Shot of a black family reading a book in bed at home

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Imparting core money concepts to children and young adults is beneficial to their future success, but parents are often juggling other obligations—a curated reading list can help.
  • Highlighted below are financial literacy reading recommendations for children, tweens, and young adults. From budgeting best practices to early investing, you may even learn something new yourself!
  • Want a little money advice from two of the authors? Watch Tiffany Aliche weigh in on “Next Level Adulting” and tune into Real $tories Episode 48 with Jasmine Paul.

Amidst juggling work, household chores, and other responsibilities, imparting valuable money lessons can sometimes take a backseat for busy parents. The good news? You have help!

There are lots of great reads out there covering everything from building a budget to early investing. Check out this reading list for young children, tweens, and teens, designed to teach money management skills, cut through the jargon, and put a little fun into finance.

Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money (Emily Jenkins and G. Brian Karas)

Ages 3-7
Pauline and her younger brother John-John boldly set up a winter lemonade stand despite skepticism from their parents. Their spirited salesmanship earns them not profits, but enough for two Popsicles. This charming book, enriched with subtle money lessons, also celebrates sibling bonds, entrepreneurship, and persistence. Illustrated beautifully, it captures the winter ambiance vividly.

Money Ninja (Mary Nihn)

Ages 4-10
Money Ninja is on an adventure and with the help of his wise mentor, Mr. Roach, Timmy learns valuable lessons about saving, spending, and giving. Through fun storytelling and colorful illustrations, this book teaches kids essential money management skills in a relatable and entertaining way, empowering them to become savvy “Money Ninjas” in their own lives.

A Boy, A Budget, A Dream (Jasmine Paul)

Ages 5-10
Follow Jake as he sets out to achieve his dream of owning a bicycle. With the guidance of his wise grandfather, Jake learns the fundamentals of budgeting and saving, overcoming obstacles along the way. Through determination and financial discipline, he realizes the power of setting goals and managing money wisely to make dreams a reality.

Finance 101 for Kids: Money Lessons Children Cannot Afford to Miss (Walter Andal)

Carmen Perez is the mind behind MakeRealCents, a platform committed to empowering individuals towards financial independence. Carmen specializes in educating millennials and Gen Z on effective money management and wealth-building strategies, imparting insights on topics such as investing, debt reduction, and savings. She’s also the mind behind Much, an app for budgeting and finance management. While her guidance is broad, she has addressed specific financial challenges and offered advice on side hustles relevant to the LGBTQ+ community.

5. BuildingBread

Ages 8-12
From understanding money’s history to earning it through hard work, children learn valuable lessons. Discover the importance of saving, the power of interest, and budgeting basics to achieve goals. Through engaging storytelling and interactive exercises, Andal equips young readers with essential financial skills for a bright future.

How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000,000: Earn! Invest! Save! (James McKenna, Jeanina Glista)

Ages 10-14
From the minds behind Biz Kid$ and Bill Nye the Science Guy, this comprehensive book teaches kids about money management in a funny yet informative manner. Various chapters include setting financial goals, making a budget, getting a job, starting a business, and investing smartly.

How to Money: Your Ultimate Visual Guide to the Basics of Finance (Jean Chatzky, Kathryn Tuggle)

Ages 12-18
Visual learners will appreciate this engaging approach to understanding complex financial concepts. Through colorful illustrations and concise explanations, it demystifies topics such as securing your first job, understanding paychecks, managing student loans to steer clear of debt, obtaining your initial credit card, and smart investing.

I Want More Pizza: Real World Money Skills for High School, College, and Beyond (Steve Burkholder)

Ages 13-18
A practical guide for young adults, blending financial advice with relatable anecdotes. Through the story of Tommy, a pizza-loving protagonist, readers learn essential money management skills applicable to high school, college, and beyond. With clear explanations and real-life scenarios, Burkholder equips readers with the knowledge needed to navigate personal finances responsibly in today’s world.

Why Didn’t They Teach Me This in School? 99 Personal Money Management Principles to Live By (Cary Siegel)

Ages 16+
Siegel tackles fundamental money management topics often overlooked in traditional education. From budgeting and investing to debt management and saving strategies, this book provides accessible advice to empower readers in navigating their financial lives successfully. It’s a comprehensive guide for anyone seeking to improve their financial literacy and build wealth.

Get Good with Money (Tiffany Aliche)

Ages 18+
Aliche, better known as “The Budgetnista,” shares step-by-step strategies to help readers build strong financial foundations, tackle debt, save effectively, and invest wisely. Her approachable style and actionable tips empower readers to take control of their finances, offering a roadmap to financial freedom and security. Through anecdotes and relatable examples, Aliche emphasizes the importance of mindset shifts and disciplined money management for long-term prosperity.

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.

