Raising Financially Fit Kids, Revised by Joline GodfreyRaising Financially Fit Kids, Revised by Joline Godfrey

Raising Financially Fit Kids, Revised

byJoline Godfrey

Paperback | June 4, 2013

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This combination parenting and personal finance book helps parents teach their children key money skills--such as saving, spending, budgeting, investing, building credit, and donating--that they'll need to become financially secure adults.

In this updated edition of Raising Financially Fit Kids, Joline Godfrey shares knowledge gleaned from two decades of preparing children and families for financial independence and stewardship, philanthropic effectiveness, and meaningful economic lives. At the heart of the book are three big ideas:

• Financial education is not just about the money; it’s 
about building great families and raising self-confident kids who have the tools to realize their dreams.
• Financial sustainability means living within one’s means and acquiring skills to create and manage human and financial capital.
• Giving wisely is a global citizen’s responsibility.

Designed for parents, grandparents, mentors, advisors, and educators, Raising Financially Fit Kids uses ten core money skills applied across five developmental life stages: children, tweens, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and twenty-somethings. Each stage includes age-appropriate activities that make financial fitness fun, from mall scavenger hunts to financial film festivals. 
In this global economic landscape, we all need financial fluency. Whether your child is five, fifteen, or twenty-five years old, it’s never too late to teach financial literacy. Raising Financially Fit Kids prepares your children for the complexities of living in a global economy and helps your family up your game from good to great.
Joline Godfrey has been a pioneer in the field of financial education since 1990. Today she is one of the country’s foremost experts on kids, families, and money. Godfrey is founder and CEO of Independent Means, Inc., a leading provider of financial education for families. Recognized in features for the Today show, Oprah, Fortune, Busi...
Title:Raising Financially Fit Kids, RevisedFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6.1 × 0.7 inPublished:June 4, 2013Publisher:Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/RodaleLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1607744082

