Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: The MoneySmart Family System

Book Description from the Publisher:
Is it possible to raise financially responsible kids of any age in a society filled with consumerism and entitlement?
New York Times best-selling authors Steve and Annette Economides raised their five kids while spending 77 percent less than the USDA predicted. And the money they did spend was also used to train their children to become financially independent. The MoneySmart Family System will show you how to teach your children to manage money and have a good attitude while they’re learning to earn, budget, and spend wisely.
Learn how to:
*Get the kids out the door for school with less stress. *End the battle over clothing—forever *Teach your children to be grateful and generous. *Inspire your kids to help with chores as a member of a winning team. *Prepare your kids for their first paying job. *Help your kids pay for their own auto insurance, and even pay cash for their own cars. *Employ strategies for debt-free college educations. *Truly help your adult children when they want to move back home. *Be prepared to deal with your adult children when they ask for bailouts.
With clear steps for children of every age, The MoneySmart Family System proves that it’s never too early, too late, or too hard to start learning financial responsibility.

Systems.  I'm great with systems.  No, not really.  I'm great at creating systems but not so great at using them.  However, even if you are like me in this area you will still benefit greatly from this book.
The MoneySmart Family System is more than just a system.  Although it is that.  It is also a paridigm shift in our way of thinking.  Our attitude about money touches so many areas of our life.  In fact, more areas than we realize.    We live in an age of entitlement and that attitude creeps into our parenting.  This book will help you rethink those areas.  It is very comprehensive.  Here is a sampling of the topics addressed:
  • an alternative to allowances - "We don't believe in paying a child simply for being a part of a family."
  • developing an independent spirit and positive attitude in your child in regards to chores
  • giving and saving
  • clothes
  • toys and recreation
  • use of technology by your child - includes some well thought out boundaries
  • part time jobs
  • dating/courting and marriage
  • college
One of the great features of the book is that they address the different age  groups for every topic addressed.  For example, clothes for a 5 year old will be different than clothes for a 15 year old.  They offer practical advice for dealing with each.

The book includes details on using the MoneySmart family system which is a way of compensating your child for completing their assigned chores thoroughly, independently and with a positive attitude.  While I won't be implementing the system, there were plenty of principles I can apply without it.  

In summary, this book has great value and I would recommend reading it.  However, I probably wouldn't spend money on it.  I would order it from the library.  It's kind of a "one-read" book.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Good Morning Jenny,
    Haha, did you know that we use that system? We started just this past March or April . It's working out great, I might add, although I had read their "Americas Cheapest Family" book and then ordered their downloadable MoneySmart Kids forms which were on sale at the time for $3 or $4. I really do like how it has helped the girls understand the value of money. They now have to buy all their own clothes with what they earn, and they have become very tight with their money.

  2. Hi, Jane,
    I remember reading your post about using the system. I'm glad to hear a good testimony about the system. I will keep it in mind when I'm ready to start a system. With school starting up again I know I wouldn't do a very good job of following through right now. :-(