Growing Up Centsible by Marnie Randall Craycroft: A Book Review

By Melissa Batai

We’d all like our kids to be financially responsible when they grow up.

However, that doesn’t just magically happen when they turn 18 and move out. Instead, we as parents should help and guide them throughout their childhood to learn about money and manage it responsibly. In fact, you can begin teaching your kids about money as early as the preschool years. Growing Up Centsible: A No Nonsense Guide to Helping Kids Become Financially Responsible Adults by Marnie Randall Craycroft is the perfect way to introduce young children to the concept of money.

Craycroft is the creator of the website, Carrots Are Orange, a Montessori living and learning website for parents and teachers. She also has a B.A. in Economics.

Growing Up Centsible is primarily for 3 to 8 year olds and involves the whole family learning about money.

Focus on Your Money Habits First

The book opens by focusing on you, the parent, not your kids. Craycroft asks you to reflect on your own opinions about money and to look at how you manage your money. After all, your children will be watching you and learning from your example.

Next, Craycroft asks you to create a family mission statement about money and how you use and manage it.

Chores Vs. Family Contributions

Some families have their children earn money for daily chores, and others feel that kids shouldn’t be paid for everything they do around the house. Some tasks are just regular family contributions.
Craycroft analyzes both and doesn’t prefer one over the other, but she does think it’s best that the money you give your kids should be tied to some kind of work. Kids shouldn’t get weekly money without putting in an effort.

Ways to Begin Teaching Kids About Money

This part of the book is invaluable and well worth the price of the ebook. Craycroft breaks this section down in two parts based on children’s ages:

  • 3 to 5 year olds,
  • 5 to 8 year olds

Each section is packed with information. She gives multiple hands-on activities that you can do with each age group to expose and make them familiar with both money itself and using it properly.


In the last section, Resources, she gives a variety of resources to continue talking and working with your kids about money.

Kids’ Books

Craycroft gives the synopsis of 12 kids’ books about money that you can read to your kids.

Internet Resources for Parents

She gives parents 12 websites to consult for more information, especially about allowances and chore systems.

Awesome Ideas, Resources, and Activities from Around the Web

Here Craycroft gives nine suggestions that help you continue teaching your kids about money such as games and more tips for teaching kids about money.

Service Projects

Finally, she gives service projects you could all do as a family as a way to give back.

If you want to teach your younger children about using money responsibly, you can’t go wrong with this ebook. If you homeschool, there is plenty of suggested materials here to make an entire theme-based unit on money for preschool and early elementary students.