Category: Books to Read

Finances and Kids

Finding books that are right on the money

Parenting is tough and when it comes to educating your kids about money, you want to use all available resources. 

One of those resources is my friend’s blog, That PNW Dad. On his site, Juan Farias Torres advocates for training your kids about money early and he shares his experience creating hands-on financial training for his kids. 

After talking with Farias Torres, I was going to create a list of recommended titles for kids and finances but then I realized that I would rather empower you to find the books that fit your situation. So here’s my MONEY tips for finding effective financial materials for you and your child. These are not hard-and-fast rules but just thoughts to get you started. 


Look for authors/publisher who share your mindset on money management. How you handle finances is something that can be very personal. For your child’s introduction to the topic, you want the text to match your beliefs. 


As I said these aren’t hard-and-fast rules. So in addition to looking for authors who have the same mindset, don’t shy away from books that have views that vary from yours. I hate to break it to you, but there is a strong chance your child will start to develop opinions that differ from yours, especially as they get older. By being open-minded to those differences early, you can create an environment to have calmer discussions later. And let’s be honest, exposing yourself to new financial ideas might not hurt either. 


Ask friends and family for suggestions. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Is your neighbor’s son a few years older than your own? Ask what books worked for him. This is especially helpful because kids often mimic their older friends and relatives. If your daughter knows her older cousin read a book, there is a good chance she will be eager to read it as well. 


Find ways to connect with your child’s interests. If your child is loving the beloved series of books by Herman Parish try Amelia Bedelia Means Business and chat about how Amelia works to save money for a new bike. Are they loving Harry Potter? Discuss Potter’s inheritance and how he chooses to spend it. 

Also, make sure it is the appropriate reading level for your child. Getting a teen book for your toddler leads to frustration for both of you. If your child isn’t a huge reader, maybe hold off on checking out Warren Buffet’s newest release. Check vendor recommendations and online reviews to find the suggested audience.

Your Library

As always, don’t miss out on the resources – available for free – at your local library. Ask staff members for recommendations. They order the books, track what their patrons are requesting, and are educated on upcoming trends and newly released titles. Finding the right book for the right reader is my favorite task when I’m working at the library. 

And don’t forget to visit to get more financial literacy tips.

Happy reading!

You can’t afford to miss these: 7 Books about Money

Recently, a friend asked me about budgets. Actually, more than one friend has brought up the topic. Maybe it is because of my love for Excel spreadsheets. Maybe it is because they think I have the wisdom of age and might know something. Maybe they are just desperate, and I am a listening ear. Regardless of their reasons, I savor the challenge of making income and expense formulas to help my friends reach their financial goals. It’s especially rewarding when we are talking about someone else’s money. So message me if you want to chat. 

Talking face-to-face about money and budgets can be intimidating, though. Thus this book list. Here are a few books I recommend, or I have had recommended to me, that might give you some insights on how to handle your income statement, increase your financial literacy, or just learn how others handle money. 

You Need a Budget by Jesse Mecham

As I listened to Mecham read his book, I found myself nodding my head frequently. His advice for those new to the budget arena or looking to change their accounting strategies was right on target. He has an entire website dedicated to helping spenders find a way to meet their financial goals. 


As always, you are welcome to whatever personal beliefs you may have, but for me, the Bible has given tremendous financial wisdom. More than 2,300 verses in the Bible deal with money and how to deal with it. The verses apply to all walks of life, such as Proverbs 10:4-5, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.”

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Since its publication in 1926, readers have looked to Clason’s collection of parables to gain wisdom in the money realm. The short book – less than 150 pages, depending on your edition – gives timeless saving and investing rules. One of the oft-quoted sentiments of the book is regarding paying yourself first. Clason writes, “A part of all I earn is mine to keep.’ Say it in the morning when you first arise. Say it at noon. Say it at night. Say it each hour of every day. Say it to yourself until the words stand out like letters of fire across the sky.” 

Get Rich Carefully by Jim Kramer

As the host of Mad Money, Jim Kramer is known for his over-the-top shenanigans and loud, attention-grabbing methods. In his book, though, all the bells and whistles are, and he gives you tactical advice on how to start working with the investment system. His experience as a Wall Street investor provides him with the knowledge, and his grasp of communication allows him to share in a way that is easy to follow. 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

This book cemented my conviction that you should learn from someone with the life you want. Robert Kiyosaki compares two different mindsets in his book and encourages readers to follow the path that gives them the results that they want. I appreciated Kiyosaki’s personable demonstration contrasting a traditional education then job model with the entrepreneurial pathway. Reading this book pushed me to find a mentor to learn from who had the financial footing I was looking for. 

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin

Thank you for this recommendation, Juan. Vicki Robin’s book details the transformative concept that satisfaction with money is more than dollar bills in the bank. She challenges readers to take a more holistic approach to money and look for ways to save money and maintain the quality of life that they want. In addition to her book, check out her Life Energy Calculator on her website.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Okay, this book isn’t technically about money, but I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who is looking for ways to change their habits regarding dollars and cents. James Clear outlines numerous valuable methods for altering your life, and all of them can be applied to your budget. This book is a must-read for establishing new routines in your life, and I’d love to hear how you apply the principles to your money questions. 

Book Review: Bold Spirit

Bold Spirit by Linda Lawrence Hunt

Book grade: A-

Target audience: The reading level is probably for at least middle school and above. I would specifically recommend this for a mother/daughter book read.

