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Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees

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One of the most important lessons you can teach your children is the importance of money. While we don’t have any kids yet, it has been a topic on my mind so I defer to these highly rated books for guidance:

Raising Money Smart KidsRaising Money Smart Kids: What They Need to Know about Money and How to Tell Them by Janet Bodnar is published by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, one of the most respected personal finance magazines today. Bodnar is Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s deputy editor, mother of three children, and nationally recognized as an expert in family finances and teaching children about money.



Silver Spoon KidsSilver Spoon Kids : How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children by Eileen Gallo, Jon Gallo, and Kevin Gallo is a different kind of family finances book. It focuses on how to raise kids if you are in an affluent family and was written in the dot-com boom era (2001). While money has been tighter these days, I think that it covers the important topic of “trying to give your children everything,” which applies to both the affluent and less affluent.



Money Doesn't Grow On TreesMoney Doesn’t Grow On Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children by Neale Godfrey and Carolina Edwards is a book from 1994, available for just a few dollars (plus shipping). How could I forget the book that is the namesake of this post? This book teaches timeless lessons about family finances and teaching kids about the value of money and personal values. If it applied in 1994, it’ll apply today (children haven’t changed that much!

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14 Responses to “Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees”

  1. When I was young I received a dollar and tried to plant it to make my own money tree. It didn’t work. Who am I kidding, I did that last week.

    The metaphor does work if you plant a dollar (invest it) and wait for it to grow.

    Good post, I’ll need to read the rest of the series.

  2. Jim says:

    Very true and the earlier you plan it, the bigger the tree can be when you need to chop it down to build your own house. :)

    Ahhh analogies!

  3. FFB says:

    It’s so important to build good money habits and respect for money early on. It’s not easy mind you, but important! If I only knew then what I know now….

  4. MK says:

    This is one very important lesson that I think needs to be taught to all children. That money doesn’t just get handed to you, you have to do some work in order to receive the rewards.

  5. I love that Grant had a lawn-mowing business when he was young! I think more kids should do things to earn their money directly. I had a newspaper that I wrote and sold around my town when I was six, until the time I was twelve! I didn’t make huge amounts of money with it, but I learned a ton, and the money seemed like a lot to me! I even had my friends work as paid reporters for the “Kids Gazette.” It was great fun, and I encourage all kids and teens to pursue their own small businesses, because you learn so much from it.

    • Jim says:

      That’s so clever, do you still have any copies left?

      • Oh, I most certainly do! I don’t have a copy of every issue, but I do have the ones from 1996-1998. In fact, somewhere, someplace… the old Microsoft Publisher files still exist on floppies!

        I should really scan those things in, they’re a hoot to read now!

  6. That’s so true, money doesn’t grow on trees. And a good point to learn.

    I’m really enjoying this series. Check out my Q&A with BrokePiggy’s Grant Baldwin (not officially part of the series, but if you’re interested in his story and why he started BrokePiggy, check it out) http://www.hereverycentcounts.com/2009/04/broke-piggy-teaches-teens-about-money.html

  7. Dana says:

    Yep, teach them to earn and save from a young age. Even if it’s not for the money, but for the discipline and principle of it. It’ll be invaluable for the rest of their lives.

  8. Thanks for your involvement in this series Jim!

  9. In school today, my son was learning about Chamberlain’s appeasement of handing over the Sudetenland. I told him that appeasement doesn’t work, it just sets you up for the next larger appeasement. Which is why I never cave in to my kids, no matter how much they whine. It just sets me up for a bigger score the next time.

  10. Matt Fyffe says:

    This is a great post. I like how you took real world concepts that all of us are dealing with and adapted them to children.

    Some great strategies here and the hardest one is that notion of telling your kids no. It’s hard to say no when they want to go out with friends but it’s important to keep them fiscally smart.

  11. anum ehsan says:

    money does’t grow on trees is the biggest truth that one understands it once realizes its importance.

  12. pinky says:

    its all fake who says money does’t grow on tree.tell ur dad to grow a tree with money


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