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Read and Reflect on Fiction with Financial Themes

Summer isn’t over and there is still time to relax on the beach, the park, or your own backyard with a good book. And when we say good book, we don’t necessarily mean a book with financial advice.

USA Today’s “Alpha women and fancy yachts make for good summer investing and finance reading” offers suggestions for recreational ways that you can get more insight into your money management and your own financial habits. Reading informative texts is needed to learn about finances but you can also learn from fiction and memoirs. You read about other peoples’ triumphs, mistakes, and financial habits which give you a chance to reflect on your own. USA Today’s suggestions include books about women getting into venture capitalism, a Depression-era book about investments that may be too good to be true, and two books with financial parables, including one that goes back to ancient Babylon.

There has been research to show that reading novels can help you develop empathy for others. And perhaps reading novels in which characters find themselves in financial hot water may help you develop empathy for yourself or for others who make financial missteps. You may also find that reading novels that illustrate the complexities of being wealthy or of struggling financially can help you to feel more for people across the financial spectrum.

We wrote about “The Nest,” a book that tells the story of a family and the fallout that comes when an expected inheritance doesn’t turn out to be what a group of siblings thought it would be And even you are not in this particular situation, you may be able to understand that when you spend in the present relying on money to arrive in the future (be it an inheritance, a tax refund, or the lottery), you may find yourself on shaky ground.

And fiction stories are also a great way to start conversation with your children about spending and saving money.