ISBN - 13:9781607744085

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Read from the Book

Foreword   Toward the end of 2007, the U.S. financial market began its largest decline in seventy-five years. As the markets plummeted, millions of Americans watched in shock as the values of their assets, retirement plans, and homes plunged. Four years later, in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, the financial world rests upon delicate footing. Unemployment remains stubbornly high. The financial industry is in the midst of significant reform. Most people’s home values and personal wealth levels have yet to recover fully. Yet the pace of change in the financial marketplace seems to be speeding up, not slowing.   Over the last twenty years, the financial industry has created a dizzying array of financial products and financial options. Whether one is attempting to mortgage her home, establish a retirement account, simply open a bank account, or gain some exposure to the U.S. stock market, it has never been more challenging to navigate the complex financial marketplace around us and to feel confident with the various financial decisions one must make. If that alone is not enough to digest, today the U.S. Tax Code (more specifically, Title 26 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations—the portion written by the IRS) is 16,845 pages long.   Similarly, the instant access to information that the Internet has enabled is both a blessing and a curse; while it may be easier to get answers to most of one’s financial questions at the push of a few buttons, there also is far more information than ever before to sift through and digest.   In this daunting world of financial complexity, Joline Godfrey has come to the rescue. In her book Raising Financially Fit Kids Joline provides parents of kids of all ages with a series of relevant, easy-to-grasp financial tools to assist them in raising children with a healthy set of financial values and a degree of financial fluency. These are among the tools that all adolescents need in order to navigate successfully through an increasingly complex financial world.   As the Chinese philosopher Laozi encouragingly offered, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In similar fashion, one’s financial education can be—and I would argue should become—a lifelong pursuit of self-discovery and self-improvement. While many experts in the field recommend that parents begin their children’s financial education when they become teenagers, Joline astutely challenges this view. She encourages parents to start their children’s financial literacy at the age of five.   As my grandfather Irving Harris, a pioneer in the early childhood development field, often reminded me, learning begins at birth, and it continues for as long as one is open-minded to the integration of new ideas. Children who start to practice the basic concepts of counting, saving, and spending at a younger age have more time to practice and master these skills. In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell asserts the extremely high correlation between preparation and success. Essentially, the earlier in life one begins, the more one can practice. The more one practices, the more competent one is likely to become. Financial education is no exception. In this manner, Joline’s book provides parents with a wonderful set of tools to enable them to begin their own children’s financial education as soon as they are ready to start learning and which will continue to provide families with age-appropriate financial education guidance as adolescents begin to spread their wings.   Whereas many books of this type simply provide parents with a basic set of formulaic suggestions and exercises, Raising Financially Fit Kids elegantly connects the dots between parenting and financial education, and the fundamental interconnectedness of these with children’s physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development. As a pioneer in the financial education field with deep roots in clinical social work, education, and early childhood development, Joline has successfully developed a program that is simultaneously nuanced and straightforward to follow. In other words, parents who are secretly unsure of their own ability to provide their children with appropriate guidance needn’t worry; this book is certain to provide comfort even to the most apprehensive parents.   In recognition of the fact that children’s intellectual and emotional capabilities develop over time, Joline has divided her book into several sections, each of which is developmentally appropriate to a specific age range. Along the way, she explains the complex relationships between a child’s saving, spending, and earning habits and his or her self-esteem, and the ways in which children’s developing relationship with money can be influenced by the establishment and reinforcement of a solid set of financial values and habits. She also provides parents with a broad array of tools that are easy to utilize and which will help to destigmatize a subject that too often seems taboo.   After all, money itself is neither intrinsically benign nor evil. Rather, it simply is a tool—which, if utilized responsibly, can enable people to become and stay independent, achieve their financial (and/or philanthropic) goals, and generally lead more productive and fulfilling lives.   While the financial world may seem endlessly complex and at times awfully intimidating, this book is just the opposite. Parents who doubt their own financial competence should relax, for help is on the way! Whether your own family is of sizable wealth or modest means, Raising Financially Fit Kids will provide all parents with a set of easy-to-understand tools to assist them in raising children to become savvy, self-confident, financially independent adults who have mastered a solid set of social and financial skills and values. As Joline poses in her book, “What kind of child do you want to raise?” I hope that you will turn the page and find out.   Jack Polsky, CEO William Harris Investors, Inc.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jack Polsky   

Preface to the Second Edition  


Financial Literacy Is Economic Self-Defense   

Part One
Getting Started   
Chapter 1: From Safety Nets to Self-Sufficiency   
Chapter 2: Outwitting the Money Monsters 
Part Two
The Financial Apprenticeship   
Chapter 3: Stage One: Ages 5–8: I’m Just a Kid   
Chapter 4: Stage Two: Ages 9–12: Encouraging Passions   
Chapter 5: Stage Three: Ages 13–15: Breaking Away   
Chapter 6: Stage Four: Ages 16–18: Standing Tall   
Chapter 7: Stage Five: Ages 19+: Never Too Late 
Part Three
Side Trips   
Chapter 8: Raising Young Philanthropists   
Chapter 9: It’s Not Just About the Kids   
Chapter 10: Frequently Asked Questions   

About the Author 

Editorial Reviews

  “If we could, we’d bring Joline Godfrey into our home for weekly lessons teaching our kids how to manage money. This book is the next best thing. Joline’s ability to help parents and kids align their financial actions with their values is truly unparalleled.” -Joan King, head of Atlanta Girls’ School, and Kevin Salwen, author of The Power of Half “Few parents had the benefit of the kind of financial education that kids require to be economically independent and safe in our dynamic world. Godfrey’s book provides straightforward advice about how to prepare children to make financial decisions aligned with your family’s means, values, and aspirations—while giving parents a hand in building their own level of financial fluency. No one is better suited than Godfrey to advise parents about how to raise children able to make financial decisions and build productive fulfilling lives.” -Linda A. Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration and Faculty Chair, Leadership Initiative, Harvard Business School “Invest in your family’s future today! Use Godfrey’s wisdom to help your children develop the social and financial skills to responsibly manage the fruits of their success.” - Stuart E. Lucas, chairman of Wealth Strategist Partners and author of Wealth: Grow It and Protect It