ABOUT JEFF TYBURSKI
We are pleased to share the money memories of Jeff Tyburski.
Jeff is the author of Your Sherpa – Your Parental Guide to Financial Literacy and founder of Your Sherpa, LLC. The enterprise’s mission is to teach students and young adults to make daily decisions to save and build wealth; first ensuring they are in a position to save by avoiding excessive student debt and being able to get and hold a good job (and grow income). The focus is on saving money, not investing.
Prior to founding Your Sherpa, Jeff worked as an engineer, a senior analyst and portfolio manager for a combined 33 years. He earned an MBA in finance and the CFA Charter.
As a part of his responsibilities, Jeff created and led an internal school to train new research department analysts, to promote the sharing of lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage mentoring.
Jeff shares he learned a great deal about pursuing one’s passions from his wife of over 25 years and two driven and focused children.
WE ATE DINNER TOGETHER
Team Sammy: Share with us a little bit about growing up – your family and community.
Jeff Tybruski: I was a kid in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, living outside of Pittsburgh and then in suburban upstate New York. We had a ‘simple’ but good life I probably didn’t fully appreciate in the moment. My whole family ate dinner together every night. My dad coached my little league teams. I had a group of friends that would bike around together and often meet up at the baseball fields.
PICKING STRAWBERRIES AND GREEN BEANS
Team Sammy: Share with us your first money memories.
Jeff: I wish I could say I had a memory even younger in life, but my first real money memory comes from when I was a teen working on a farm. I started in the strawberry season which was surprisingly ‘lucrative’ (25 cents per quart picked). You could fill a quart quickly at peak season. But then came the heat of July and green bean season. It required much more effort for only 50 cents a half bushel! I forever appreciated a day’s work after that.
SAVING TOO MUCH
Team Sammy: What was your first savings memory?
Jeff: I was about 22. I had developed the compounding ‘bug’ (that is, I was excited about how money could grow and thus wanted to start as young as possible). My goal was to save first and live off what remained of my income. But, I often didn’t think first. I would save so aggressively I would frequently find I didn’t leave enough left to pay a bill or to eat. More than a few times I called my Dad saying “I saved too much and am short of money until I get paid next week”. He’d give me a one-week loan figuring a young adult who ‘saved too much’ wasn’t a total screw-up.
LIVING PAY CHECK TO PAY CHECK
Team Sammy: Did your parents talk to you and teach you about money and personal finance as a child? If so, what do you remember? What, if anything stuck?
Jeff: I am proud to share my Dad was the first Tyburski to go to college and my mom worked too once my siblings and I got older. But the reality is they weren’t great with money. They were proud to be ‘middle class’ but also a bit unaware they lived more or less paycheck to paycheck.
ARE STUDENTS WHO WORK PAID ENOUGH?
Team Sammy: Did you work as a teen and/or in college?
Jeff: I had a variety of jobs as a teen and during college summers including delivering papers, picking produce, working on a road paving crew, selling concessions at a racetrack, and being a grocery store cashier. I didn’t work during college as it took all of my energy to keep my head above water to get my engineering homework problem sets done on time. I am impressed and a bit depressed at the very serious jobs (but strangely, often unpaid) college students now have during the summer.
HOW NOT TO PICK A COLLEGE
Team Sammy: What was one mistake or regret you made as a kid, teen or college student with money?
Jeff: I regret putting so little thought into the college I attended. I made the mistake many students make today, I largely made an emotional decision (I liked the campus). This resulted in some loans I had to pay off.
PREPARING FOR KIDS
Team Sammy: What was one smart money choice you made?
Jeff: I think a good choice my wife and I made was before having kids. We ‘pretended’ that only I worked and structured our expenses around just my salary.
HELP FROM A RADIO SHOW and MY MOTHER-IN-LAW
Team Sammy: What peaked your interest in personal finance?
Jeff: As cheesy as it sounds, what got me interested in personal finance, saving money, and the financial markets was a radio personality named Bob Brinker. I had a field engineering job in my twenty’s and did a lot of driving. My mother-in-law Beth introduced me to the show. In fact, she meticulously taped its weekend broadcasts so I could listen during the week while I drove.
WEALTH IS A DAILY LIFESTYLE CHOICE
Team Sammy: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Jeff: What I do tell them, and their parents, is saving and building wealth is a daily lifestyle choice and anyone can choose to do it. It sounds simple, but you can’t choose to be a professional athlete or a movie star. You can’t choose to get a 1600 on your SAT. But you can choose to make daily decisions to avoid another $4 coffee, $10 lunch, or $25 dinner. You choose the school you attend or if you go at all. You choose the car you drive or house you buy or the stuff you surround yourself with. I ‘preach’ a mindset and I illustrate that financial literacy is not the tedious, math-based exercise many assume it to be. I teach financial literacy is a tool to better life outcomes!
DEVELOPING POSITIVE HABITS
Team Sammy: Why is it important to teach kids about money?
Jeff: It is important because kids make decisions with huge financial implications, at a surprisingly young age. And, developing good habits is easier than having to change bad habits later in life.
Jeff: I want to make an impact, helping students, young adults, and their parents.
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT JEFF TYBURSKI
To learn more about Jeff Tyburski visit him at his website: YourFinancialSherpa.com
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