Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money

Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money

by Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze


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In Smart Money Smart Kids, Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, team up to share some personal family stories you don’t want to miss! Get a no-nonsense approach for teaching your kids and teens the basics of money.

Find practical strategies to raise money-smart kids in this debt-crazed world. Smart Money Smart Kids offers common-sense ways to teach these money lessons:

  • Where money comes from
  • The value of hard work
  • How to save, spend, and give
  • Debt, and how to avoid it
  • Paying cash for college
  • Living responsibly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937077631
Publisher: Ramsey Press
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 46,538
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored seven best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, The Complete Guide to Money, Smart Money Smart Kids and The Legacy Journey. “The Dave Ramsey Show” is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on more than 585 radio stations and digitally through podcasts, online audio streaming and a 24-hour online streaming video channel. Follow Ramsey on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at

As a #1 New York Times best-selling author and seasoned communicator, Rachel Cruze helps Americans learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids. The daughter of Dave Ramsey, she joined Ramsey Solutions in 2010 and uses the knowledge and experiences from growing up in the Ramsey household to educate others. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at, or

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 I Was That Little Girl… 7

Chapter 2 Work: It's NOT a Four-Letter Word 17

Chapter 3 Spend: When It's Gone, It's Gone 41

Chapter 4 Save: Wait for It 59

Chapter 5 Give: It's Not Yours Anyway 81

Chapter 6 Budgeting: Tell It What to Do 101

Chapter 7 Debt: It IS a Four-Letter Word 129

Chapter 8 College: Don't Graduate from I.O.U. 151

Chapter 9 Contentment: The War for Your Child's Heart 179

Chapter 10 Family: Put the FUN in Dysfunctional 201

Chapter 11 Generational Handoff: Blessings or Curses 227

Chapter 12 I Was That Dad… 245

Notes 249

Student Budget and Upcoming Expenses 252

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Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whether you are a conventional family, a single parent family or parenting after divorce, this book will be a reliable resource to help you to someday stand back and watch how confident and competent your grown money smart kids will be. Smart Money Smart Kids is the perfect resource for this generation of parents with relevant information on budgeting, debt, college and contentment. In chapter 9, “Contentment – The War for Your Child’s Heart” the authors get right to the point about parenting during a time when there is always an upgrade and the struggle to continually desire “the next great thing”.
Fresno93711 More than 1 year ago
You can't be emotional about your money and do well with it! This book holds the mirror to how mature you are with handling money. As you read about the steps for training your kids, you might find that you are more on their level than you should be. I think this is a book all parents should read. While it is occasionally repetitive (this is probably done on purpose to help you remember what is being taught), its suggestions are idealistic AND practical. I will definitely be implementing most, if not all, of what I have read in this book for my own family.
FollowingThePath More than 1 year ago
Smart Money, Smart Kids is a book by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze. You may have heard of Dave Ramsey and his book Total Money Makeover. This book comes from the same premise of teaching your children the principles from the total money makeover so they won't make the same mistakes that you may have when they grow up. Ramsey and Cruze present a method for teaching your children about money called the envelope method. Your child will have an envelope for save, one for give, and one for spend. Your child will divide the money they earn among these envelopes and you will teach them that once their spend money is gone for the month, that's it. They learn by doing. I tried this for a while with my daughter and she was learning a lot about money. It also was a good way to get her to help out a little more around the house (though she had chores that were required without getting money for them). Ramsey and Cruze also discuss important issues for the teenage years like how to pay for college(scholarships, scholarships, scholarships) and saving for a car. If you want to teach your child to manage money, but you don't know where to start, this is a great book for you!
S-Scales More than 1 year ago
