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Teaching your children good financial habits is one of the most important things adults can impart upon them. But most parents aren’t doing it early enough. In fact, the T.Rowe Price Parents, Kids & Money survey showed that most parents waited until their children were about 15 years old to begin teaching them financial basics.
Get ahead of the curve with our picks of the best finance books for children. There’s a title for every kid in our comprehensive list, from beginners to budding investors. Bedtime reading just got an upgrade.
Best Overall: Heads Up Money
Teens are infamous for questioning rules, authority, and the way the world works. Why would money be any different? “Heads Up Money” aims to answer all those pressing questions related to money, from what would happen if the bank simply printed more money to does being rich really make you happy? Meant for grades 5 to 12, this book tackles much more complicated financial and economic topics, from supply and demand to investing and market trends. This is a must-read for any teen who will soon be out in the world—and paying their own bills.
Best for Younger Children: If You Made a Million
“If You Made a Million,” written by David M. Schwartz and illustrated by Steven Kellogg, explains the basics of money—earning, investing, and even earning interest and dividends—via a playful magician named Marvelosissimo the Mathematical Magician. It earns extra points for including fun facts about money, ways for kids to earn money on their own, plus finance basics like how to write and cash a check. Schwartz has written more than 50 books aimed at teaching kids about money and math. This title, best for ages 4 to 8, was first published in 1989 but holds up well.
Best for Financial Basics: The Everything Kids’ Money Book
This book by Brette Sember tackles the basics of money, from how bills and coins are made to what they can buy, to the ins and outs of the growing fintech industry. Published in 2008, “The Everything Kids’ Money Book” not only teaches kids how to earn and save their own money but also how to invest and earn interest. A former attorney, Sember also penned another children’s book, “Quiz Book 3: Three Times the Fun,” and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This title is best for readers ages 7 to 12.
Best for Budding Investors: How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000: Earn! Save!
Based on three key principles around money—making it, saving it, and investing it—"How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000" is ideal for kids who want to become millionaires. While that dream may not be a reality for everyone, this 2016 book is chock-full of actionable advice on money basics such as getting a job, starting a business, and saving up the funds to reach a long-term goal. It also includes a one-page business plan template, a two-page plan to become a millionaire, and even a personal budget tracker. Authors James McKenna, Jeannine Glista, and Matt Fontaine are co-creators of an Emmy-winning TV show "Biz Kid$". This book is best for ages 10 to 14.
Best About Money History: One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent
Bonnie Worth’s “One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent” is a perfect introductory look at money for kids who haven’t quite grasped that money doesn’t grow on trees. It combines the series’ trademark whimsical prose with some rock-solid financial lessons, including the history of bartering, how coins are minted, and even how interest works. This book, recommended by the Investopedia Financial Review Board, is best for ages 4 to 8.
Best of a Series: Money Ninja
This title is part of the beloved Ninja Life Hacks series for kids, which includes “Kind Ninja,” “Sharing Ninja,” “Inclusive Ninja,” and “Organized Ninja.” There are 40 books in the series so far, which are primarily authored by Mary Nhin. After being asked how he spends his money, Money Ninja teaches readers about his three basic skills (the old saving, donating, and spending), plus the value of delayed gratification. This read is ideal for ages 3 through 11.
Best for Recent Grads: More Money, Please
This one’s title says it all. How many times have you wondered when you’ll ever find a real-world application of high school trigonometry, history, or even Greek classics? The answer, it seems, is never. That’s where "More Money, Please," ideal for college students and recent grads, comes in. It aims to impart all the financial lessons you should have learned in school, like budgeting, how to responsibly use credit cards, and saving for retirement, just to name a few.
“Heads Up Money” offers the deepest delve into age-appropriate financial topics for both preteens and teens alike and does so in a dynamic way with a fun, easy-to-follow format. Its coverage of the financial topics most applicable to teens is thorough but not presented in a boring or dry way. And if you’ve ever had your teen roll their eyes in the middle of what they deemed a “boring” lecture, you know the latter is key.
Why Trust Investopedia?
These books were chosen based on a variety of factors, including the author's subject matter expertise. Rachel Morgan Cautero has been a journalist and personal finance writer for more than 10 years. Most recently, she served as the managing editor of DailyWorth, a finance-based media publication for women. From there, she gathered recommendations from the Investopedia Financial Review Board, scoured bestseller lists and award winners for titles written by true personal finance experts, and ensured these picks have stellar online reviews. She also considered the usefulness of the advice in the books as well as the entertainment value and writing style.
T.Rowe Price. "Parents, Kids & Money Survey."