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Review: High School Money Book by Don Silver

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High School Money Book by Don SilverMany folks in the personal finance community, both bloggers and mainstream media writers alike, have complained that our high schools should be teaching personal finance along with home economics and shop class. High school students aren’t being educated on the intricacies of dealing with credit cards and their fifty page T&C’s or preparing their taxes or even the fundamentals of saving. Well, Don Silver probably heard those calls and, through Adams-Hall Publishing, put together a book called High School Money Book.

The book itself is quite basic but comprehensive in its coverage of personal finance topics. While it’s targeting high school students, it really applies to anyone who is clueless about the breadth of personal finance topics. It discusses things on how to be frugal, handling debt and credit, being philanthropic, preparing for college, banking, paying bills, etc. It’s more a breadth type of book than a depth type of book. By this I mean it covers a lot of topics at a shallow level without going deeply into any of them. While it has been many years since I was in high school, I think this book hits the mark by educating the reader to the keywords they need to know and the processes they need to become familiar with once they start handling money on their own.

The only concern I have is whether high school students care, which is outside the scope of the book, and whether they’d sit down and read it in book form. With as much information as there is on the internet and the younger generation’s savviness with it, I would think anyone proactive enough to want to read something like this would go directly to the internet; those who are less proactive will probably skip it.

Either way, at a little over 150 pages, it’s a good brief primer on personal finance for anyone.

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2 Responses to “Review: High School Money Book by Don Silver”

  1. saladdin says:

    “The only concern I have is whether high school students care…”

    They don’t care. Why should they? All kids are “given” their needs and have no idea the work involved in paying a house loan or where that $20 that dad just gave them came from. Parents just do not try to teach this and are surprised when their kids comes home from college this summer with $5000 in credit card debt. My most important life changing event was when at age 16 my parents told me “You have a job now so you pay for your own cloths, gas and entertainment.”

    I really think it goes back to the very simple saying that parents use “I want my kids to have it better then I had it.” And in that has gone the idea of saving for a rainy day and the increasingly more sense of entitlement. What kid wants to hear (or even believes) the old “walk to school up hill both ways in the snow” stories?

    No book at age 17 will change that when parents give 11 year old cell phones and $250 game systems. Everytime a new report comes out stating that the savings rate is in the negative and most empoyees are not even contributing enough to get the company match in their 401K, parents look in the mirror. Society may be to blame, but guess who makes up society?

    I work with a girl whose daughter is a sophmore in college and the daughter bought a 2008 Civic last week. Payments are $350 a month and insurance is $200 a month. This daughter works part-time at 25 hours a week. 25 hours a week…

    Signed,
    No kids for saladdin. Ever.

  2. Kirk says:

    I fear that saladdin is correct. I workout at the YMCA which is across the street from the local high school. I am usually leaving as the kids are heading into school. I can’t believe the number of cars – and nice cars at that. When I was in school (no walking uphill in the snow stories), we packed 10 kids in a junker. These kids have one, maybe two, in a nice Jeep or sports car.

    If the parents don’t understand personal finance, how do we expect the kids to learn.


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