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KidFinLit Series: 10 Children’s Books That Teach Kids About Saving Money

Mother And Daughter Sit On Sofa In Lounge Reading Book Together

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Teaching your kids the basics around financial literacy at an early age can have a huge impact on their adult lives. The ability to save is one of the most important finlit concepts a child can learn. Not only does it give them the ability to create wealth, but more importantly it creates a habit of saving. If kids learn now to put away a part of every allowance or birthday money gift, they are more likely to continue saving as an adult when it’s time to put away money for retirement or a home.

Teaching your kids about finance may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to involve a complex powerpoint presentation. The best way to teach kids about anything, especially finance, is to make it engaging, relatable and fun for the child. An easy way to teach your kids about saving is through children's books that have the lessons woven throughout the story. The lessons taught are more memorable and impactful if they can relate with the characters in the story, and understand their motivation for saving money. Just being exposed to the idea of saving at this age through stories will have a huge impact on their level of comfort and confidence with money matters in the future.

Below are 10 books that teach valuable lessons about saving money:

Bunny Money, by Rosemary Wells: Part of the Max and Ruby Series, Ruby has saved enough money to buy her grandma a beautiful ballerina box. However, she quickly learns how easy it is to spend her savings on other items. This book illustrates that saving money is just the first step; kids also need to learn how to manage those savings. Parents can use this to introduce their young children to prioritizing, especially when it comes to saving money.

A Chair For My Mother, by Vera B. Williams. This heartwarming story follows a young girl, her mother and grandmother, who save every penny they earn to buy a new chair for their apartment. One of the most important steps in saving is setting a goal, and parents can discuss the power of working to reach your goals with their kids.

The Berenstain Bears' Dollars and Sense, by Stan and Jan Berenstain. In this book from the classic series, Papa introduces Brother and Sister to money. It’s a perfect introduction to teaching kids what to do with their money, and how to make the decision to save or spend.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, by Judith Viorst. Most kids are familiar with Alexanders’ bad luck in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This time, Alexander is given a dollar by his Grandparents, and he’s excited by the possibility of what he can save up to buy. However, his money starts to disappear as he begins spending his money instead of saving it. The book is a fun and humorous way to show kids the consequences of not having a spending and savings plan.

Little Critter: Just Saving My Money, by Mercer Mayer. Another classic character, Little Critter wants a skateboard, so his dad tells him he needs to save his money to buy one. Parents reading this book with their kids can discuss things they want to save up for, and help create a plan to reach their goal.

Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock, by Sheila Bair and part of the Money Tales series. A perfect example of delayed gratification, this book follows two twins who receive a dollar from their grandpa each week. Their grandpa offers them a match - an extra dollar for each one they save. One twin ends up with over $500, and one twin has none. This is a great introduction to the benefits of saving your money, and parents can begin the conversation around compound interest.

Money Plan, by Monica Eaton. Mia and her mom head to the grocery store, where Mia learns about smart shopping and saving money. Mia’s mom shows her the importance of using coupons, making smart decisions and sticking to your plan - all vital aspects of saving money. Parents can implement this same advice when they are at the store with their kids, and show firsthand how they save money when shopping.

Grandpa's Fortune Fables, by Will Rainey. This comprehensive book teaches kids about all aspects of money management through the eyes of 13 year old Gail. In addition to focusing on the importance of saving, Rainey includes a glossary of financial terms and a fun game where kids can earn a prize at the end.

Savannah’s Savings Jar, by Chelsea Addison. Although ten-year-old Savannah is called Saving Savannah, she wasn’t always a good saver. Kids will be able to relate to her story, as she struggles with spending her savings. The book teaches how you can learn good saving habits, and change bad ones. Parents can discuss the fundamental concepts introduced in this book, like budgeting and expenses.

Save It , by Cinders McLeod. Part of the popular Moneybunny books, Honey learns about the importance of having a plan when saving money. Perseverance, patience and creativity are importance concepts taught throughout the story.

Illustrated and fun books that help kids under 7 laugh, learn, and imagine their way into healthy money habits.

