Smart Money, Smart Kids Review: Chapters 5 & 6

For those of you that have been following my previous posts, you are aware that I am on the launch team for Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s new book Smart Money, Smart Kids releasing on April 22nd. On the Smart Money, Smart Kids website ( you can pre-order the book and get more than $50 in FREE extras to help you raise money-smart kids! The pre-order includes a copy of the hard cover book, the audiobook, a video lesson, and the eBook. There is also an option at the bottom of the website homepage that allows you to enter your email address and get the introduction and first 2 chapters emailed to you now!


So far, I have read through chapters 5-6. As was the case with the previous chapters, Dave and Rachel are keeping the reader engaged through practical steps and by sharing stories of personal experiences. In our private Facebook group for the launch team, some of the members have been sharing their favorite quotes. I thought I would share a few of them with you:

From Chapter 5 on “Giving”:

“I truly believe more is caught than taught . . . that what your kids see you do is a lot more powerful than what they hear you say. Words can be strong, but actions are stronger. The strongest impact on children, though, is when they hear and see a consistent message from their parents”

“That’s what happens when your kids learn how to give and why to give. They go from living in a world where everything is about them to realizing that there are other people in the world who need their help”

“So to see one of our children understand that giving really matters gave us encouragement that, with God’s help, we really could change our family tree. We really could raise children who not only got money but got great joy from giving it”

“Catching your kids at outrageous giving, or even with a spirit of giving, is enough to bring any parent to his or her knees. But just like we didn’t get it right every time, they won’t either”

“The key is to praise them when you catch them in the selfless actions. Tell them the beauty of seeing God working in their hearts. And when they don’t get it right, give them grace. Not every child is a natural giver, but the good news is that giving can be nurtured in them”


Chapter 6 on “Budgeting”:

“Children who can learn to plan and be forward-thinking are more poised and confident because life is not always happening to them—they are happening to life”

“You will either intentionally teach your children how to handle money or they will live in your basement until they are forty”

“Too many rules is legalistic; but too much grace is enabling”


In chapter 5, Dave and Rachel discuss giving. I love how Rachel points out that giving was such an integral part of her upbringing that she doesn’t even have to think twice about it today. She was taught by Dave and Sharon (her mother) that money is God’s money, not your own to do with it what you want. We are stewards of God, and we should give money towards helping others. Rachel briefly discusses the “Generation Me” phenomenon amongst the younger generation of Millennials. I was frightened by one finding cited in the book:

“One recent study from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that “compared to Boomers, Millennials [those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s] were less likely to have donated to charities, less likely to want a job worthwhile to society or that would help others, and less likely to agree they would eat differently if it meant more food for the starving. They were less likely to want to work in a social service organization or become a social worker, and were less likely to express empathy for outgroups.”

This should stress the concepts outlined in the book Smart Money, Smart Kids even more. We need to be intentional with teaching youth about the goodness and benefits of giving. We need to reshape the culture and mentality. We need to refocus and ensure that the values being instilled in the younger generation are cognizant of giving and the impact our actions can have on the lives of others. That is one reason to read this book!

Chapter 5 is filled with more personal stories of the Ramsey lifestyle, which includes their son Daniel and a generous donation he makes after a mission trip to Peru. You will be astonished at the selfless generosity of this teenager! Rachel discusses her giving concept of “Time, Talents and Treasure”, and Dave goes on to discuss the concept of “Popping the Bubble” in your kids to prevent a sense of entitlement.


In Chapter 6, Dave and Rachel talk about budgeting. Dave stresses what he always does, and that is that you need to be intentional with budgeting. You need to tell your money where to go. This is what you need to teach your children.

“Children who can learn to plan and be forward-thinking are more poised and confident because life is not always happening to them—they are happening to life”

Dave and Rachel discuss teaching your kids about “The Five Foundations”, which includes saving an emergency fund, staying or getting out of debt, paying cash for a car and college, and finally, building wealth and giving. A few of the practical ways to teach your children about budgeting will be through opening a checking account, creating a zero-based budget on paper, monthly budgets and creating a budget for upcoming expenses. Dave and Rachel wrap up Chapter 6 by talking about budgeting for a wedding, which is something Dave knows about from experience with two daughters.

Chapters 7 & 8 are about debt and paying for college. I cannot wait to get through reading those! I will have plenty of time, as I will be cooped up from my upcoming surgery. Stay tuned for the next review of Chapters 7 & 8 after I am home from surgery!


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