The O.M.G. Official Money Guide for Teenagers Book is a short and very concise book that introduces teenagers to a wide variety of financial concepts including budgeting, emergency funds, debt, credit cards, inflation, investing, protecting your identity and insurance.
It reads somewhat like a comic book. It’s a very small book with few pages and lots of bright graphics to help explain concepts in ways that are easy to understand.
For example, in the chapter on budgeting the book depicts an image of a young man balancing on a tight rope with a very long pole. On one side of the pole is a sign for income on the other is a sign for expenses. The details read “Picture yourself with a long pole to keep your balance with income on one end and expenses on the other. You need to keep them in balance so you don’t fall off the rope.” Comparing budgets to a balancing act is a great example of the accessibility of this book. It’s easy to create a mental snapshot of this concept and to keep it in mind.
The budgeting chapter was actually my favorite of the book. For a short book the authors actually hit the mark on the most important pieces of creating a budget. They stress the need to know your income and expenses and to check your balance often to know how much money you have available.
They discuss variable costs versus fixed expenses by pointing out that an allowance may provide steady money but gifts and babysitting payouts do not. The authors also detail the importance of needs versus wants and why its important to distinguish between the two. That is a vital concept to controlling your finances at any age.
There are a lot of key ideas included in this tiny book. In the chapter on credit the author’s write, “The first thing to know is credit is really debt.” I am in love with this sentence! If you purchases items you cannot afford and do not pay your credit card in full each month you will immediately be in debt! Credit cards are a direct link to debt and its a very important concept for anyone receiving their first card to understand.
This book would provide a great introduction to any teenager beginning to manage his or her own money. I would suggest parents and teenagers read it together. While It does not go into great depth on any of the subjects it does provide a solid starting point for discussing financial topics with your children.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free, but the opinions I have expressed are my own.