Hailed as "America's Cheapest Family," the Economides (and their five kids) give readers a proven system to train their kids and control the flow of cash helping them live the American dream without debt.Read more...
Hailed as "America's Cheapest Family," the Economides (and their five kids) give readers a proven system to train their kids and control the flow of cash helping them live the American dream without debt.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-06
- Reviewer: Staff
The MoneySmart system is how the proudly penny-pinching authors of America’s Cheapest Family and Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half raised their five children and many foster kids to be money-savvy, self-supporting young adults. Key to the success of the plan is the “5/50/500 Rule,” based on the idea that every age and stage of a child’s growth comes with expectations, and if parents do not train their children to stand financially responsible at the stage of life, they will end up funding an unending stream of demands until the price escalates to , , and upwards as the children become older. To counter this, the authors advise parents to give their children chores and responsibilities, award points for the completion of those tasks, and pay the kids on a sliding, age-appropriate scale for points garnered. All monies earned fall equally into three categories: give, save, and spend, thus emphasizing the importance of helping those in need, preparing for the future, and living within one’s means. By age 11, children start buying their own clothes; by age 13 they have part-time jobs; and by the time they are in their mid-to-late teens, they buy their own cars (and pay the insurance) and fund much of their college education without loans. In theory, and apparently, in practice, the system works, but not every family is as dedicated to this kind of frugality. Much of the book is concerned with getting kids to be clean, neat, responsible, generous, and exhibit good character by paying them for it, and while the book does offer logical, personal, and practical advice, it doesn’t quite strike the right balance between teaching kids to earn and helping them learn. This is a volume homeschoolers and large families will appreciate. (Sept.)