In Mike Kelly’s Financial Advice for the New High School Graduate, teens learn the nuts and bolts of personal finance. Teens switch from having someone responsible for them, to being responsible for their own actions with just one birthday. This book is the “oh-yeah” that new high school graduates need to enter and succeed in the world. If they are prepared when they leave, then they will stay out. Moving back home because they can’t afford the lifestyle they wanted is failure and this book aims to prevent that and many other life tragedies with financial consequences.
Scope of the Book
What is most valuable about this easy to read and sly book is the way it addresses real life situations that can get teens into financial trouble. It isn’t just about saving, budgeting, investing, etc. Those books are too advanced and talk about other financial aspects of life teens are not ready for. Teens will learn strategies on how to find a place to live, search for responsible roommates, buy food, and be a good citizen.
Financial Advice for the New High School Graduate Offers Simple Explanations and Logical Reasoning
The book is written in plain English. Take a look at how credit is explained:
“Credit is something people give you. They let you spend money you don’t have and expect that you will pay them back with interest, which is extra money. You spend $200 and you pay them back $250, one little payment at a time. That extra $50 is the interest.”
Makes total sense, and not one big word. I also appreciated reading the simple logic behind a budget, and not a lecture on why people need budgets. The latter is understood as a result of knowing the logic. By teaching kids that a budget isn’t a restrictive part of life, rather a spending plan in order to have more money to spend (or SAVE), teens will be more receptive to planning things out. To survive, teens have to be accountable for their expenses and know when something just won’t “pencil in.” The book has a simple budget sheet with expenses on one side, and income on the other that is a great example of how to start a spending plan.
“Sex Drugs and Rock and Roll” and “Dealing with the Law”
This is an invaluable set of chapters because it explains how much a mistake can cost. For a boy that impregnates a girl, he has to pay child support for the first 18 years of that kids life. Every state is different, but in the state of Washington child support is about $900 a month. Therefore:
($900)(12) = $10,800 per year
(10,800)(18) = $194,000
Going back to basics, $900 a month in itself is a lot of money for one person to come up with that is not financially or sexually responsible. On the flip side, the book states that single mothers account for the majority of the poverty pool in the U.S. Most parents will ask “how will you afford a kid?” without ever quantifying it exactly. I think in addition to condoms, parents should give out annual child support costs – how’s that for birth control?
Financial Advice for the New High School Graduate Discounts
This has to be the best graduation gift, stocking stuffer, or fundraising idea yet. Mike so strongly desires kids to be financially successful that he offers big discounts for schools and other organizations. You really will laugh out loud reading through the stories and the illustrations. I finished it in 3 days and wish that my parents had given me this book when I graduated.
Special Discount for UntrainedHousewife Readers
For a limited time our readers can get Financial Advice for the New High School Graduate at a discounted price. Go to MoneyMechanix and use the code UTH.
Financial Advice for the New High School Graduate was provided to The Untrained Housewife for the purposes of review. To download the first chapter for free go to MoneyMechanix.