To be “grown-up” is what every child wants: grownups, it sometimes seems, have all the fun and make all the rules. Herschel Khan’s Knowing is Growing acknowledges this childish preconception charmingly.
Enter to win a hardcover copy of The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money (Harper, February 3, 2015), by Ron Lieber.
Giveaway begins January 27, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends February 26, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
I was 6 years old when I got my first piggy bank. It was round, pink, and adorable. From time to time, I would drop loose change into the slot, but mostly just to hear the coins hit the bottom of her porcelain belly. I didn’t save any money – it was usually spent on candy – or more likely than not – Garbage Pail Kids (it was the 80’s).
My second attempt at saving money was much more structured. My mother helped me open a savings account at our local bank. I was excited to have a place for my birthday and holiday money, and I would dutifully make note of my deposits in my bank book. My 12-year-old mind was officially blown when my mother explained to me my account would earn interest. The bank was going to give me free money?! I made up my mind to let the account grow and mature, but my plans were cut short when my brother persuaded me loan him my savings. He was successful, and let’s just say, he still owes me 80 bucks – with interest.
The Pretty Penny series became the subject of my thesis while a graduate student in graphic design. I had put off my graduate education until I could afford it – which wasn’t until I hit thirty years old. I spent the better part of my twenties getting my personal finances in order after digging myself out of credit card debt.
The experience of repairing my finances – which is a fancy way of saying I worked two jobs and slowly chipped away at the debt – was transformative. I couldn’t believe I had gotten myself into this kind of trouble. I had a lot of girlfriends who were in the exact same boat, so I set out to create a website and line of products to support thirty-somethings in the repair of their finances. However, as I dug deeper into my research, I discovered that the most effective place to start talking about money was with children. Suddenly, my thesis work underwent a dramatic transformation.