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Ask Money

Family finances

Chris Farrell Dec 9, 2010

Question: My sister and her husband recently found out that they are expecting their first child! I would like to find a financial book or resource that they could use to help them prepare financially for this new addition. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Dene, Decorah, IA

Answer: Congratulations to your sister and husband.

Now, my colleague’s will tell you that asking me for book recommendations is like letting loose a sugar addict in a candy store. My shelves at work and at home are full of books on personal finance, investments, economics, and the like. But I’ll winnow it down to three. How’s that?

My assumption is that you want to be sure that they are well versed in the basics of family personal finance. That’s why I would recommend Eric Tyson’s Personal Finance for Dummies. Tyson is comprehensive and sensible in his advice.

I’m a fan of Jane Bryant Quinn. Earlier this year we did the Diane Rehm nationally syndicated public radio show together from Washington D.C. She was simply terrific. Since your sister and husband will be busy with their new addition, I would look at Quinn’s Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People.

My own book–The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More and Live Better–is geared toward helping busy people merge their values and money.

Ah, one more! Janet Bodnar, editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance is wonderful on kids, money, and parenting. She’s empathetic and realistic and, in an area with a lot of nonsense, full of wisdom. I love her columns on the subject. Check out her book, Raising Money Smart Kids: What They Need to Know about Money and How to Tell Them.

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