The Barefoot Investor For Families is written by Scott Pape, arguably the most well-known personal finance expert in Australia, to help children learn about money in a fun and empowering way.
Scott Pape’s previous book, The Barefoot Investor, was aimed at adults who wanted to get in control of their finances.
His new Families book is focused on teaching kids excellent financial habits that will help them be confident and stay in control of their finances.
Here are four big benefits that your children (or someone else’s children) could gain from the book and why you should buy it:
Teach kids about Budgeting
Budgeting is one of the most important skills whether you earn $10 a week, $1,000 a week or $10,000 a week. It means you have a good grip on how much things cost, how your income & expenses work together and it should mean you don’t have to resort to credit cards to afford your life.
Obviously, kids don’t have full-time jobs or a household to look after. Instead, there are (at least) two good budgeting tips in the book.
Scott Pape encourages parents to let kids do the shopping for a meal. That way they get to see how much everything costs, they have to do their sums to make sure their budget fits the desired shopping list and it empowers them to just make decisions.
I also liked that he uses the same three jam jar system for kids for their pocket money: ‘Splurge’, ‘Smile’ and ‘Give’ which they earn through doing regular housework (like a job) which they get paid at dinner time. That makes dinner exciting!
Learn to cook
Another great tool is that Scott Pape advises kids should learn how to cook a few meals before moving out.
His idea is that the kid shops for the meal. Then they cook it mostly on their own for the whole family. Being able to cook by themselves brings the family together and is a lot cheaper than an Uber Eats meal for the whole family.
This is a fun concept for kids living at home, but the bigger lesson is so that the kid has the ability to cook meals themselves when they move out.
Compare and select the best plans
The final skillset I’d like to mention from the book is about finding the best deal. Costs such as energy are one of the biggest drains on household finances, but it’s actually very easy to compare energy providers.
He says that the parent should get their kid to check out the Energy Made Easy website, which is an Australian government website to help compare electricity and gas plans, understand your energy bills and learn about energy consumer rights. If the child can find a better deal, they can keep perhaps 50% of savings as a commission.
Scott Pape’s easy-to-understand advice will have the child turning off lights to save money.
One of the best things about the book is that anyone can follow along and do the things Scott suggests. Teaching good financial habits sets the child up to avoid having to worry about money and avoid having low confidence about budgeting. Ultimately, it means they’ll never get a credit card!
Some parents might think teaching kids about money means setting up army-like discipline with no fun at all. No sir, not this book. The book is a fun read and a great way to develop family money traditions.
If you have kids or know anyone with kids, it would make a great present or just a great gift that you don’t need to wait for a birthday to give.
Read Next: How Buffett Invests
Warren Buffett started his huge fortune at a young age being a paperboy and selling Coca-Cola & gum. It’s never too early to start earning and getting on top of your finances.