Are you looking for some of the best books to teach young children about money? We and our kids have done the leg work for you! We’ve reviewed books that teach the basics of money management all the way through investing for the future.

Economics has never been considered thrilling reading, especially for children. Because many money habits are established by the age of 7, it is important that we introduce money concepts early.  

Thankfully, there is a growing movement to mandate financial literacy education in schools. Unfortunately, this introduction is not until high school. And that’s way too late. 

 Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on My First Nest Egg. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

What Parents Are Looking For

Parents of young children are left trying to find age-appropriate tools to teach kids about money. This is becoming ever harder as the world becomes more and more cashless.  The piggy bank is becoming obsolete.  

Here is our list of the top ten books to introduce financial concepts to kids 7 and under.  

The authors of these books about money are financial literacy enthusiasts, long-time children’s authors, and our Country’s top economists.

These fun, simple and easy-to-read books make complex concepts easy and age-appropriate for even the youngest children. The authors have crafted silly stories starring furry protagonists, bickering siblings, and an understanding of what kids really want – toys. Bunnies, critters and squirrels are apparently better at saving than most Americans! 

Perhaps the adorable characters in these brightly illustrated books will encourage human children to save, spend and be generous. 

To aid us in discovering the best books to teach children under the age of seven about money, we enlisted the help of a persnickety book critic – a six-year-old.

Just Saving My Money

Author:

Mercer Mayer

Age:

For kids 6 and under.

Key Concept:

Associating working with earning, Saving, Delayed gratification

Story Summary:

Little Critter’s skateboard breaks and he needs to earn money for a new one. He does chores and still not having enough money to buy a new skateboard, opens a lemonade stand. He also opens a savings account.

Mom Review:

Who doesn’t love Little Critter? He taught kids to clean their room, control their temper, help around the house and now how to save money. Just Saving My Money is perfect for emerging readers.

My 6 year-old read it by herself several times. “Just saving My Money,” does a great job of connecting effort with earning. I also love the message that when Little Critter’s old skateboard broke, his parents were not going to replace it automatically, but that he needed to earn a new one.

Best of all little Critter learns the value of delayed gratification. “Dad, I am so glad I saved my money!” By waiting and saving, Little Critter decided, that instead of the skateboard he originally started saving for, that the robot he found at the store was what he truly wanted.

Kid Review:

I could read this book by myself. I like this book. I would have bought the skateboard, but he worked hard and saved and now he has a robot. I want to save for a skateboard.

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Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock

Author:

Sheila Bair

Age:

For kids 7 and under.

Key Concept:

Delayed Gratification, Compound Interest, Planning Your Spending

Story Summary:

Rock, Brock and The Savings Shock is about twin brothers, Rock and Brock, earn money and Grandpa matches every dollar they save. Rock spends every dollar he earns on trinkets, while Brock saves every dollar. At the end of the day, Rock is left with a roomful of broken junk and Brock has $512.

Mom Review:

Let’s start with the author, Sheila Bair – named the second most powerful woman in the world by Forbes Magazine. 

She was the Chair of the FDIC during the financial crisis of 2008 and a lifelong financial literacy advocate.

Needless-to-say this woman is an expert in financial matters and she happens to be able to rhyme.  

While I have not been able to find a bank that gives as generous terms as grandpa, this book illustrates the power of compound interest working in your favor. Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock is great for a younger reader, but it even affected my 10-year-old, who after reading this book, refused to buy himself specialty socks saying “I’ll never be a millionaire spending $14 on socks.”  For kids 7 and under (maybe even older).

Kid Review:

Rock spent too much money.  I think Brock is smarter.  The pictures are funny and I found his dog in all the pictures.  Mom needed to help me with some words, but I could read a lot of it.

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Save It!

Author:

Cinders McLeod

Age:

For kids 4 and under.

Key Concept:

Associates working with Earning

Story Summary:

Honey needs to earn carrots in order to save for something that she really wants.