If “Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money” is a priority in your parenting, then you need to read Smart Money Smart Kids by father and daughter team Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze. The book’s basic information will be familiar if you have read any of Ramsey’s books or listened to him at all. However, the difference is that it is directly written to parents who want to instill financial wisdom in their children. Also, it was nice to have it written from the point of view of a daughter who was raised with these principles and it is now succeeding as a financially responsible adult. The chapters include Work, Spend, Save, Give, Budgeting, Debt, College, Contentment, Family, and Generational Handoff. They are easy to read, informative and practical.  My husband and I having been working through Dave Ramsey’s principles ourselves, but now this month we are beginning to plant these principals in our children’s lives and heart. This will be our “generational handoff” to bless their generation and future generations of our family. Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dave did it again, this time with his daughter, Rachel, at the helm. In Smart Money, Smart kids they give thought provoking ideas and tips to bring your children up in the godly knowledge of money. Don't let your children repeat your family history of wrong decisions with money. End the debt cycle now! You can do it and Dave and Rachel show you how. Packed with prospective from the parent AND child they show you how to mold a child and get them ready to 'fly the nest' when they are adults and be an amazingly productive citizen of society and not stay in your home forever! Don't hesitate buy your copy today!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of Dave's for years, and although I've applied many of his teachings and am following his steps, I hadn't thought about how I was raising MY OWN kids in money matters. Having grown up in a family that never really taught more than how to balance a check book and one that often embraces debt, I was raised illiterate when it came to finances. This resulted in a huge financial crisis for my husband and I, and we've made a commitment to change. We want to make sure our kids avoid the stress and pressure that can come from being raised that way! This book has so many clear, precise points that cover everything from age-appropriate chores, teaching them when money is gone it's GONE, and other money matters to truly raise a financial-savvy (and also hard-working, responsible) adult! We've already implemented many of the strategies from this book, and have recommended it to many friends and family. For anyone who's raising kids, whether you're a parent, grandparent, or even a neighbor, this is a MUST READ if you want to set the children up for financial success! Review by: Danielle Reeves of Busy Mom's Helper
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been recently introduced to the Ramsey team and started plugging in very heavily after receiving a box full of Financial Peace resources and listening to Entreleadership Podcast Once I discovered Rachel and her message on graduating debt free I slapped my forehead and asked myself "Where was this four years ago, before you accumulated 50,000 in student loan debt?" I promised myself I would not let my kids make the same mistake. Shortly after making that promise to myself, I had the amazing opportunity to read,conversate and share Smart Money Smart Kids with the SMSK Launch Team.....Simply amazing and a must read. This book is perfect for individuals like me, who are students or recent grads that one day hope to raise "Money Smart Kids." Kids that don't make the same mistakes with their finances that we did. The book lays out simple, practical actions you can take in each stage of your child(s) life in order to empower them to be financially literate. Don't have kids? Great even more reason to read this book. Dig your well before it's dry.Dave and Rachel deliver value in equipping us to again, raise up Money Smart Kids, while still making the read smooth and enjoyable with many laughs. I will say that like the rest of Ramsey's books, you're not going to get some phenomenal "AHA" moment but the book will align you with fundamental principles that are easy to do and easy not to do. The best part is that the product of the principles established in this book is one of the authors.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first, I wasn't sure I liked the format the book was written in b/c it was back and forth between father and daughter...but it became a sort of dialog and at time I felt like I was interviewing directly with Dave and Rachel.   The information is nothing earth shattering (as anyone who's read Dave's books knows), but the stories are what connects you to these guys.  The knowledge is practical and explains how to handle kids and teaching them in each moment of their lives.  If you've read Dave's book and watched FPU, a lot of these stories will sound familiar, but be more full with insight from a young Ramsey perspective.  My favorite part was how to kids think everyone lives the way they do, and hearing how Dave created bubble-bursting moments of servitude within each of his kids.  Isn't that challenge?  How do we make our kids better than us...better savers, better spenders, but most of all, better givers and more generous.   I'm not quite done with the book, but I can already highly recommend this.  As Dave always says, if you want to be rich, do rich people stuff.  If you want your kids to be smart, do things smart parents are doing.  This is that guide!  
