Today we are pleased to share the childhood money memories of Lynn Demmons, CFO and Co-Founder of the Swing into Their Dreams Foundation. Lynn is also an author, keynote speaker, and CEO of Demmons Enterprise a financial development training company. She works with to help them to make their money, keep their money and grow their money. Her simple yet practical systems empower clients to grow and focus on outcomes not incomes. Demmons’ philosophy is “Be generous with what you have – no matter how big or small; results will follow.”
She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from UNC Charlotte, and an EdS in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on Finances from Nova Southeastern University. Demmons is an active member of several professional organizations including the Personal Finance Speakers Association (PFSA), and the Professional Speakers Association (PSA). Additionally, she is a certified financial educator of the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC).
ALL OVER THE WORLD
Leslie Girone: Please tell us a little about yourself and your family growing up.
Lynn: As a child who grew up in rural South Carolina, I have defied the odds. I am not a statistic. I am the oldest of four children, born to parents who are both Southern Baptist preachers. As children, we were raised in the church. Every time the doors of the church opened; we were there. I am happily married and mother to our one son. There is no bond like that of a mother and her son.
Throughout my lifetime, there was one phrase, that continues to reverberate in my mind, “all over the world.” My mom told me at an early age, I would be all over the world. As a young child and into my early adult years, I did not grasp the gravity of the words she repeated to me. We talk on the phone every day and there is not a week goes by she does not remind me and say, “all over the world.” Even this feature speaks to the fact she planted the seed that I would be all over the world. I want to plant that type of encouragement into the life of others that my mom planted within me.
YOU LIVE AND YOU LEARN
Leslie: At what age and how did you come to realize money had a value?
Lynn: I realized the value of money at an early age. One day we were in the dollar store and I wanted a book. I don’t remember how much the book cost but I asked my mom to buy the book. She told me I did not have enough money to purchase the book. I’m ashamed to say but you live and you learn. When my mom was not looking, I put the book underneath my shirt. As we were exiting the store, I thought I was home free until my Auntie, who was with us started yelling, “Lynn what do you have underneath your shirt.” My mom told her to hush. Then she looked at me and asked, “what is underneath your shirt.” I pulled it out and handed to my mom. She replied, “return that book to the cashier and apologize.” We turned to go back into the store, I met the cashier at the door and returned the book with tears in my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I really wanted the book.” A lady standing nearby heard the conversation and said, “I will pay for the book but you must promise me that you will save the money you need to buy what you want.” I replied, “yes ma’am and thank you.”
ASTONISHED TO SAY THE LEAST
Leslie: Did you work as a teen and/or in college?
Lynn: My first job as a teenager was working at McDonalds. I lasted two weeks. When I saw the paycheck, I thought this is not worth it. I had a conversation with my mom about it and she was able to get me a job at her company, Kemet Electronics. I had to work a whole month before receiving a paycheck. Yes, an entire month. When I finally received a check, my mom told me I was responsible for my portion of the bills which was $200 per paycheck. I was astonished to say the least. I thought what in the world, but I would not dare say that to my mom’s face. That was my first lesson in budgeting and paying the bills. To this day I can accredit my budgeting, saving and investing habit to this introductory lesson.
DISCIPLINE IS THE CORNERSTONE OF SUCCESS
Leslie: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Lynn: The number one money habit I would teach is discipline. Many do not think discipline is relevant when discussing money; however, I believe it is the cornerstone of financial success. Through the good times, bad times, happy and sad times, discipline is one thing that continues to hold true. Making the right decisions financially allows you to shape perspectives in all spheres of society. Discipline supports your ability to make the right decision in the spur of the moment when the “shiny object syndrome” gets in the way.
I DO, NOT I KNOW
Leslie: When should kids start learning about money?
Lynn: Financial literacy is more than just knowing what to do with your money, but it is also doing the right thing with your money. Many people can tell you they know they should have a budget and they know they should be saving, and they know they should be investing; however, knowing and doing are two different things. I often share the words ”I know that” are three of the most dangerous words a person can use when referring to their finances. A better choice of words is “I do that.”
Teaching personal finance as soon as a child understands numbers can help build a solid financial foundation in which students can respond I do that rather than I know that.
Leslie: If you have any thoughts on the following topics, please feel free to share your thinking.
FINANCIAL PET PEEVE
Lynn: Do you dread dealing with any type of money obstacle? Most of us do. We want life to be easy, but it seems money obstacles continuously thwart our efforts and limit the quality of our lives. The good news is money obstacles don’t have to be the vile thing you think they are.
Obstacles can actually be a blessing! Obstacles are often the path to great success and achievement. The obstacle isn’t really a roadblock. It’s an opportunity. With that said, most people believe you only need independent financial advice if you are wealthy, but that is not the case. The job of a financial advisor is to help you protect and grow your money, whether you have a lot of money or a small amount of money to begin with. An advisor can help you to minimize your tax costs, choose the right life insurance and plan your estate. So financial advisors are not only for the rich, but they can help anyone to work toward achieving their financial goal.
Lynn: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” -Warren Buffett
FAVORITE MAGAZINE, WEBSITE
Lynn: Barrons, Economist, Forbes, Fortune and Money
WORDS OF ADVICE
Lynn: Time, attention, money, and willpower are limited resources.
Overcoming obstacles requires focusing your resources intelligently. Building focus is like building a muscle. It requires intention and effort to encourage growth.
LEARN MORE ABOUT LYNN
To discover more about Lynn, visit DemmonsEnterprise.com