Review of Money Smarter: A Family Guide by Vivi Friedgut

It’s difficult to teach your kids about money, especially if you aren’t 100% confident about your own finances, but it needs to be done. After all, it’s not something parents should leave to chance – schools generally aren’t teaching great money skills, peer pressure and the reach of advertising are ever-increasing, and financial products tend to be confusing (that’s before we even start looking at the ones that have been mis-sold).

Money Smarter: A Family Guide by Vivi Friedgut is more than just a book. It’s a pretty comprehensive educational programme that comes with a CD full of worksheets, games and other activities that are essentially parent-led lesson plans. The idea is that you sit down with your children once a week for an hour or two, and you learn about different aspects of personal finance. It’s a useful refresher course for most adults too.

money smarter

Although it imparts knowledge about facts and figures, what’s most interesting is the emphasis on self-reliance and personal responsibility. Not long after starting to work through the book, your offspring will be much more aware that the supply of money is not unlimited, that you have to work to earn, that it’s good to save, and that there are different ways to prioritise and economise when you spend.

The book includes all kinds of easy-to-understand examples to make relatively complicated concepts easier to understand, and the advice is largely split into simple teaching for the under-10 age group and more complex activities for the over-10s. There’s also a year-long project to save up for some kind of family treat, to learn about the benefits of long term planning and delayed gratification.

The range of subject matter is impressive, including saving, borrowing, debt, shopping safely online, comparing prices, creating and fine-tuning budgets, taxes, addictions that harm your finances, emergency funds, retirement, the stock market and entrepreneurship.

To sum up: this is an easy-to-read guide that will give children a comprehensive grounding in money-based skills.

Money Smarter: A Family Guide by Vivi Friedgut has an RRP of £8.99, and is currently available on Amazon for £8.09 with free delivery.


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