To celebrate the release of Smart Mama, Smart Money we’re running a contest. This is a ‘thinking-mom’s’ kind of contest. Read the paragraph below from Chapter 22 “Cents and Sensibility” about giving kids the critical tools they need to become responsible consumers, savers and investors.

“In an ideal universe, our needs and our wants would converge.

Sometimes this does happen: We need to eat every day to survive, and who doesn’t love great food? Often, though, even adoring mothers can get confused between a need and a want. Young kids don’t really need much or want more than unconditional love, food, and shelter. They certainly don’t “need” Juicy Couture tracksuits (ugh!), Armani Junior shoes, or a Prada diaper bag. Maybe you do, but they don’t. (And if you do, why? Keep reading.)

Needs are items that you must have to live in the modern world: food, shelter, transportation, health care, education, a computer, and, yes, the Internet. Wants are all the things that add texture and interest to your basic needs: eating out, white truffles from Italy, vacations, movies, brand-name products, cable.”

(The chapter goes on to give you the tools you need to help your kids distinguish between a ‘need and want’.)

The contest? Beyond ‘food, shelter and unconditional love’ what else do kids really need? We’ll pick a winner at random and send them a copy of Smart Mama, Smart Money!

Smart Mama, Smart Money is on sale now!


From the February 6 issue of Publisher’s Weekly 
 Smart Mama, Smart Money: Raising Happy, Healthy Kids Without Breaking the Bank
Rosalyn Hoffman. Penguin/New American Library, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 9780451235596

“Jack-of-all-trades Hoffman (Bitches on a Budget) compiles the tips and tricks she’s learned in her careers as marketer, mother, and writer to produce an all-in-one guide to frugal parenting. Written to other mothers in tone, but not gender-specific in content, this valuable tome offers suggestions on how to survive the giant-plastic-stuff phase of infancy (buy a used stroller, but a new crib) and paying for college, though the bulk of her advice is focused on the many years between. With two of kids out of college and on their own, she confidently dispenses advice on topics ranging from clothing choices to sex-ed, but manages to do so in a chatty, friendly voice that is never overbearing. Food is a large part of any family’s budget, and Hoffman discusses MyPlate, organics, and “smart shopping” with equal ease. She also provides a brief overview of financial management basics including budgeting, insurance, and credit cards, and her advice about helping kids distinguish “wants” from “needs” is astute and practical. In addition to everyday tips, Hoffman also offers tried-and-true insights into developing strong relationships with one’s children–in the end, “a smart mom never loses sight of what her kids really need: unconditional love, safe boundaries, and room to play.” Informative, entertaining, and applicable, this is a must-read for “smart mamas” and papas. (Mar.)”