Around a month ago I saw a message on Twitter to BritMums from Blackbullion asking for people to review their new ‘Money Smarter’ book. I jumped at the chance. Ross and I had been discussing the need to try and teach Grace the value of money as back in November she had given a lot of her pocket money to the Poppy charity. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge this at all, I just thought she needed to know when enough was enough.
I am not brilliant with money. There, I’ve said it. I do my best and don’t blow it but I have had other people financially abuse me and have never seemed to be able to break free of this. Ross, on the other hand, is brilliant. He is the household budgeter and keeps a close eye on the family’s finances. I am also grateful for the fact that he is open about money with me. My past experience has been that people hide things, spend money behind my back, have savings they don’t tell me about and then expected me to pay for everything! Not least, my own father was like this.
The book arrived a couple of weeks ago but we have not had a chance to start working through it until this last weekend. Boy am I glad we have! Firstly we had to fill in a family contract to say that we would work through the book every week – we have decided to do this on a Monday – we agree to better understand how money works and that it is not maths it is about having options and opportunities and making smart decisions.
So far we have worked through the first two chapters. The first chapter discusses ‘opportunities cost’. So for example, say you only have enough money for a chocolate bar or a can of cola. You go for the chocolate so the can of cola is the ‘opportunity cost’. At the end of the chapter there is activities for age 10 and under and over 10′s and the worksheets can be found on the CD that is included with the book. Together we completed a worksheet which had different denominations of coins on. You had to see how many different ways coins can be combined to make the total in the circle.
The second chapter is all about what we did before money. I explained that people used to exchange items for other items. Now we exchange our skills and knowledge through work for money to buy our things. We also discussed different jobs and how they earnt different amounts of money. We discussed the value of things. Ross asked Grace what she would take with her from the house if we had to leave and only take one thing. She said her bobo (which is her comfort blanket) and Heart, her build a bear. Ross told her that she was only allowed one and, to our surprise, she chose Heart. We explained to her that the bear was therefore more valuable. At the end of the chapter, the worksheet showed pictures of different people in their professions. We had to decide which profession they belonged to, what skills they needed, what they needed to be able to do and how much they earnt.
We are all looking forward to moving on to chapter three next week.
I feel that this is not only a book to help Grace, but me and Ross too. Whilst I wish I had seen this book when I was younger, I am so glad to be sharing it with Grace now. Money Smarter really is making me feel just that!
It is jargon-free and not only looks at debt, budgeting and saving but also at peer pressure, addictions, shopping online and philanthropy within the concept of responsible and safe money management.
If you go across to the Money Smarter Blackbullion website TODAY, they are not only discounting the book but also offering prizes and gifts too!
Full Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of the book for this review (thank you Vivi!). All opinions, words and images are all my own and not influenced in any way.