Booksmart: Top Financial Education Reads for Kids and Teens

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


  • 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.

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