Read Across America Day is this Friday March 2, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to celebrate with a list of our favorite Her Wealth books that educate and empower anyone interested in building and preserving their wealth.
These authors reflect our belief that managing your money is not just about knowing the technical jargon or smartly managing your taxes, but also staying aware of your emotions and how they may play a role in your decision making and how you feel about your money. These also align with Her Wealth’s core mission to create financial independence for women of all ages.
All around us we're seeing the rising power and maturity of the younger generation. We want to support their development into adulthood by providing them with good core skills in money management. Here are our picks for educating your kids about how to grow up to be financially responsible and independent adults.
1. Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You're Not) by Beth Kobliner: It's never too early to teach your children about money and this practical guide has ideas for kids ranging from age 3 to 23. One of our favorite aspects of this book is that it gives parents the tools they need to have money conversations with their children. Like us, Kobliner stresses the importance of talking early, and often, about family money matters.
2. You're So Money by Farnoosh Torabi: We are big fans of Farnoosh because of her work aimed at women. What's special about this particular work of hers is how well it encourages and instructs young adults on the trappings of living in today's materialistic and leveraged society. Her straight talk will help even spendthrift young adults to think twice about their daily gourmet coffees or extravagant spending on the latest fashions.
3. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss: With Read Across America Day coinciding annually with the birthday of Dr. Seuss, we 'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge how his works can be used to teach money lessons for young children. We find the quote "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better" reminds us to face financial challenges with the courage to change, and to consider introducing the next generation to the benefits of charitable giving.
We continue to emphasize the benefits of financial education so that women can enjoy financial independence throughout their life. There are encouraging signs of our increasing economic power and voice in the world, yet the gap between male and female financial strength remains. Whether your single and managing finances on your own, or part of a couple, we want to support the process of taking more control of your finances. Our picks include books that broadly support women’s empowerment and those that assist you in developing a mindful approach to your wealth.
4. Fast-Forward: How Women Can Achieve Power and Purpose by Melanne Verveer and Kim K. Azarelli: We've heard Melanne speak, so we know firsthand that she shares Her Wealth's passion for empowering women. Melanne currently serves as Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University. She's worked with Hilary Clinton and was with Clinton when she uttered her famous quote, "Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights." We think women will find her book both encouraging and informative as she takes the reader on a journey of the women’s rights movement and the tremendous progress we've made in recent years.
5. Prince Charming Isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart About Money by Barbara Stanny: This book may appeal to women and men who care about raising financial savvy daughters or empowering their partners. It outlines some of the interpersonal reasons women may avoid addressing money matters head on. In our day of increasing grey divorce and more breadwinning women, this is an important read for those who want to understand what underlies many women's reluctance to take full control of their own financial future.
6. On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kendra: Like other books in this category, Thakor and Kendra aim to motivate women to take control. This is one of our picks because it provides some basic principles for effective money management. Common challenges such as monitoring spending and building an emergency fund are addressed alongside good advice for not letting debt get in the way of longer-range retirement planning.
7. Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms by Ananda Steinberg: Having led women through major transitions in their life, we've seen firsthand how a woman's overall confidence in herself plays a role in her ability to seize control of her finances. We're fond of online resources that help shed light on money attitudes and Steinberg's use of a "Money Type" tool accomplishes the goal of gaining greater insight into your own personal situation.
A milestone was reached last year when the American economist, Richard Thaler, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in the growing field of behavioral economics. He was recognized for his "contributions that have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making.”
Lessons learned from reaction to the 2008 market declines are just one example of the financial industry’s growing awareness of how much individual emotions and financial experiences affect daily financial decision making. We know that changing any habit can take time, but often the most important step is awareness around how attitudes are influencing our actions. Her Wealth coined the term “practicing intentional wealth” and encourages you to take the steps necessary to improve your personal money habits with help from these authors.
8. Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sustein: This book explores one of the common behavioral challenges in financial decision making - the tendency to maintain the status quo. Thaler is famous for his insights of how human traits affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes and this book provides a deeper understanding of how human nature plays a part in real decisions related to our finances.
9. The Art of Money by Bali Tessler: For those interested in meditation and mind-body relationships, this book shows you how techniques like yoga breathing or mindfulness relate to personal finances.
10. The Debt Escape Plan by Beverly Harzog: If you're looking for more practical advice about getting out from under a mountain of debt, this may be a good choice for you. The author personally overcame crippling debt, so her advice is both relatable and practical. Whether you're a new graduate with high student loan debt or in middle age with a big mortgage, if you're carrying a heavy debt load this is a must read.
While this article is all about books, we'd be neglectful if we didn't mention the many online resources, like herwealth.com available to support financial education for you and your family. We encourage you to find those resources that resonate with your specific financial needs, and to recognize that the best financial decisions incorporate understanding the specific dimensions of your wealth. For more information about what to consider in your own personal circumstances, I invite you to read What Are Your Dimensions of Wealth?
Consider this your training manual to get and stay financially fit for life!