Mom Review:

Honey earns carrots babysitting her siblings.  All she wants is a little peace and quiet.  After being denied her own residence by her father, she decides to save for a play house for some much-needed privacy.  This book is great for very young children to understand the basic concept of savings.  I would actually recommend this as a first book on the topic.  Best for kids 4 and under.

Kid Review:

I read this book twice by myself and once to mom with no mistakes.  Honey likes privacy like my older sister.  I wish I could buy a playhouse with carrots.  My mom says a playhouse costs more than $100.  I am saving for the Batmobile.

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Paper or Plastic (Money Monsters)

Author:

Okeoma Moronu Schreiner

Age:

For kids 6 and under.

Key Concept:

Credit cards vs. cash

Story Summary:

Kai goes shopping with dad at the supermarket. He learns the difference between paying with cash and credit cards.

Mom Review:

Credit cards can be confusing for little kids.  This adorable book plays on the famous check-out question “paper or plastic?” in compounding the already difficult to understand concept of credit cards.  If your kids believe that your credit card is a magic substitute for money, this is a great book to help illustrate the reality of how a credit card works. With a simple explanation that a credit card is for convenience and still requires you to pay actual money to someone each month, kids can begin to make sense of a topic many adults struggle with. 

Kid Review:

I’m not ready for a credit card. My mom always asks for plastic at the supermarket because we use it to pick up our dog’s poop.  I liked the pictures in the book.  It also taught me the name of money in other countries.  I could read this book by myself except for a few words.

See on Amazon Related Article: Best Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids

What is Money

Author:

Kelly Lee

Age:

For kids 4 and under.

Key Concept:

Introduction to money

Story Summary:

Charlie the bunny explains what money is and where it comes from.

Mom Review:

This adorable book is perfect for children under 4 to introduce the concept of money.  The illustrations are fun and colorful.  Kids are introduced to the idea that money should be sorted into categories for spending, saving and giving.  It even illustrates the concept of a budget.  The best part is that the book is short enough to read twice before bedtime.  Best for Pre-school aged kids.

Kid Review:

I knew most of this stuff.  Its kind of little kiddish.  The laughing cookie was funny.  This book was easy for me to read by myself.

See on Amazon

The Four Money Bears

Author:

Mac Gardner, CFP

Age:

For kids 7 and under.

Key Concept:

Budget, Saving, Spending, Saving, Giving

Story Summary:

Mama and Papa Bear tell their kids the story of the Four Money Bears to illustrate the importance of a budget.

Mom Review:

Meet Spender Bear, Saver Bear, Investor Bear and Giver Bear.  Each bear gives insight into the balance we need to properly manage money.  This book surpassed my expectations.  I recently read it to a class of 30 First Graders who were engaged from the first page. I like that this book takes a holistic approach to teaching about money.  Spender Bear never has money for emergencies or for the future, but Saver Bear never has fun or practices generosity.  This book sets the stage for why a budget is necessary. The illustrations are great.

Kid Review:

This was my favorite book.  I like Investor Bear best.  Its cool that he makes more money from what he has.  But, you can’t be like just one bear.  You have to be a little of all of them. My friend said that Giver Bear looks like a pig.

See on Amazon

Isabel’s Car Wash (Money Tales)

Author:

Sheila’s Car Wash

Age:

For kids 7 and under.

Key Concept:

Emerging entrepreneur

Story Summary:

Isabel raises money and starts a car wash.

Mom Review:

Here’s another book by Sheila Blair.  This book is a little more complicated as it really is a book about entrepreneurship and not just about money.  This is not your typical open a lemonade-stand and instantly profit story, Isabel needs to raise money for a doll.  She only has $.50 to start.  Seeing she can’t even afford the supplies to have a car wash, she gets her friends to invest in her business.  I’m not sure I love the idea of chasing friends down for an investment, but it makes it clear that starting even a simple business requires capital.  I thought this book would go over my 6-year old’s head, but she totally understood it.

Kid Review:

Isabel made a lot of money washing cars.  My dad said that home car washes waste more water than the ones at the gas station, so I am not allowed to do one.  I learned you need money to start a business.  It’s called an investment.

