CFP® and Busy Mom Helps Break Through to Kids
by Team Sammy
We are pleased to share the money memories of Jamie Bosse. Since 2004, Jamie has provided financial guidance and education to a diverse clientele of individuals and families in her role as a Certified Financial Planner®.
She has a passion for mentoring and financial literacy and is the author of the children’s book, “Milton the Money Savvy Pup: Brings Home the Bacon.” Jamie is actively involved in the Personal Financial Planning program at Kansas State University and serves on the board of her local Financial Planning Association.
She is enjoying life’s crazy adventures with her husband and four lively children.
"HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?"
Leslie: Share with us a little bit about growing up - your family and community and what lead you to this career.
Jamie: I grew up in a typical working-class household in Salina, Kansas. My mom worked in the deli at the grocery store and my dad was a mechanic. I am the oldest and have two younger sisters. I have a lot of fun memories of my childhood running around playing hide-and-go-seek tag with all the neighborhood kids. My parents got caught up in a crazy debt cycle with credit cards and filed for bankruptcy when I was a sophomore in college. This was a big eye-opener for me, and I started asking a lot of questions. How did this happen? What does it mean? How can I prevent this from happening to me? As a result, I ended up taking a Personal Finance class in college so I could learn more about how to be financially responsible. I was fascinated by the topics and realized helping people navigate their financial lives would be an incredibly rewarding career. I switched my major to Personal Financial Planning that year and have been in the financial industry ever since.
EARNING BUCKS FOR BOOTS
Leslie: Share with us your first saving experience or one of your first money memories.
Jamie: I don’t really remember actual discussions about money as a kid. It seemed implied that money was a bad thing. You should work hard to have enough money to get by, but if you have too much of it, you must be greedy or don’t deserve it. I remember being really confused about money. I felt a negative association with it, but I also wanted more of it to buy the things I desired. Dr. Martin boots were all the rage when I was in middle school and I wanted a pair desperately! They cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 a pair, which might as well have been a million! They seemed so expensive and out of reach. I decided to figure out how to earn some money to buy a pair. I put together a babysitting ad to hand out to people in the neighborhood and families with young kids at our church. As a result, I ended up working for several families and finally earned enough for those coveted shoes.
ENTERING THE "REAL WORLD"
Leslie: Did you work as a teen and/or in college and what did you do with the money?
Jamie: As I mentioned earlier, my first job was being a babysitter. When I was in high school, I worked as a grocery sacker and carryout. This is embarrassing, but I mainly spent the money on candy, clothes, CDs (this was the 90’s), and things my parents wouldn’t buy me. I loved the freedom of being able to spend my money on things that were important to me. In college, I worked as a waitress at a steak house. Most of my tuition was funded with student loans and scholarships, so what I earned was spent on discretionary stuff. I am glad I had work experience prior to entering the “real world”. It was great to learn customer service, the importance of being on time, being dependable, and how to get along with others and work for a manager. It was also good to understand the concept of taxes early on.
DON'T SIGN UP FOR A CREDIT CARD FOR A FREE T-SHIRT!
Leslie: What was one mistake or regret you made as a kid, teen or college student with money. And, what was one smart money choice you made?
Jamie: When I was a Freshman in college, I signed up for my first credit card because they were giving out free t-shirts in front of the student union. A free t-shirt is NOT a good reason to sign up for a credit card!! Then I signed up for two more at a fundraiser a friend was doing for a Fraternity trip – also, a terrible reason to get a credit card. So, there I was, 18 years old, with 3 credit cards I was not ready for. My parents’ bankruptcy happened the following year, which in hindsight, was good timing. My story could have ended up a lot like theirs, but luckily, I started educating myself and moving in the right direction.
A smart money choice I made was recognizing that I had a lot to learn and signing up for a Personal Finance class in college.
EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS
Leslie: One question, I ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Jamie: I would teach them that every little bit counts. When you don’t have a lot of money to spare, which most kids/teens/young adults do not, it can feel futile to squirrel away $10 here and $20 there. If you make it a habit and save at least 10% of every dollar you earn, it will add up! And once you’ve established that habit, it will serve you well in the future when your income grows.
MONEY IS BECOMING INTANGIBLE
Leslie: Is important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Jamie: Absolutely! Being in the financial industry, I am reminded daily of how financially troubled our society is. Debt levels are extremely high, bankruptcies are commonplace, and many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Even folks with great careers and six figure incomes have trouble managing a monthly budget and being prepared for emergencies. How did we get here? Well, for starters, adults today never received financial education in school, so what we did learn we picked up from our parents or friends and the rest was learned through trial and error. For kids today, the same dynamic exists, but it is even harder to navigate because money has become almost completely intangible.
It seems young kids today have no concept of money or how it works. All they see is mom and dad swiping a card at Target or pushing a button on their phone and Amazon boxes full of stuff just magically appear on the doorstep. So how do we teach kids about money when it is invisible? We must be intentional about teachable moments and creating them where we can. Sammy Rabbit has some great tools for starting these conversations and creating healthy habits. We need to put our kids in scenarios where they make and manage their own money BEFORE they are out in the real world. We want them to learn and make mistakes while the stakes are lower so that they avoid trouble as adults.
As with most things, the sooner you start the better. Kids as young as 3-5 are very interested in money and can grasp basic concepts – you need money to buy things, money is earned by working, and sometimes you have to wait to get what you want. Children are sponges that are eager to soak up information. They want to know about money, mainly because money can lead to new stuff (they love stuff!) so you can use their curiosity to your advantage. You can start paying them for short, simple chores in cash and let them spend it on what they want. They will start to understand how much things cost and learn that money is a finite resource.
BAFFLES US BOTH
Leslie: Should schools teach personal finance?
Jamie: Definitely - It is baffling to me that it still is not a requirement. Personal finance is a life skill we all need, yet it is not something in the curriculum of schools. There are a lot of volunteer organizations doing some great work in this space – Sammy Rabbit, Junior Achievement, and PrepKC (Mad Money), are a few that I know and love.
DON'T BE PREY TO CAR OFFERS
Leslie: What is a financial pet peeve?
Jamie: Predatory car-lending commercials. I HATE when I hear dealers on the radio saying it doesn’t matter how bad your credit is, they’ll lend you money to get a nicer, newer, car. This is how people get into trouble with debt they can’t afford!
START TEACHING EARLY
Leslie: Do you have a favorite book on personal finance or money management? Does one lesson stand out - what is it?
Jamie: I really like “Smart Money, Smart Kids” by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze. I have 4 young kids, so I am fascinated with how to talk to them and teach them about money so they will be ready to handle the world better than I did. Dave and Rachel discuss how the Ramsey kids were taught financial lessons. It is fun to hear both sides of the story from the kid and the parent.
LEARN MORE ABOUT JAMIE BOSSE
To discover more about Jamie visit Aspyre Wealth Partners