merrylimontwist More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed the book. It is very well written and informative. My children are teenagers and the book give realistic ideas about how to teach responsible money habits. Easy to read and understand.
Rich_Mazzola More than 1 year ago
This book provides great insight from a Father and Daughters perspective about life, money, values, and principals. I would recommend that all families read and discuss together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a fabulous book whether you are a parent or not! Smart Money Smart Kids gives great advice and some amazing stories from Rachel and Dave on how to grow up learning how to win with money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Spring I have had the great honor and pleasure of taking part in the Smart Money Smart Kids book launch team. This book has left me motivated, inspired and at peace with the idea of raising a money smart kid. I know that what Dave Ramsey teaches works, because I watch it happen in my own life - but now I feel like I have the tools necessary to make sure our son will never make the same financial mistakes we have.  Summary Smart Money Smart Kids covers all the questions you could ever think of that relate to kids and money - college, unconventional families, teaching contentment, and best of all, finding the inspiration to travel down this path with your family. They'll answer all of your tough questions, many that I hadn't even thought to ask myself. Even better yet, the advice can be applied immediately whether you have a toddler or young adult for a child.  My Reaction For just over a year my family has been following the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover. I can say without a doubt that if I could change anything about my life, it would be my relationship with debt throughout college and my early adult life. For that reason I'm desperate to help my son learn about money differently than I did - I want him to develop the same drive to work hard but to avoid debt (unlike me). That's why I was thrilled to hear that Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze were publishing this book. I knew it would help answer all the questions I didn't have an answer to myself - How do you start the process of earning commissions in your house? What age will your children be ready for paid chores? How much knowledge should they have about the family's financial position? Smart Money Smart Kids answered all of these questions and many, many more. A must buy for parents of all ages!
KLS100 More than 1 year ago
I love reading Dave Ramsey's books, and this one co-written with his daughter did not disappoint!  I love the easy reading style and their practicality. I changed from giving my 5 year old allowance  to having him earn commission after reading the firsts couple of chapters, and I can already see a huge difference in his attitude and willingness to work. He has been folding socks for 5 cents a pair,  and feels great pride when counting up how much he has earned, and putting his earnings into the respective piggy banks (saving/spending/giving). I love this book, and I love the Ramseys!
Mel_in_WA More than 1 year ago
As the "Nerd" of both my family of origin and my marriage, I am no stranger to trying to do what it takes to manage money well and pass those principles along to my kids. I figured I would glean great information from this book, but I had no idea just how much. I'm usually slow in digesting non-fiction books, but I enjoyed this one so much I didn't want to put it down. Part of it was the conversational style that alternates between Dave and Rachel, and the other part was that I was gaining so many tools I didn't realize I need as a parent, especially in looking ahead to the teenage and college years. Whether you've been stellar at budgeting, staying out of debt, planning for the future, etc. or whether you've made a complete disaster of your finances, this book will give you hope that your kids aren't doomed to make the same mistakes. You don't have to be rich to help them succeed with money, just intentional and diligent, and Smart Money Smart Kids offers biblical, practical and motivating guidance to help you in that journey. I'm grateful that Dave and Rachel took the time to write this important book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm giving Smart Money Smart Kids 5 stars because it was practical, fun, and filled with so many nuggets of wisdom. It’s one thing to hear from Dave Ramsey (which I love!), but it’s another to hear how his actions have directly impacted his children. Rachel does a great job of sharing from the kid’s point of view, both during the process and now that she’s older.  As a parent this is important to me.  This book equipped me with so many tools for teaching my children how to manage money. The suggestions are practical. Anyone can do them. You start where you are with an understanding that, as Dave says, “Your children have a clean slate.” I recommend this book to parents with children of all ages. You’re sure to benefit from the clear, practical, and wisdom filled suggestions found in every chapter. You will not leave this book the same. You will leave with the knowledge that you too can raise kids who are money smart.  So what are you waiting for? Get your copy today!
