sandi Bragar, managing director of Planning Strategy & Research and partner, and Jan Vega, director in wealth management. They offer food for thought on how raise children to appreciate wealth in relation to family values.

“The Opposite of Spoiled,” by Ron Lieber

Ron, a New York Times personal finance columnist, puts a journalist’s perspective on how to talk to kids about money and raise them to embrace your family’s values about wealth. With vivid, amusing stories, he discusses topics such as allowance, giving, work, gratitude and more. This book will help you be prepared to answer your children’s tough but important questions about money.

“Silver Spoon Kids,” by Eileen Gallo, Ph.D., and John J. Gallo

This book is coming up on its 20th anniversary. And, while its cultural references are dated in a fun-to-reminisce way, the main content remains exceptional. “Silver Spoon Kids” offers a primer to parents from modest financial means who are raising young children in much more affluent environments. The authors, a psychotherapist and an estate planning attorney, introduce readers to key child developmental concepts and provide actionable ideas about how to talk to kids about money, teach them values, and raise them to feel comfortable, competent and confident with money.

“The Price of Privilege,” by Madeline Levine, Ph.D.

Madeline Levine, a clinical psychologist, wrote this book in response to her observations that a vast number of her teen patients from very affluent families experience extremely high levels of emotional problems. After checking with colleagues around the country, Dr. Levine identified that this problem was pervasive and at epidemic level. This eye-opening book provides guidance to parents about how to connect with and intentionally raise their children to have a strong sense of self.

“Family Wealth: Keeping it in the Family,” by James E. Hughes, Jr.

This is a great reference book for families who are looking for best practices for transferring not only wealth to future generations, but also character, leadership and core values. As an advisor, the author has worked with multiple generations of families to help preserve their human and intellectual capital, as well as their financial assets.

“Raising Financially Fit Kids,” by Joline Godfrey

This is a great reference book for parents who are looking for ways to incorporate age-appropriate activities for children to build their financial literacy. It is organized by age and easy to read and reference.