My husband was going through the mail the other night when he noticed a new book on the kitchen island: “Piggy Banks to Paychecks” by Angie Mohr (CA, CMA). He grinned broadly and announced, “I’m glad you’re finally trying to get involved and learning something about finance.”
To be fair, I try, I really do. It was, nonetheless, a cheap shot. I’m lousy with numbers and always have been. I’m all for saving and know how to live frugally, and I’ve sort of assumed that the kids will learn about frugal living from me, sort of through osmosis. This, of course, is wishful thinking. They won’t “become” fiscally responsible by association any more I’ll become thin by hanging around a friend who works out. There just has to be more of an effort made than acknowledging a basic awareness of the issues involved.
Fortunately, as Mohr points out, this is probably a good start. I know we need to save, and I’m not above talking about it with my kids. I simply don’t know how to make the conversation an effective one.
No worries: she’s got it covered. There’s nothing too prickly for her to address, and her book doesn’t make parents feel stupid or guilty for not having done this already. Rather, she provides information, examples and even easy-to-understand definitions of terms both useful and obscure.
She’s not preachy, either. Mohr tells the reader that her book isn’t meant to be a blanket prescription for monetary success, but rather the beginning of a dialogue, and the guidance of her experience (and those of other parents in a variety of situations).
For example, she explains about life insurance, which is an uncomfortable and contentious topic in my home. I admit, I haven’t bothered looking into it much for that very reason. Her explanations of the different types of insurance and how they affect a household, with kids in mind specifically, opened my eyes. It might be uncomfy, but it’s necessary.
Her book is an invaluable resource for families at any stage in their lives, and most particularly, for those with young children, as it helps facilitate the dialogue necessary to start talking about financial planning… and also to actually do it, and to make our kids an essential part of the process.
I’m profoundly glad this book is part of my household library… and that Mohr’s experience and expertise now work in our favor.
Thanks, Angie, for writing this book.