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Gifts that Keep on Giving

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books1 Gifts that Keep on Giving

My stack o'books

I have two stacks of books on my bedside table that are so high, they’re perilously close to collapsing. Many are sent to me by authors’ public relations representatives. Others are from viewers who’ve penned their own publications. I’m slowly working my way through them. It may take a while. However, a couple of them that I just recently reached for I want to share with you now because they might make perfect holiday gifts: the kind that keep on giving.

The first is a book for the whole family. Now, to be clear, it’s not going to make a child jump for joy, but it could help lay the foundation for his or her financial future. It’s called “Raised for Richness” and written by Karyn Hodgens, a Chico State grad who created KidsSave, money management software for the younger generation. She teaches kids how to save and spend their money and shows parents how to guide them.

“Raised for Richness” is a quick read, packed with information and specific questions you can ask yourself and your child. What’s so fascinating to me is that it noodges parents to work through their emotional reactions and connections to money before talking with their children.

Hodgens also asks questions that challenge kids to think about what they really value: the money itself or what it buys you? Her questions help children put cash into perspective, by realizing how much they really want or need…how much money it might take to live the lifestyle they enjoy.

I took one of her quizzes with my son the other day, asking him what he thinks things we buy actually cost. Now I’m very open with my children, and often break down the dollar amount we spend on a shopping trip, so it surprised me to learn he didn’t get all the answers right. Clearly, we have more work to do.

The second book is called “Your Life & Your Money” by Scott Feher, a professional financial adviser. I haven’t read the entire thing yet, but so far it’s hit a chord. In this book too, Feher stresses making financial planning a family affair. He also asks his clients to come to terms with their feelings about their money, security, wants, needs etc.

This is a good read for me…someone who admittedly needs a refresher course in investment basics and terminology. However, I could see giving it to my kids after they graduate from college…telling them (as Feher puts it) it’s time to “establish your role as Chief Financial Officer.”

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