Parents love to read books with their young children before bed. So why not take advantage of these precious moments to impart some solid financial lessons at the same time? There are numerous books that can help you do it in a fun way. Here are three suggestions to start with:


Joe the Monkey Saves For a Goal by John Lanza; $5.99
This first book in the series Share, Save and Spend Smart by the Money Mammals tells the story of Joe the Monkey who wants a new "Super Vine 3000" to learn to do a special kind of swinging. The problem is that he only has $4 and it costs $20. So with the help of some friends, he must learn to set a goal and save for it. Along the way he faces temptations that could derail him from his goal so kids can really see how to weigh the pros and cons of decision making.

A Dollar, a Penny, How Much and How Many by Brian P. Cleary; $6.95
Written by Brian P Cleary and illustrated by Brian Gable. This is a funny look at money where the basics of bills and coins are explained in an entertaining way for young readers. The author uses rhymes, silly illustrations and kid-friendly examples to convey facts and concepts.

Lily Learns about Wants and Needs by Lisa Bullard; $5.75
This book for kids in kindergarten through second grade is part of a series that teaches money basics to kids. Diverse characters are put into familiar financial situations like saving to buy a soccer ball, and finding ways to earn money such as doing extra chores, helping neighbors or selling old toys or games.

If you'd like to learn about more books that could help you teach your children money management skills at different ages, check out this list compiled by the University of Minnesota.

Yamila Constantino is a pioneer of financial education for Latinos. She is a member of the National Financial Educators Council Advisory Board and a winner of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce At the Table award for women entrepreneurs.

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Topics: budget  finances  family