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Teaching Children Money

Teaching children how to have a healthy lifelong relationship with money


My wife Jean and I have been teaching personal finance for the past 30 years, through our books and as independent investment advisors. It was time, we decided, to write a money book for children ages 4-8.

Research shows that financial habits form at very early age. Unfortunately, personal finance isn’t taught in schools, and few employers ever discuss the subject with workers. And many parents never discuss money with their children – often because they don’t know where to start. But if we want our kids and grandkids to be financially secure, we must start teaching them when they’re still young.

That’s why we wrote The Squirrel Manifesto, a modern-day fable teaching young children the most important aspects of money: spend a little, save a little, give a little and tax a little.

“As a grandparent, you play a vital role in shaping your grandchildren’s financial habits.”

Ric and Jean Edelman

From handling allowances and birthday money to the cash they’ll earn babysitting or mowing lawns, you can help your grandchildren understand that money brings opportunities—and also creates obligations. Even very young children can learn the value of money by following the simple rules of The Squirrel Manifesto.  By seeing how a squirrel eats nuts, gathers some for later, and gives some to those in need, children learn how to live a happy, rewarding life.

As a grandparent, you play a vital role in shaping your grandchildren’s financial habits. To help you, The Squirrel Manifesto includes a Guide for Grown-Ups. This fun, practical guide shows you how to teach your grandchildren that money is fun – and that it’s equally important to put some aside for the future and to be charitable. For instance, when you gift your grandchildren cash, use small bills or coins so it is easy for them to spend a little, save a little and give a little – all good money habits that can last a lifetime.

Sharing these valuable fundamentals with your grandchildren will help them grow up to be successful, happy adults.

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MONEYRic Edelman is a founder and Chairman of Financial Education and Client Experience at Edelman Financial Engines. As a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than one million copies collectively in print, Ric’s nine books on personal finance have been translated into several languages and have educated countless people worldwide. The Ric Edelman Show has been airing on the radio for more than 25 years and is heard throughout the country.


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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