Money as You Grow Book Shelf: How to Help Families Build Their Children’s Money Skills

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau /

Most parents and caregivers agree it’s important to prepare their children to be financially smart. They want the best for their children, and that includes the skills to manage day-to-day finances and keep on track for achieving what they want in life. But many parents and caregivers end up avoiding money conversations, sometimes because they don’t know where to start and sometimes because they don’t have confidence in their own money skills. The Money as You Grow book shelf can help.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recognizes that libraries are a powerful and trusted community resource. Collaborating with the CFPB makes it easy for libraries to give more people access to help with their important money decisions. Now, libraries can offer the Money as You Grow book shelf from the CFPB, as part of their services to families and the community.

Get to know the Money as You Grow book club

Years ago, the federal Cooperative Extension program developed a system for parents to read books—popular books that are likely already on your library shelves—to their children. When the parents read to their children, asked questions about the stories and characters, and did at-home activities, before they knew it, money conversations happened more easily and naturally.

The CFPB has adopted the book shelf and updated it, with an eye toward the building blocks that help children develop strong money skills and habits. You can find an overview and links on the CFPB website.

The book shelf offers:

  • A list of 16 books for children ages 4 to 10, including two in Spanish
  • Quick Parent Guides for each book, containing reading tips along with questions and activities for children
  • Implementation Guide for libraries and community organizations, with suggestions for bringing together parents as a group to reinforce the money lessons and share ideas

The children’s books are available from their publishers, not sold by the CFPB.

The Parent Guides and Implementation Guides can be ordered free of charge, from the Government Printing Office’s secure ordering site.

The building blocks of financial capability

Parents are the top influence on their children’s financial lives. Fortunately, parents don’t need to be money experts to help children start out strong. Libraries can help them take the first steps.

During the three broad childhood developmental stages described in the graphic [at right], different skills and behaviors come into focus, and they continue to develop into adulthood. Naturally, the behaviors, knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics can overlap and can develop at different ages for individual children.

How to get started with the Money as You Grow book club

Ready to get a book shelf started at your library? Here’s how:

To participate in this initiative and receive invitations to future webinars and training events, send an e-mail to [email protected] and you’ll be added to the list.