The Opposite of Spoiled

The Opposite of Spoiled (2015) by Ron Lieber is a book about talking to kids about money and how different parents get their kids to respect and use money well. Lieber is a personal finance columnist at the New York Times. For anyone who has ever wondered if you should tell your kids how much you earn or wondered about what their parents taught them about money it’s an interesting book to peruse.

Kids want things, and for many even slightly well off parents it’s easy to buy a great many things for kids without thinking about and without trying to get kids to think carefully about money. Nobody wants to deprive their kids of things but spoiling kids seems to be something people do often by accident.

The book has lots of anecdotes and stories about how different parents with radically different levels of income treat their children. Allowances, the tooth fairy, chores, part time jobs, mobile phones, charity and a many other things are discussed in a calm way. Lieber is a good writer who has thought about what he’s writing and who can easily give voice to people with different perspectives.

For parents this book is definitely worth a look and also for anyone who wonders how they got their own personal attitude toward money it’s worth a read. In the endĀ the book looks at how we implicitly and explicitly get and pass on values and attitudes between generations.


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