I have some financial blind spots. For one thing, Kris and I do not have children. It’s difficult for me to write about the concerns of parents. So when the publisher sent me a copy of Munny Journey, “a keepsake journal for baby’s first money”, I recruited a new mother to help me evaluate the book. Here are Chrystal’s thoughts about this unique publication. This article is part of National Save for Retirement Week.
At first I was put off by Munny Journey, a baby book dedicated to money. But I got to thinking: Why not? Given the global economic crisis, it isn’t a bad idea to give future generations a good healthy financial start. This journal is a cute and responsible way for parents to teach their children how to save from early on.
The spots designated for the photo of “my first piggy bank” and the slot for “my first state quarter” definitely appealed to my inner scrapbooker. The journal also covered memorable firsts like savings accounts and financial gifts. Then it got technical — bonds, mutual funds and stocks. I don’t think most people have a good grasp about how these investments work, so a little legwork or research will probably be required. There’s even a spot to fill in baby’s financial advisor.
The journal explores concepts like “the rule of 72” and compound interest. Your little tyke won’t understand these things for years, but it is an equally good tool for parents if they truly wish to invest in their child’s future financial stability. Munny Journey comes complete with charts and tables to demonstrate how important it is to save early.
There is also a companion CD that comes with the journal. I won’t lie: This guy sounds like a televangelist peddling Amway. But he does explain many of the concepts found in the book and shares some personal stories.
Oh yes, if there’s one real sticking point for me, it’s “munny”. If you want us to take the concept of money seriously, you’ve got to spell it seriously. It may look cute alongside the cartoon bunny amidst the soft greens and yellows, but it is just plain annoying.
In the end I was torn between whether this book would spawn greedy capitalists or just responsible savers. Well-intentioned parents can’t go wrong with teaching their little ones some of the basic principle of financial success: saving for the future.
J.D.’s note: Munny Journey isn’t cheap. The hardbound version with CD costs $30, even at Amazon. However, there is a spiral-bound softcover version (without CD) available direclty from the Munny Journey website for $11.