Raising kids smart (and conscious) about money
I recently finished reading 1 The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by Ron Lieber. Five stars may be a one star too many given the criticisms faced by this book. While understandably, this book is aimed at the upper-middle class of parents (and the author admits that), it contains plenty of advice and truth-telling that is applicable to most parents, unexpected life circumstances notwithstanding. In fact, if life takes an untoward turn toward the unexpected that results in a significant loss of net worth or a downgrade in life style, your kids may be better prepared to handle the turn of fortune.
Even if most of the advice is geared toward the rich families e.g. like the kids from the 2-million-dollar home halving their footprint to a million-dollar-home (and donating the difference in value to charity) and the girl raising show horses, it sets a precedent among the rich that may address several social ills prevalent today.
For most, the whole ‘rich kids of Instagram’ and the opulent lifestyle they project on social media has a more deleterious effect on the other 99% who then try to emulate their lifestyle by going into debt or resorting to resentment that can manifest physically health-wise. Most of us do not resent the ultra rich but we do detest the obnoxious and privileged offsprings who seem to flaunt wealth while lecturing us about merit. If the advice in this book is heeded even by that segment of the population, it would make the world a much better place.
I give 5-stars mostly because of handy and pointed advice with plenty of real-life examples that apply to my current status. We’ve been subconsciously following most of the advice by having frank conversations with our son about money matters and even answering questions about buying price of our home. We do inculcate the role of budget and trade-offs when choosing gifts and we are definitely not shielding him from the realities of life. At times, we thought we may be going overboard and causing him to think we are pinching pennies but the book puts my mind at ease in suggesting that we may be on the right track. It may be better to err on the side of more financial management-oriented thinking than not.
I say reading but I mean listening to the audio book during my commute. It was a quick listen given that I have a 30-minute commute each way every day.↩