smjlangley More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to all parents! As a mom of 3 and 1 about to turn 16 who just received his 1st car title in the mail, we have followed a few of Dave's principles in the later years of our marriage. It goes to show, it's NEVER too late to start! I wish I had been taught what is in here as a child but I can make a change and teach it to my children NOW. Inside the book you find no nonsense advice to teach your children about money. It's written in conversation style from the parent and child's point of view. I loved seeing both angles. Practical advice on chores, budgeting, savings, college, giving, and so much more are what you will find inside a book that I say will change the next generation!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Raising money smart kids certainly doesn’t happen by accident.  We know this is true because we can look around and see college graduates crippled by debt, families living payment to payment for everything from couches to handbags, from cars to homes, and even for necessities like food.  Debt is ordinary...regular, yet not something that most Americans, given a choice, would hope for their children.   Perhaps that is why the newest book by Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, Smart Money Smart Kids, feels a bit like a life raft in choppy waters.  It is written in the uniquely engaging narrative of a father and a daughter sharing thoughts in a game of ping pong. Dave shares the perspectives of a parent who admittedly and dramatically failed at finances before overcoming and raising money smart children, while Rachel presents the view of a child who was raised to be competent with money, one who skipped all the “ordinary” snares that so many of her generation get tangled within, one who represents what we hope for our children. However, Smart Money Smart Kids, while full of anecdotes of their experiences (some that are laugh out loud humorous), is more than an encouraging and entertaining narrative about one father raising one daughter.  Rather, it’s true strength is in the very specific parenting strategies that can help CREATE money smart kids.  Some topics include; - Steps to Intentionally develop a positive attitude toward work through chores and commissions at developmentally appropriate times. - Showing a heart-change about the uses and purposes of money, teaching that saving, giving, and spending can all be virtuous in their time and place. - How to demonstrate and require self-discipline from children in saving for purchases. - Budgeting for kids starting when they are young and giving more independence as they grow and demonstrate competence.   - Developing hearts of gratitude and contentment within children. This book was both mind blowing and encouraging.  Oh, the heartache we can save our children if we can be open and honest in teaching them how to have a heart of gratitude, a belief that it is all God’s anyway, and a sense of the sacred responsibility we have as stewards of resources, both financial and otherwise. Money is never just about money. Really, Smart Money Smart Kids is all about intentionality.  While accidentally raising money smart kids may be impossible, INTENTIONALLY we CAN and WILL change our family tree.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We want to teach our kids how to manage their money so their money doesn’t rule their life for the rest of their life. We want to teach them to save for the future, to give generously to those in need, and to spend wisely–all before they turn 18 and move out. Will we be successful 100% of the time? Nope. Is it all going to be sunshine and roses? Most likely not. But I think it will be worth the effort. This book will walk you step by step through raising your children to be blessed, not spoiled, starting with toddlers at age 3. As your kids grow, Smart Money Smart Kids gives you the information and the tools you need to raise them to be wise with their finances. The end result: your teen moves out at 18, and is a self-sufficient adult. He or she works hard and pays his or her bills, and is not relying on the next handout from mom and dad. Doesn’t sound so shabby, does it? The book is written by both Dave and Rachel, so there are sections from each of their perspectives–father and child. Each chapter is full of actionable steps for you to use with your kids today! It will take work, but it will be worth it.
BASWOG More than 1 year ago
This is a must have book that all parents should have on their reading list for 2014! Dave & Rachel pack this book with so much wisdom from the child and parent side, anyone can start teaching money smart kids right away. No matter where you are financially the easy to follow steps that are laid out through out the book, is a sure way to set yourself and your children up for financial success. Even if you do not have kids yet this is a read for you as well. Preparing for when children come along is never a let down. As a mom of three sons, {23, 16, & 11} this book helped in laying out the foundation needed to help my sons be debt free, start saving for a car, and delay pleasure. Setting them up to be great husbands and fathers when the time comes. This book is set up through biblical eyes helping us understand the core of money. When we see our money as Gods and we are to be stewards of His money, we look at money in a different way. Gives giving, saving and spending have a whole new meaning. If you want to see your children be money smart kids in a debt filled world, then dive into this book. Implement all that is being said and watch the change not only in yourself but your children as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! This book is loaded with practical advice on how to teach your children to become money smart adults. Smart Money Smart Kids shows you how to teach your kids how to save, spend, give and live within their means. These ideas can be implemented whether you have a three year old or a high school senior. I highly recommend this book!
