Today we are pleased to share the money memories of Rahkim Sabree. Rahkim is an emerging leader in financial education and empowerment. He is a Ted speaker, 2x author, and cofounder of the nonprofit An Extended Hand, Inc.
OLDEST OF YOUNG PARENTS
Leslie: Tell us about your family and community while growing up.
Rahkim: I grew up in Mount Vernon, NY a small town in Westchester County. Growing up I was the oldest of 3 children with very young parents.
“WE DISCUSSED SAVING”
Leslie: What was one of your first money memories?
Rahkim: I remember having the importance of saving being impressed upon me. We discussed saving, entrepreneurship, and giving back to our community.
PROUD ON MY OWN
Leslie: What was your first experience saving?
Rahkim: I had saved a lot growing up, mostly towards some goal and then would deplete my savings on that goal. I do remember opening a bank account at 16 years old completely on my own. I was extremely proud I had my own official bank account.
SAVE AND SPEND SLOWLY
Leslie: What was your first job?
Rahkim: My first job was working for a local non profit called “Teen Aware”. I was a peer educator tasked with teaching peers about abstinence from sex and avoiding STD’s and drugs. At the end of about a month I earned a couple hundred. I think I saved the money and used it slowly over time.
BURNING A WHOLE IN YOUR POCKET
Leslie: Did your parents talk to you about money?
Rahkim: We didn’t have much conversation about money in the house, but the one thing that did stick was the importance of saving. Everytime we would want to spend money we received, we were met with “that money is just burning a hole in your pocket huh?!”
CONSCIOUS AT 15
Leslie: At what age and how did you come to realize money had a value?
Rahkim: Probably around 15 when I became conscious of the household finances. I knew we had section 8. I knew we had food stamps. And I was given secondary responsibility in budgeting the funds.
READING IS REWARDING
Leslie: What peaked your interest in personal finance?
Rahkim: I started a career in banking and happened across the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. The rest is history.
PAY YOURSELF FIRST
Leslie: One question we ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Rahkim: Pay yourself first. It’s a principle I feel needs to be instilled in every individual. The earlier the better. With this discipline instilled at a young age it’s easier to maintain throughout life.
START TEACHING EARLY
Leslie: Is important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Rahkim: Absolutely important. I think it should start as soon as they are able to understand exchanging one thing for another.
TEACH IN SCHOOLS AND MORE
Leslie: Do you think personal finance should be taught in schools?
Rahkim: I think it should be, however I don’t believe it will ever be taught sufficiently. That said, there should definitely be classes geared towards credit/debt management, budgeting, and saving.
Leslie: If you have any thoughts on the following topics, please feel free to share your thinking.
Rahkim: Credit cards should be used as a tool and not an extension of income.
FINANCIAL PET PEEVES
Rahkim: Surrendering your money management to someone else without understanding it first yourself.
FAVORITE BOOK ON PERSONAL FINANCE OR MONEY MANAGEMENT
Rahkim: My book “Financially Irresponsible”, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Richest Man in Babylon, and Think and Grow Rich.
Rahkim: “Pay yourself first!”