Team Sammy is pleased to share Amy Irvine’s childhood money memories and insights on kids, money and financial literacy education.
Amy Irvine CFP®, EA, MPAS®, CCFC, is owner of Rooted Planning Group. She also serves as a keynote speaker and a Fiscal Fitness Clubs Financial Coach. Her goal is to form a solid relationship as a financial coach; one who helps to enhance clients lives by recognizing and supporting their values.
“Life is about Events, supported by your dollars and cents!”
Leslie Girone: Please tell us a little about yourself and your family growing up.
Amy: We grew up pinching pennies! There was no extra money. I had a good role model on how to make money stretch, but nothing around planning for other goals. It was when I was in high school taking an accounting class that I learned about saving money and how debt worked. In hindsight, I know that was meant as a protection mechanism as my family didn’t want the kids to have to worry about money.
MONEY FOR “COOL CLOTHES”
Leslie: What was one of your first money memories?
Amy: I remember the first time I was paid for work – babysitting. I was extremely excited because I could use some of this money to buy the “cool clothes” that we normally couldn’t afford.
PRETTY GOOD DEAL
Leslie: What was your first experience or memory of saving money?
Amy: This came with my first job. My company had a 401k (they were pretty new back then). I started saving 6% because the company said they would match that savings, and I thought that was a pretty good deal. For someone who had never really saved much money, I was shocked how much that added up to in the first year. Even though I was in Finance, I still didn’t fully comprehend the savings mechanism.
I also remember making extra payments on a student loan. I didn’t have to take out a lot for college, but it was a lot to me back then. I remember when I paid that loan off – how good it felt.
Leslie: What was your first job (formal or informal)? How much you earned and what you did with the money?
Amy: After the 401k and the student loan, I really wanted to buy a used car (notice used) – so I worked out the math on what I could afford and purchased my first “adult” car. It was a yellow Sunbird. I still didn’t really know about emergency savings. Back then, they didn’t have personal finance classes and even though I was an accounting major, personal finance wasn’t taught.
TALK ABOUT MONEY EARLY ON
Leslie: At what age and how did you come to realize money had a value?
Amy: Around age 21 – 22; when I started to have my own income and expenses. My husband and I talked about money early on when we were dating, we set joint goals together to make sure we were on the same page. We still do that to this day.
Leslie: Did you work as teen or in college?
Amy: I did a lot of babysitting and worked part time at K-Mart starting at age 16. This was for extra spending money and because I really wanted a car – but I had to pay for it as my parents didn’t have the extra cash flow.
THAT YELLOW SUNBIRD
Leslie: What was one mistake or “boo-boo” you made as a kid, teen or college student with money. And, what was one smart money choice you made?
Amy: That Yellow Sunbird. I had a vehicle already that was perfectly fine, but I WANTED it. It really stretched my budget and there were a few times I was running super lean. I always found the money to pay the bills, but if an emergency had happened, I would have been in trouble.
Leslie: What peaked your interest in personal finance?
Amy: I always liked numbers and I majored in Accounting in college, but one day I was home sick from work watching the Today show and Jean Chatzky was on the show. She was talking about personal finance tips and I was instantly struck by the fact that this young woman was talking about finance on TV – I wanted to be her. So I started exploring opportunities in that profession.
DO YOU “REALLY” WANT IT?
Leslie: One question we ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Amy: Asking themselves if they “really” want something or if they are just buying stuff. How does their money = their values and bring pleasure to their lives.
KIDS ARE AS SMART AS THEY ARE TAUGHT
Leslie: Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Amy: YES!!! Kids are as smart as they are taught – this is something that touches their lives for their ENTIRE lives. This stuff is not ingrained in us, we must be taught. I think parents can start as early as the child starts to receive money for birthdays/Christmas, etc. (maybe 4 – 5). I’m a big believer of the spend, save, gift jars.
TEACH ABOUT STUDENT DEBT
Leslie: Should personal finance be taught in schools?
Amy: Can I stress ABSOLUTELY enough? Isn’t this a life skill? Better decisions can be made if all the facts are known. All of the following could be explained in high school so that there are no surprises:
-Student debt – a whole other soap box for me! Pre-planning for college can help with this crisis.
MORE WOMEN WANTED
Leslie: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Amy: I’ve had some parents tell me they don’t want their kids to worry about money – kids will worry about money. I can talk from experience. I knew we didn’t have money, in fact, I used to worry about not being able to afford the basics because it wasn’t a topic we discussed. Kids notice stress in their parents around money – talk to them about it, educate them about it, educate yourself about it – no judgement, we weren’t born to understand finance, but we can educate ourselves about it
Now, I want more women to enter this profession – we are great at it (yes, I’m a little prejudiced). I’m focused on growing a firm that works on empowering other women to grow their knowledge and the knowledge of their children.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AMY
To discover more about Amy Irvine, visit Rooting Planning Group