BillDwightAtFamZoo More than 1 year ago
As the founder of a money management site for families, I've been studying and implementing strategies for teaching kids good money habits full time since 2006 (and as a father of 5, I've been dabbling in the area long before then). Suffice it to say, I've read just about everything written on this topic. After reading the advance copy of Dave and Rachel’s book, I can confidently say it’s now among the top two on my recommended list for parents in this area (the other being “The First National Bank of Dad” by David Owen). Smart Money Smart Kids is wonderfully practical and thoughtful. Its concepts are conveyed through real stories that keep things engaging and memorable. Even if you don’t consider yourself a Dave Ramsey devotee (I’ll admit that a few of his stances drive me crazy) or you aren't coming at this from a Christian perspective, you’ll get a lot of value out of 99% of this book. At minimum, reading the book will force you to systematically think through how you are teaching (or plan to teach) your own kids about money at each stage in their development. I guarantee you’ll find the book helpful if you’re interested in teaching your kids good money habits. Some of my favorite themes from the book include: * being explicit and intentional about teaching your kids sound money habits, * allowing your kids learn by doing/trial/error, * coaching without controlling, * making the explicit connection between work and money early, * encouraging entrepreneurship in kids, * delaying gratification, * discouraging debt, * putting teens in charge of their own accounts and budgets, * teaching kids about investing and wealth building sooner rather than later, * teaching kids the notion of financial stewardship, * maintaining firm boundaries while exhibiting balance and grace, and * the emphasis on philanthropy and contentment. My favorite concrete tips from the book include: * the 401DAVE Plan for teens buying their first car, * the Emergency Fund for teens, * Dave’s wedding budget approach (really brilliant!), * the debt-free college plan, * the Family Constitution, and * the Legacy Box. If you’d like to read a more detailed commentary of the book, check out my recent series of posts on the FamZoo blog. The bottom line: Smart Money Smart Kids is an outstanding book for any parent who is serious about teaching kids good money habits.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smart Money Smart Kids is one book that every parent must read! I don't care if your kid isn't born yet or your kid is already out of the house. The principles that Dave and Rachel cover are a necessity to helping your kids win with money. Most of the principles in the book are not new. They are similar to the content of Financial Peace University and The Total Money Makeover, but they are presented in an organized and engaging fashion that apply directly to your children. Now to be honest, I have heard a lot of the stories in the book. This is probably because I have been through FPU twice, read The Total Money Makeover, and listened to the Dave Ramsey Show. What brought these stories down to a level that I could relate to was the perspective that Rachel brought. Although she is Dave Ramsey's daughter, she is proof that this stuff really works. Your kids can win with money. But the reality is that more is caught than taught. You have to lead by example. Dave and Rachel cover everything you need to know to be that leader including: teaching your kids to work, helping them save, showing them it's ok to spend, the beauty of giving, going to college debt free, preparing for their wedding, and most importantly leaving a legacy. After soaking in this book in just a few days, I am eager to leave a legacy to my four children. Thank you Dave and Rachel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was incredibly excited about this book months prior to its release, as I've read, lent out, recommended, and gifted most all of Dave Ramsey's publications. Dave and Rachel have released a winner here--it's a practical, wisdom-filled, no pulled punches read that can be devoured in a couple of days, but like most of his books you'll keep referring back to it. A perfect gift for parents-to-be and a highly recommended purchase for parents and their children regardless of age. This book goes beyond the expected subjects of hard work, saving, and graciously giving and takes on contentment, parental responsibility, and in all things leading with love. It will not collect dust on your shelf--buy it today.