Disclaimer: I rec’d a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. I rec’d no other compensation and the only requirement was that I post an honest review of the text.

Three Cups: A Lesson in Life and Money for Children by Tony Townsley

If you look at the state of the American economy, you might realize that we’ve lost sight of what we should be doing with our money. Three Cups: A Lesson in Life and Money for Children is a great start for us all to get back to the basics.Three Cups is a great idea — a weekly allowance should be split three ways: sharing, spending, saving. The book is the author’s memory of how his parents taught him to divide his money. When he turned 5, his parents chose three cups from the kitchen cabinet. They wrapped these up in a big box and wrote a note on the outside that Tony was about to embark on an adventure beyond his wildest dreams. Tony wasn’t so sure when he opened the box, but he came to realize as the idea and his funds grew, just what an adventure he was able to embark on with those three old cups.

I liked this book but it didn’t go far enough or deep enough into the why save … why share. The author lost a golden opportunity to explain in more depth the graces garnered by buying the food for the soup kitchen … or the ability to put his own money into the collection plate on Sunday. He omitted the great truth that when we share, we reap 100-fold.

I did like the idea that the parents walked him through the dividing up into each cup to make sure that each got its fair share. I also liked the image of heading to the bank to open a savings account for his spending portion, rather than “blowing it” on something frivolous.

I didn’t like that the book leads me to assume that he didn’t have to do anything to get the allowance — his parents just gave it to him. I’d rather my kids worked for their money; which would mean that each week the amount would be different but still would grow over time. I think this is the problem we have today is that too often we’re given without earning.

I would recommend this book for new parents with toddlers or young-school-age children; if it were more detailed, it would be an excellent book for all to read to remember that saving and sharing should be a large portion of our fund-distribution process!

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