Welcome to Asking for a Friend, Grow's money advice column. Got a question for one of our money experts? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Asking for a Friend,
My kids' babysitter is graduating from college this year and I'd love to get her a book or two to help her feel confident managing her money from the get go and starting a career.
I'm actually open to suggesting novels, movies, TV shows, too ... anything really that will hold her attention and give her some of the tools and information she needs to make good choices. What would you recommend?
Your babysitter couldn't be graduating at a better time as far as having access to so many rich financial tools. A decade ago, books and magazine clippings were the main go-to content platforms to learn about personal finance. Today, you have a litany of options: Personal finance education spans books, videos, podcasts, blogs, online courses, budgeting apps, and even inspiring influencers on social media.
And I must say how thoughtful it is that you want to give her financial tools as a graduation present. These will certainly be gifts that keep on giving.
You made a smart note about seeking tools that will "hold her attention." With life being so busy and full, and there being so much distraction online, it's helpful to gift your babysitter tools that will keep her engaged.
For a young adult today seeking to build a healthy relationship with money and get their own finances on track, I'd recommend the following (fun) resources. Some you can purchase and others are totally free.
Maybe I'm biased, as a podcaster, but I think this is a tremendously helpful medium for gaining financial knowledge and inspiration. Listeners of my podcast So Money have shared that information and interviews have helped them negotiate raises, tackle debt, invest for retirement and even start a business.
You mention that your babysitter just graduated, so she may enjoy a break from feeling like a student, but when she's ready to get back into learning mode, I would recommend the gift of a financial course. Sites like Coursera, Udemy, and Lynda have several different courses on personal finance. If your babysitter is specifically interested in investing or entrepreneurship, you can often find a more tailored or focused option.
It's where the kids hang out these days, so naturally I wanted to recommend some great YouTube channels. With over 750,000 subscribers, The Financial Diet is perhaps one of the most popular and relevant. It caters to a largely millennial audience and covers a lot of relevant terrain from spending wisely to savings hacks to how to earn more money through side hustles. If she's a visual learner, this will be right up her alley.
Video by Mariam Abdallah
Author and fellow CNBC.com and Grow contributor Erin Lowry turned her wildly popular blog Broke Millennial into a series of books. The first two, "Broke Millennial" and "Broke Millennial Takes On Investing," are a perfect bundle for a young professional who wants to crush debt, learn the basics of investing and budget successfully.
Erin is one with her readers, being a millennial herself, and her advice factors in all the challenges young adults face today from mounting student loans to stagnant wages. The book also provides new resources and the latest tools to help your babysitter take control of her money.
And an oldie but a goodie: "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley is an eye-opening read into the lives of those who have a seven-figure net worth. Spoiler: Very often, they don't drive fancy cars and buy McMansions.
The book also offers some important context in today's world where Instagram and social media idolize those with apparent material wealth but possibly next to nothing in an IRA. Stanley, who has passed away, and his daughter Sarah Fallaw Stanley, co-authored an updated version of the book in 2018 called "The Next Millionaire Next Door," outlining what it takes to become a millionaire today.
Congratulations to your babysitter and thanks again for choosing to empower her through financial literacy.
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