Help your Scout become financially literate with ‘Not-So-Common Cents’

Finances can seem intimidating, and if you don’t know how to handle your money, it can turn into a major source of stress. It doesn’t have to be, though.

Managing money can be fun. When done properly, it can fund your Scouting adventures, build wealth for you and future generations, and help others. A great resource to prepare you and your kids for personal financial management is Not-So-Common Cents: Super Duper Important Facts About Money You Can’t Afford to Miss by Sarah Wassner Flynn and published by National Geographic Kids.

Award-winning financial educator and author Alvin Hall vetted the book and penned its foreword. Hall, who has been teaching finance since 1983, found the book ($14.99) full of useful information that appeals to youth and parents alike.

“You can use this book at different stages; it feeds that curiosity,” Hall says. “You don’t have to read it in order. This book allows for different pathways; it becomes a reference point.”

Finding your pathway

Finances are a very personal topic. Every person approaches it differently at different stages in their lives. Maybe you lean toward saving more; maybe money burns a hole in your pocket; maybe you don’t know how you want your money to meet your goals.

Whatever habits you have, realize your kids are observing and that your decisions may influence how they approach money. Not-So-Common Cents can help kids understand financial topics and healthy habits.

Now is a great time to start teaching them. Not only is April when many Americans file their taxes, but this month marks Financial Literacy Month. As part of this month, April 27 is National Teach Children to Save Day.

Among other topics, Not-So-Common Cents addresses credit, debt, budgeting, investing and philanthropy.

“It’s not just about building wealth,” Hall says. “It’s also about the common good.”

For all ages

The book’s reading age aims for 8- to 12-year-olds. However, for some kids, elements of this book can apply to 7-year-olds and other parts can apply to teenagers. For example, young children can grasp simple numbers and that some are higher or lower than others.

“Children can understand accumulation early on,” Hall says, “so they can understand how to save money.”

Depending on the child, elementary school might be a good time to open a savings account for them. They can start to see how they can accumulate money and how delayed gratification plays a part in saving. If they want to buy a certain toy, they can grasp the concept that saving money can help them accomplish this goal. When they reach teenage years, they can understand more abstract ideas about money, for example, how budgets work.

Not-So-Common Cents reviews these concepts with easy-to-understand language and colorful, attractive graphics.

Teaching children about money is more than helping them understand financial terms; it teaches them responsibility and how to be resilient.

“These seeds you plant in children show up later on,” Hall says.

For those in Scouts BSA, this book pairs well when working on the Personal Management merit badge.

Help your children grow into financially responsible adults with Not-So-Common Cents, available on Amazon.

About Michael Freeman 446 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.