Happy couple at home filing taxes online stock photo

Tax filing deadlines are approaching…have you filed yet? To lessen the anxiety of the season, take this opportunity to explore overlooked deductions that can help lower your tax bill. While most people are aware of popular deductions like mortgage interest and charitable contributions, there are several lesser-known categories that can help you save. (Ready to check taxes off your list? File Free HERE.)

Child and Dependent Care
Did you pay for childcare while working or job hunting? If so, you likely meet the criteria. Typically, your child must be 12 or younger and considered your dependent. This credit also applies if you’re paying someone to care for a spouse or dependent (irrespective of their age) if they are incapable of self-care. In most instances, you’ll need to acquire the care provider’s social security number or taxpayer identification number and include it on your return.

State Sales Tax
If you live in a state without income tax, or if you’ve made significant purchases like a vehicle or boat, you may be able to deduct state sales tax on your federal return. This can be especially advantageous for residents of states like Texas or Florida, where there is no state income tax, but substantial sales tax may be incurred on large purchases.

Job Searching
Hunting for a new job? Related expenses may be tax-deductible. Costs such as resume preparation, travel expenses for job interviews, and even fees paid to employment agencies can be claimed as deductions. While there are limitations and criteria to meet, exploring this deduction can ease the financial burden that accompanies unemployment.

Medical Expenses & Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Besides the obvious healthcare costs, travel expenses to and from appointments, medically justified home improvements and even some alternative treatments may be deductible. Contributions made to your HSA are also eligible for tax deductions. Not only do the funds in your account grow tax-free when used for qualified health care expenses, but your contributions can also help lower your overall tax liability.

Student Loan Interest Paid by Others
There are instances where parents or others contribute to the repayment of a student loan. In these cases, if the individual is not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return—and is legally obligated to repay the loan—they can still benefit from the tax deduction for the interest paid by others. This gives a valuable opportunity to families or benefactors assisting with educational expenses to alleviate the burden of student loan interest.

Home Office
The IRS allows taxpayers to claim a portion of their home-related expenses, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, and even a percentage of rent. The deduction is calculated based on the percentage of the home used for business, offering a practical way for self-employed individuals and remote workers to recoup some of the expenses incurred while conducting business from the comfort of their homes.

Educational Expenses
Whether you’re enhancing your skills for your current job or investing in a new career path, some educational deductions can maximize your tax savings and help ease the financial strain. The Lifetime Learning Credit and the American Opportunity Credit are two valuable options. These credits cover qualified education expenses, including tuition, fees, and course materials.

Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
If you’ve invested in energy-efficient upgrades for your home, such as solar panels, energy-efficient windows, or a new HVAC system, you may be eligible for tax credits. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit and the Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credit can provide substantial savings. Not only do these improvements help the planet, but they can also boost your tax refund.

Note that GreenPath Financial Wellness™ does not provide legal or tax advice, this information is intended for general guidelines only. Please consult a tax advisor or connect with your financial institution to see what tax resources they have available and check out these tips on how to allocate wisely if you’re receiving a tax refund this year:

Make the Most of Your Money
5 Wise Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness™, a trusted national non-profit.

senior couple in kitchen

1. What is a Reverse Mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)?

A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is commonly known as a Reverse Mortgage. HECM is a home-secured loan designed to help homeowners 62 years of age or older turn some of their home equity into cash. You may choose to receive monthly payments, a lump sum of cash, or a line of credit. HECM is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and offers all the benefits of a traditional line of credit that you can get from a bank but with additional benefits— including a flexible repayment feature. As with any mortgage, you must meet your loan obligations, keep current with property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and any homeowner’s association (HOA) fees.

2. How much money can I get?

The specific amount of funds available is based on several factors, including the appraised value of your home, your age, current interest rates, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lending limits.

3. How do I receive my proceeds from the Reverse Mortgage?

Proceeds from the Reverse Mortgage are tax-free* and can be distributed in a variety of ways based on your choice. Proceeds from the Reverse Mortgage may be taken as:

  • A lump sum
  • A Line of Credit
  • Monthly payments for a specified time period
  • Monthly payments for as long as you live in the home
  • Or a combination of these

4. What are the costs associated with a Reverse Mortgage?

In addition to interest, the costs include a title fee, credit report fee, appraisal fee, origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premium, and a modest charge for the Reverse Mortgage counseling. Consult with a Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved reverse mortgage counselor before you apply. A counselor can help you decide whether a reverse mortgage or some alternative is the best choice for you. To find a HUD-approved Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counselor near you, call (800) 569-4287.

While closing costs vary based upon the size of the loan, they’re the same as those for any traditional mortgage. You can roll most of the up-front costs into the loan, so out-of-pocket expense can be minimized.

* Wheelhouse Credit Union cannot provide tax advice. Please consult a tax advisor.

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