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Money books that make great gifts

Walk into any bookstore or search online, and it's easy to be overwhelmed by the number of financial books that claim to have all the answers to your money questions. How do you know which book is right for what you want to know?

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Bankrate has compiled a list of some of the best books and workbooks to sharpen one's financial IQ during every stage of a person's life. Our list was compiled by four Certified Financial Planners, or CFPs, from across the country: Karen L. DeRose of DeRose & Associates in Chicago; Bonnie A. Hughes of A&H Financial Planning and Education Inc. in Kennesaw, Ga.; Raymond Benton of Lincoln Financial Advisors in Denver; and David B. Yeske, the founding principal of Yeske Buie, a wealth management firm in San Francisco.

Before you purchase a book this holiday season for someone on your gift list -- or even for yourself -- consider these.

Reading about riches

Children ages 6 to 11
Money Savvy Pig by Susan Beacham. This is not a book per se, but rather a small plastic pig that resembles a traditional piggy bank with a twist -- instead of one slot, there are four marked "save," "spend," "donate" and "invest."

You can also purchase a workbook with the Money Savvy Pig that allows children to color the pages while they learn important concepts such as interest on savings, goal-setting, smart spending, long-term investing and entrepreneurship.

"The Money Savvy Pig is the perfect introduction to personal finance," says DeRose, who has used this toy to teach personal finance to young children at schools and in workplaces on national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

"The Kids Allowance Book" by Amy Nathan and Debbie Palen. This charming book tells children how to get an allowance and how to save and spend it wisely. The book includes responses of 166 kids to questions about the pros and cons of allowances.

Preteens and teens
"Personal Management" by Brent Neiser. Yeske believes educators too often overlook personal finance basics when teaching life lessons to preteens and teens.

"As a result of the absence of financial education in our schools, young people with little or no income wind up in debt," Yeske says.

He recommends "Personal Management" as an antidote to this oversight. This booklet has been used for many years to help Boy Scouts earn their "personal management" merit badge. However, you don't have to be a Boy Scout to benefit from the practical wisdom found here.

Yeske says the booklet helps young people learn about "saving, spending and investing as well as how to create a budget, use credit and track their spending."

"Cash Cache" by Susan Beacham. This personal finance organizer is intended to help teens learn the basics of personal finance: saving, investing, credit cards, earning money, paying taxes, spending and donating. It also includes basic information on the stock market, setting goals, budgeting and bank accounts.

Teens can learn basic personal finance lingo by using the glossary of financial terms.

 
 
Next: "... how to cope when things don't go as planned."
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