A kid’s guide to financial literacy – M is for Money giveaway

In the 2009 budget, the (then) federal Minister of Finance announced intentions to establish a national task force dedicated to the issue of financial literacy.  This Task Force would provide advice and recommendations on a national strategy to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.  Although the kid’s books and materials I’m about to giveaway on this site were not a recommendation of this Task Force, I can’t help but think many years ago this is what this group would have proposed for Canada’s youth – to improve financial literacy.

M is for Money is a kid’s guide to financial literacy, explaining some rudimentary facts about money and the people that use it to Canadian children and young students.  The nine books in this guide series and its tools are authored by Teresa Cascioli, who knows a thing or two about business and money.  Teresa is a former CEO of Lakeport Brewing company and has served as a strategic advisor to Labatt.  Beyond the love of beer (who doesn’t like beer), Teresa has made Chatelaine Magazine’s lists of Canada’s most successful women and has been named one of the Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women by Women’s Executive Network.  Teresa believes without the conversations she had about money growing up, she would not have appreciated the things she has experienced and been blessed with today.  That sounds about right – and Teresa is hoping her series of books and tools aimed at young Canadians can help your children as well.

M is for Money

Thanks to Tersea I got a chance to depart from my recent review of new adult-oriented books about personal finance and investing and review part of her series this past week.  She was kind enough to send me books #1-3 recently so I could provide my take, and then giveaway these books and other materials on my site to one lucky reader – which I will certainly do.

Here are some highlights of what I read and liked:

  • Book #1 The Little Piggy Bank uses a short story of the main characters in the series (twins Tessa and Benji) to introduce young readers to what is money both physically and practically. The twins learn people receive money in exchange for work or as a gift.  I had to smile when I read this book because when I was (much) younger, I also had a few piggy banks in various shapes and sizes.  So did my sister.  I remember how we both felt to save some money in our banks, from birthdays, graduations and other celebrations, only to spend the money on something special at a later date.  The thought of putting some money aside for a future day has stayed with me all these years.
  • Book #2 The Little Lemonade Stand continues with the adventures of Tessa and Benji with the twins selling lemonade to thirsty neighbours. Children reading this book will learn some “hard work” can be “rewarded with coins” and entrepreneur spirit is encouraged.
  • Book #3 The Little Trip to the Bank takes the twins further; to the bank, where they open bank accounts to keep their hard earned money safe while accessible when they need it. From the book:  “If you bring money to the bank, your account will grow.  If you take money out of the bank to buy something special, your account will shrink.”  I suspect many adult Canadians should be reminded of this – with many Canadians living on the edge.

Whether this series is used by parents or educators I suspect M is for Money will be a successful, effective way to help teach young Canadians some essential money principles.  Looking back at my childhood, my parents encouraged me to learn about a number of things, including money.  My parents didn’t have any guidebooks to support them but I suspect they would have used something like this if they did.

To win a copy of books #1-3, including some bookmarks, stickers, notepads and more, enter my giveaway below.  I will draw one lucky reader at random and send the materials to you shortly thereafter.  The winner must reside in Canada – otherwise, I will ship these materials anywhere.

Everything about the books from the writing, illustrating, editing, website and printing is 100% Canadian. Fun play merchandise, teaching guides, activities can be downloaded online at www.MisforMoney.ca. A catchy Nickels & Dimes M is for Money™ song is also available for purchase on www.MisforMoney.ca, with all proceeds going toward children’s charities across Canada.  Well done Teresa and thanks for sharing.

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17 Responses to "A kid’s guide to financial literacy – M is for Money giveaway"

  1. I have been on the search for books to help me teach my five year old daughter about money, and these books look great! She is so curious about how money works right now. I need to take advantage of the curiosity while it lasts!

  2. Financial litteracy is indeed important and usefull but adults often blame their fails on lack of it.

    I remember in nursery school back in 1977 we learned that smoking was bad, chocolate and candy are unhealthy foods, exercise is good, etc. Many people of my age still smoke, eat junk and sit on the couch. Can we blame their lack of education?

    We have A LOT of education but most of the time act as we dont have a clue, it’s a shame…

    I created “The Mini-Barbu Bank” for my 2 sons. In fact, it’s an Excell spread sheet where they can “deposit” their savings. This account pay 10% interest (just to be more attractive than the 0.05% from the bank) and every discretionary expense is pulled out of the account.

    1. I think one of the biggest outcomes (or lack thereof) from literacy is not what you know, but how you act based on what you know. While it’s essential to understand the longer-term ability to act is critical to success. Human behaviour is very difficult to change. I know this from my own life!! So, to your point Le Barbu, it’s not because adults don’t always know these things they simply do have not enough incentive (or consequences) involved to act and chance behaviour accordingly.

      Good on you for your Mini-Bank!

      1. One of my son’s realized that his monthly interests worth about the same than 2x “unloading the dishwasher” or 1x “mowing the lawn” but with no effort nor time!

        I told him that if he had 50k$ invested @ 10%, this would cover his actual COL. He was amazed its “only” 100x what he got now!

  3. Excellent books! Maybe suggest to the team to make a european version. I would be interested! Or to proofread.

    I just might get the canadian version and adjust myself to teach my girls

  4. Good to see you helping to bring more awareness to this important subject Mark. Sounds like a great job by Teresa Cascioli to get families and their children started in the right direction.

    Imagine how much better off the entire country would be if everyone had better financial literacy. I was fortunate to grow up in family that didn’t have much financially but sure did a lot with what we had. My parents weren’t actively teaching me finances but set a fine example to follow.

    1. It was great for Teresa and the team at M is for Money to reach out. I had no idea these books existed and no doubt they will help a family – so I’m looking forward to this giveaway for a few reasons.

      My parents set a good example for me as well and they both came from meager and humble backgrounds. I learned through example to take few things for granted and to work for something I want. I will always be thankful for those values.

  5. Wonderful Idea and series. Making and taking about money at their level is really important. How often has someone said or have we read “The earlier one starts…..”. Anything that gets kids and adults thinking about saving and it’s importance at a young age has to be positive!


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