Read-Alikes: Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven

Summary in less than 50 words: Discover the incredible true story of a mother and daughter who walked across the United States in the late 1800s. Hunt uses newspaper accounts as well as reports from family and community members to tell this compelling tale of courage and unexpected outcomes. 

How I heard about it: This book was recommended by a friend and then coincidentally I heard a talk about it when listening to a presentation through my local library She Travelled Solo: Strong Women in the Early 20th Century by Tessa Hulls.

Why I would recommend? Helga and Clara’s story gives a glimpse of what life was like in a different century. It is a reminder to learn the stories of our parents and grandparents. It is a reminder to tell stories to our children and grandchildren. 

Why I wouldn’t recommend? It doesn’t have a happy, tie-it-with-a-bow ending. 

Remembering MLK: 5 Books to Read

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a great day to get outside and volunteer. But if you find yourself inside instead, here are 5 books to remember what this amazing man did in his lifetime. 

  1. The autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr

Let’s start with an account of his life by the man himself. Compiled after King’s death this volume combines his papers to tell his life story in his own words.  

  1. Speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr

I listened to this on audio and it is an opportunity to hear King’s voice as he delivers 32 of his most remembered speeches. Everyone should listen to the I Have a Dream speech with King’s voice. 

  1. The three mothers: how the mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin shaped a nation

Our mothers have a huge influence on us and King was no difference. Read about three amazing women who through their sons had an impact on our country. 

  1. Walden, and on the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

In many of his writings, King quotes Thoreau and credit him for his platform of non-violence revolution. 

  1. Dear Martin

An interesting way to learn about King’s life. In this book, a young man deals with racism by writing letters to King. Do King’s beliefs still hold up in our modern world? 

Thursday Murder Club

Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Book grade: A-

Some vulgarity

Target audience: Those who like a mystery with a bit of spice. 

Read-alikes: A Man called Ove, Louise Penny

Summary in less than 50 words: Each week, four residents of Cooper’s Chase Retirement Village meet to discuss crime. When those crimes hit close to home, the Thursday Murder Club is on the case with their humor and their walkers. It is a laugh-out-loud funny journey as they bring the criminals to justice.

How I heard about it: This was recommended by a friend. Thank you, Barb!

Why I would recommend? The characters reflect so many quirks of my friends who are a bit older. I love how natural they sound. The mystery had quite a few twists and turns that kept me turning pages as well. 

Why I wouldn’t recommend? Not 100% G content. I would probably avoid recommending it to younger readers. Also if someone isn’t a mystery fan they probably wouldn’t enjoy the title. 

Prince & the Pauper

Book grade: B+

The language is very dated.

Target audience: Teens, those who love the classics, someone who is interested in books with a bit of a political focus

Read-alikes: A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Summary in less than 50 words: Tom Canty and the Prince of England look alike. So when they accidentally switch places, they both have a series of adventures that make them see the world from a different perspective.

How I heard about it: I actually chose this book to help me sleep. When I struggle getting my z’s, I play an audiobook at a slow speed. This book didn’t work. I got so interested in it I had to listen to it during the day as well (at regular speed). 

Why I would recommend? It was fascinating to hear the different traditions of the time. The book is set in 1547. The author wrote it in 1881. It would be a fascinating exercise for a school class to make a list of the cultural things that are very different. 

Why I wouldn’t recommend? The language would definitely make it a struggle for a reluctant reader or early reader.

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

Book grade: C-

Be aware there is swearing and some vulgarity regarding sex

Target audience: Fans of magic, older teens or adults, crime readers who also like some supernatural thrown in, those who like series.

Read-alikes: Chronicles of St. Mary’s

Summary in less than 50 words: Peter Grant is working for the police force and his career is on a traditional trajectory until the night he takes a witness statement from a ghost and the magical world is unlocked for him. 

How I heard about it: I’m not 100% sure but I think I put a lot of items on hold when I was searching for something to read similar to the Chronicles of St. Mary’s.

Why I would recommend? The narrator has a great voice. The action is fast and moves right along. It is an interesting world and it is set in modern times which makes it a little more relatable than some books in the magic genre.

Why I wouldn’t recommend? The swearing seems a little unnecessary. I personally got a little lost with the plot and all the different characters and such. Maybe by the second book it would all start to make a little more sense.

The Relentless Elimination of Hurry

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

John Mark Comer

Wow! First off, I didn’t realize how much “hurry” I have in my life. Second, I am so grateful for the suggestions from Comer on how to eliminate it. 

I’m not sure exactly how this book came on my radar but when it popped up in my ready to read folder, I was blessed. 

The book starts with describing hurry and how pervasive of a problem it is in our world today. It then goes on to make a case for the absence of hurry in Jesus’ life. As “apprentices of Christ” this makes a compelling reason to drop speed from our life as well. 

This most impactful section for me was towards the end – practical ways to turn life from rushed to intentional. And the suggestions were ruthless. 

But Comer is clear these aren’t meant to be a legalistic checklist of what to do or not to do. They are lessons he has implemented or attempts to implement in his own life and he has seen results. More importantly, he sees that they are how God has led him to a more focused life. By shedding culturally expected habits he has freed his mind to pursue the spiritually beneficial ones. 

It won’t happen overnight but I’m grateful that Comer gave me some ideas and disciplines to begin aligning my life closer to Christ’s. I can fight my addiction to my phone in order to have quality time with my friends and family. I can use the slow lane at the grocery store in order to uplift the grocery clerk. I can take a deep breath as I walk around the block instead of trying to eat and check emails on my lunch break. 

I can stop rushing to meet the deadline on this review and go read my next book.  

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