Cara Macksoud Financial Literacy Champion Talks Kids and Money with Sammy Rabbit: 12 Sammy Rabbit “Gold Karat” Takeaways
by Team Sammy
We had a Sammyriffic Childhood Money Memory podcast and discussion recently with Cara Macksoud financial literacy champion and founder of Bank Roll'd!
Watch the video above or listen to the audio of the interview below!
Plus, below discover a little more about Lionel and a list of 12 Sammy Rabbit “Gold Karat” takeaways from the podcast!
Take a Listen!
Cara Macksoud is a mother of 5! She holds a BS in Finance from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a graduate student at Kansas State University in financial therapy.
After a 12-year career as an ETF trader (at the time, the youngest female trader on the floor of the NYSE), she became the CFO/COO for The Animation Project, an incentivized workforce development program for at-risk youth.
She founded Bank Roll’d, a financial literacy non-profit to provide education and mentorship to unbanked people.
Cara currently sits on the board of four non-profits and is on the business development committee for the Financial Therapy Association.
12 Sammy Rabbit Gold Karat Takeaways from Cara Macksoud Financial Literacy Champion!
(1) Cara's first money memory took place at 6 years old. She received a magazine in the mail. It had a kid pictured on the cover with lots of wonderful toys.
Upon opening the magazine Cara discovered there were instructions on how to earn the toys pictured on the cover. In order to do so, you had to sell products offered by Sunshine Sales Club!
Cara vividly remembers wanting every toy! So immediately she asked her mom what she had to do to earn the toys. Her mom than shared how many of each product she would need to sell to get the toys she wanted.
Cara then begged her mom to allow her to go and sell to the neighbors. At the time Cara lived in Brooklyn. Her mom agreed to sit on the stoop outside their house and permitted Cara to go to 3 houses in each direction.
Wouldn't you know it, 45 minutes later, Cara returned with a wad of cash in hand. Her mom was shocked!
They then proceeded back into the house where Cara's mom explained to her what toys she qualified for.
Cara was so inspired by the experience she kept begging her mom to allow her to go three more houses down the block and three more after that. It did not take long for 6 year old Cara to have her dad driving her around the entire neighborhood selling goodies.
What Cara learned is that by putting in the "muscle - by putting in the work" she could earn and earn and earn! She could create her own wealth!
Woohoo! What a great habit and attitude to instill in a young child. It's one that has served Cara her entire life. As Sammy Rabbit says, "earning money is fun to do!"
(2) Cara further discovered the salesperson had an option to take a cash payout rather than a toy. With the help of her mom she figured out that she could purchase the toy she wanted with her earnings and still have money left over for other things.
Later in life, Cara became a Wall Street arbitrage trader. She often shares that she learned her trading and arbitrage skills as a six year old.
The sales position and rewards exchange also turned out to be a great life long lesson on how to value and fair value goods and services.
(3) Cara loves earning things. She likes the challenge. She likes the hustle. She likes being a go-getter, "you can do it," "you can earn it" type of a person. It gives her energy.
(4) Cara thinks and feels the goods and services we acquire should not only be valued on their price, but also based on what they mean to you and what you are willing to do to earn those items.
Cara brings it back to an important core theme for her, "you have to put in that work!
(5) Cara shares one of the terrific things about earning a pile of cash is you get to have a conversation with the "Benjamins!" There isn't anything like it she states. Talk to them. How did I get you? Why are you with me now? Talk to George. Talk to Abraham. Talk to Ben!
She goes on to say, this is where youth today may have a disadvantage because cash is going away. "Getting intimate with your cash is something really important." It is something that is easy to pass over and not think about. But we shouldn't. Talk to any waiter or waitress says Cara and they will tell you coming home with those dollars at the end of the night has a direct correlation for them with what they had to do to earn that money. It helps a person to value their earns differently. Cara likes using the hashtag #conversationswithbenjamin
These earning experiences tell us a story. They tell us what we are and are not willing to do for money.
(6) As a kid, Cara's family had a tradition they coined "bank on Tuesdays!" She also had a big, funny plastic jar she would save change in.
Cara says she was really fortunate, she a "pro bank" family. Everybody, the whole family, went to the bank together on Tuesdays! She has no idea why it was on Tuesdays since no one gets paid on Tuesdays. She speculates it was probably the most convenient time for everyone.
The best part was after going to the bank, everyone would go for coffee or a treat.
Cara shares this ritual made her "accountable" to the whole family, not just her parents, for making good money choices, like saving regularly. Everyone would ask, how much money are you depositing this week? How did you earn the money your depositing? It was a conversation. And from time to time, my grandmother and other relatives would give me a little extra to deposit in my account.
(7) The most important thing I talk to parents about when it comes to kids and money is "consistency." This helps kids know what to expect!
That is one of the big things Cara takes away from her family banking days - they were consistent - they happened regularly - you knew what you were doing on Tuesdays.
(8) Money can be a very taboo subject for many families. Because of family banking Tuesdays, Cara has an entire family she can talk openly and candidly about money to this day.
As an adult she realizes many families do not have a tradition like this, but thinks it could be very beneficial to them if they did. It has been for her. It was "extremely valuable!" They are great for support, for learning, for sharing challenges and of course for family bonding and treats!
(9) Cara is seeing in her household a real reduction in cash. She says her kids are using Venmo! She predicts the U.S. may be close to cashless by 2030!
(10) Cara wants to make certain her kids are both financially able and responsible. Cara states that she has yet to meet anyone who is happy who can't pay their rent. So, at the end of the day, it is important to talk to and teach your kids how to use money judiciously.
(11) She wants to make sure her kids have a good work ethic and understand what it takes to make and earn money. She asks, what good of a parent am I, if I don't train my kids how to sustain the lifestyle they are living?
(12) If Cara could only teach a child one money habit or principle it would be you need to know your money! You need to know what your means to you. You aren't on anyone else's path. So, if you want something, you have to figure out how to save and go get it. If you want to buy something, you need to figure out if that is what you want to spend your money on.
Discover more about Cara Macksoud financial literacy champion at her profile on LinkedIn: Cara Macksoud
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