Jessica Ward | Assistant Ranger at South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism | Charleston, South Carolina
I had very rough beginnings, we had very little to live off yet alone save. I never learned the value of saving until I was an adult and learned the hard way. Due to that my children are learning to save with us through use of their piggy banks and savings linked under my account.
Now that I have teens too they also have saving/checking accounts where they can deposit money earned through miscellaneous chores and holidays to save for big purchases.
They have learned to balance and reconcile their accounts, as well as follow their spending habits which is vital for increasing your knowledge on budgeting skills.
I’ve also found it is important to teach the skill of helping them decide if whether what they are wanting to buy is truly a good investment for their happiness.
Buying something on the spur of the moment may sound good, but later on will it bring you joy or will you regret spending the money when you could have gotten something better or more fulfilling.
I have found my oldest has spent more of her money on others through charities and gifts than herself, which I find is a great measure of who she is. The lessons never end as they grow the bar only changes on the next big hurdle.
I wish I had a financial mentor growing up, I might not be struggling now and may see something brighter in my future than living paycheck to paycheck with what I have done with my finances and credit due to poor choices and lack of knowledge in student debt. Live and learn and help others avoid the same mistakes is now my mission.
Ella Gupta | Author of “Generation Zinance” (coming April 2021)| Founder, the Initiative for Financial Literacy Exploration | Raleigh, North Carolina
My parents are doctors. When they had just gotten married and were completing their residency in Baltimore, Maryland, they were, as my mother puts it, “dirt broke.”
When she would pay bills, she would place them on a tiny IKEA glass table and sit on their apartment’s carpeted floor; they could not afford a couch.
One day, my mom sat at that tiny table and calculated how much money she and my father owed in student loans. She also calculated how long it would take them to pay off their debt if they made the minimum payment due. What she discovered made her feel as if she “had just been punched in the gut.” She discovered, that combined, her and my father had six figures in student loan debt and it would take decades for them to pay it off.
Consequently, she began to learn all she could about personal finance. She invested hours going to the library and reading everything she could on how to manage money. What she discovered was this:
“You have to learn how money works if you want to make it work for you.”
My parents do not want my sister and I to experience what they had to go through. So, that is why since we were young, it was important to them to instill their money values in us.
They wanted us to know the importance of living debt-free and investing in the future.
READ more of Ella and her parents story in her Sammy Rabbit Guest Blog: Teen’s Financial Literacy Mission and Journey Started Early!
Linda Lipovetsky | Financial Services Professional, ChFC®, RICP®, CLTC® | New York, New York
Unfortunately, I didn’t learn to save as a child, but my son used the piggy bank with 4 sections – save, spend, donate, invest.
He’s 11 now and saves ~20% of everything he earns doing chores I’ve monetized and divides the rest.
My parents tried to protect us and money was not discussed openly. We received our weekly allowance and all had high school jobs, but without being part of the conversation or understanding what it costs to live in our home, the value of budgeting or saving wasn’t appreciated.
It wasn’t until my late 20s I realized how ‘far behind’ I was from others, and how little I actually knew about money. That, coupled with the realization my marriage was headed for divorce I knew I needed an education – and fast! So, I found my way into the financial field and absorbed everything I could as quickly as I could. I propelled myself into a financially stable position creating a career focused on advocating for clients and their financial planning. It was a tough road, and without my family by my side helping me get through it I don’t know if I would have had the guts to make this necessary change.
It was at that moment I understood how many people are truly stuck in bad situations with no way out, and decided I would do whatever I could so my son would have a solid foundation and never be stuck in a situation solely because of money and we started the conversation openly when he was 3.
We decided to monetize some of the household chores so he would earn money, of which I take 10% for ‘taxes’ and 10% for savings (which gets put into an investment account and I match it). Whatever is leftover is his spending money, and over time he has learned to budget, defers impulsive purchases and save up for specific goals, and even invest in companies that matter to him.
At 11 he already has an entrepreneurial mindset and is determined to be financially secure! I wish all K-12 curriculums would teach financial basics – needs v wants, deferred gratification, interest rates, credit scores, etc. It makes me so proud to see him engage in these discussions and partake in many of our household decisions. With his financial acumen and window-washing skills, he’ll be quite the catch!
For many, talking about money and teaching their kids about personal finance is not easy. On other hand, sharing stories and memories creates conversation, connections and community.
So, Sammy Rabbit invites you to share your special story, money memory and/or wisdom with us.
We love bringing people together through stories and building community to champion the importance of early age, youth and family financial literacy education.
Making it easy to talk to and teach children great money habits while they are young is a key component to Sammy Rabbit’s mission and strategy to create systemic change, giving current and future generations of children and families the knowledge, experiences and skills they need to build more financial stability, security and freedom in their lives and communities.
Join Sammy. All welcome. Let’s learn, grow and build a better today and tomorrow together!
Krista Cavalieri, CFP® | on Good Morning Columbus (Video)
Sandra, Mom of 2nd Grade Student, East Los Angeles | Interview for Sammy Rabbit (Video)
Abby Kovach, CFP® | on IRIS,xyz
Sheryl Garrett, CFP®, Founder, Garrett Planning Network | in Financial Advisor Magazine
Amy Vetrone, Financial Adviser | Interview for Sammy Rabbit