See on Amazon

If You Made a Million

Author:

David M Schwartz

Age:

For kids 7 and under.

Key Concept:

Coins, valuation, interest

Story Summary:

Isabel raises money and starts a car wash.

Mom Review:

This book was written in the late 80’s, so it is the oldest book on the list.  It is nostalgic of the books our parents read to us.  While cash and coins are becoming obsolete, it was shocking when I realized my youngest could not tell the difference between a nickel and a dime.  Depicting each coin and then putting in cute fun facts like a million dollars would be equal to a stack of pennies ninety-five miles high, I could see the wheels turning in my daughter’s head.  This book clearly has not been updated to reflect inflation with a moon trip only costing $1,000,000. 

Kid Review:

The nickels are the big ones and the dines are the little ones even though the dimes are worth more.  It doesn’t seem smart.  Coins are heavy and my mom says that money has germs on it.  That’s why she uses Venmo a lot.

See on Amazon

A Boy, a Budget, and a Dream

Author:

Jasmine Paul

Age:

For kids 7 and under.

Key Concept:

Budget, goals, choice, wants vs. needs

Story Summary:

Joey wants a lot of things and thinks he has enough money for all of it. When he realizes that he spent too much, he has to make choices and sacrifices to get the thing he really wants – to attend STEM camp.

Mom Review:

This is a new author and a newly published book, so it is not on a lot of radars, but this may be one of my favorite books for beginning a financial literacy journey with kids under 7.  Joey wants to go to STEM camp.  Realizing that he spent too much of his money he establishes a budget to save for the down payment.  This book feels realistic, is modern, cute, and informative.  My favorite part was watching Joey prioritize how he would spend his money.  He has to choose between a few things he wants.  Making choices is so important and I am glad that this book highlights the importance of prioritizing wants. 

Kid Review:

This book is good.  Kass saves her money.  My brother and sister save their money too.  I like to spend mine, but I am trying to save more.  Sometimes when I am saving for something, I decide I want something else.

See on Amazon

Lily Learns about Wants and Needs

Author:

Lisa Bullard

Age:

For kids 7 and under.

Key Concept:

Wants vs. needs, choices

Story Summary:

Joey wants a lot of things and thinks he has enough money for all of it. When he realizes that he spent too much, he has to make choices and sacrifices to get the thing he really wants – to attend STEM camp.

Mom Review:

All financial literacy curriculums start with teaching kids to understand the difference between needs and wants.  This book does a great job of giving realistic but fun examples of needs vs. wants.  Lily tries to convince her dad that she needs a new bike since he wants her to spend more time outdoors.  Dad does a good job explaining the difference. Best for kids 7 and under.

Kid Review:

I learned that needs are the things we need to survive.  My brother says he needs a new fishing pole, but my mom says it is a want because we don’t eat the fish he catches.  He has other fishing poles.  I feel like I need a skateboard, but I know it is a want.  A really big want.

See on Amazon

Little Daymond Learns to Earn

Author:

Daymond John

Age:

For kids 6 and up

Key Concept:

Entrepreneurship

Story Summary:

Little Daymond wants a poster of his favorite pop star, but he can’t afford one. With the help of his friends, Daymond figures out how to use the money he has to make more money and buy the poster.

Mom Review:

This is a fantastic book to introduce kids to the concept of entrepreneurship. It teaches core concepts in starting a business. Daymond’s mom tells him to “think about what you’re good at and how you can use that to solve a problem!” Daymond learns that it’s not as easy as it looks, and that he needs a little help from his friends to be successful. This book will get kids excited to start their own business, but also teaches that there are hurdles to be overcome.

Kid Review:

I gotta say it’s really good. I liked that he spent $1 on making a shirt and then he sold it for more. I learned that if you want something you should try to earn it. His friends helped him and they all shared the money.

See on Amazon

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KidFinLit Series: 10 Children’s Books That Teach Kids About Saving Money

The 12 Best Books to Teach Young Children About Money

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