This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.
Debit cards. Credit cards. Prepaid cards. Apple pay. Google wallet. Paypal. Venmo. Bank transfers. Phone and mobile payments. Checks. Money orders. Has money taken on too many forms that the value of cash is diminishing? The idea that the next generation is losing the sense of what the true value of cash really is could very well be true. This theory is called financial abstraction, coined by Adam Carroll in a Tedx Talk.
This post originally was inspired by a Facebook post and I asked Heather if we could post it on my blog because I felt that the message was too important not to share! Read more about Heather’s way of teaching her daughter Ryley about budgeting to see if it also sparks unique ideas for you and your children to talk and learn more about budgeting together.
My brother recently sent me a YouTube video of a TEDx Talk about a man replacing his family’s Monopoly money with $10,000 cash to see if they would play the game differently using real money. Two out of the three children changed their game-winning strategies based on the new circumstances. His final point was simply that younger generations have no emotional connection to money, that it seems less real to them because technological advances have made physical cash-handling almost non-existent. Unfortunately, there are still very real consequences to functioning in life using what seems to be limitless “fake” money.
I remember one time when Ryley was small, she wanted something that I couldn’t afford, so I told her I didn’t have enough money. My beautiful innocent daughter replied in a very matter-of-fact way, “that’s ok, just use one of your cards!” That was the week I started taking her to make her own cash deposits into her bank account. Every birthday, holiday, or money-receiving opportunity following, we put some of it into her wallet for fun and some into her bank account. We discussed what types of big things she would like to save up for, and frequently used portions of her money in order to purchase them.
Years later, Ryley has now started babysitting for pay. We decided on a reasonable amount she would charge for her services, and some wiggle room for how much would still be worth working for if negotiations were required (aka her value). She keeps her cash and I have no stake in the money she earns. There was a high-priced item she wanted for Christmas but didn’t get, so I offered to cover a specific dollar amount against the total, and the rest would be her responsibility.
Realizing she has babysat enough evenings to purchase the item almost twice by now, I asked why we hadn’t gone to get it yet. Ryley then had to review her spending (fun foods at lunchtime instead of the free meal, movie snacks on a night out with friends, etc.) and acknowledge the importance of budgeting versus spending. We had to wait one more weekend to re-save enough money, then went to Best Buy.
It was on sale! Instead of the usual $99.95, the Sprocket price tag boasted $69.95. Great for us, since money saved means more in the pocket, or in this case the ability to purchase things that compliment the large item. I gave Ryley the option of keeping the difference, but pointed out that she might want more of the photo paper while it was also on sale (only 6.99 for 20 pieces), and she would still be spending less than the original amount. At the counter, she decided the warranty was a wise investment this time. Out the door with receipt in hand, Ryley wondered at the final cost versus the sale sign. Tax, warranty, add-on item purchase... it all adds up! And now she is left with the remaining money to begin saving for the next “want.”
About a month ago, I almost got her one of those kid-friendly credit cards. It would have been so convenient to me now that I’m not constantly carrying restaurant tips and don’t often have cash to hand her when she needs it. But there’s plenty of time for convenience in the future. First I need to help her learn the value of the actual money that comes and goes, especially since it rarely feels real anymore. I love being able to scan my Apple Watch at Starbucks or Venmo a hired musician as soon as the paper check I had to wait for clears. But I’m not doing Ryley any favors if I don’t help her learn how to be responsible for her choices. Same goes with household responsibilities, cooking from scratch, time management, commitments to others, etc.
That’s what parenting is about! I could throw her at the world at 18 and hope she doesn’t have to learn everything the hard way, become someone else’s unknowing burden, or even end up my responsibility again. Or I can attempt to build a foundation of independence and show her steps toward becoming a successful adult. Yes, she’ll still make mistakes (and boy do I constantly make them too!), but it’s still better than the alternative. Our kids need us to be their parents. They learn how to live, love, and help others by watching us. Let’s give them the best chance we can at having a bright, fruitful future in which they benefit society in some way. I’m cheering you on, yay parents, we got this! Now excuse me while I go order from postmates because I’m way too tired to cook tonight. . .
This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.
Rich Dad Poor Dad, written by Robert T. Kiyosaki, is one of those personal finance books that I truly believe everyone should read at least once in their lives.
Here’s the deal...If you are an individual who is neutral about personal finances, in that maybe you are able to control your spending, but not able to save as much as you would like. Or, maybe you have a budget, but are essentially breaking even each month. Or, maybe you are on a different side of the spectrum, in that you are struggling financially and are worried about not making ends meet day-to-day. Well, this book is for all of you! I do not think it will single out any class of people, because the concepts, themes, frames of thought, can at any point in time affect any one of us. Not only will this book be enlightening, it may also enrich your life in ways you never thought imaginable, while instilling in you the desire to take charge of your personal finances.
Frames of Thought from Rich Dad Poor Dad
Kiyosaki generally reasons through two frames of thinking when it comes to personal finances. His belief that financial intelligence should be taught at a young age is a frame of thought strong within the book. His argument is that since financial intelligence is not discussed in schools it has more people drowning in debt, and not earning enough income to cover daily expenses, as well as their future expenses. Modern day marketing amongst our culture nowadays has us thinking certain ways about what our “needs” are (which is not inherently wrong), that is not actually doing us any good nor taking our future into consideration. This frame of thought is actually so strong throughout this book it almost feels repetitive.
His second frame of thought discussed in this book is about creating wealth that replenishes itself. That might not make much sense, but think in terms of investing to create a return for yourself in the future. A strong focus of this frame of thought is real estate investing. That is pretty much all I will say on that theme because you really need to read through it to understand the concepts Kiyosaki talks about. Plus, I am not about to say that I know anything about real estate, *thankfully* there are professionals out there that do!
However . . .
Well, the above stated concepts are not actually the direction I want to take this blog post. What I want to do is focus mostly on one paragraph in this book because of two reasons. First, I am not about to ruin this book for you, because I want you to feel intrigued enough to read it. Secondly, I feel like this paragraph speaks to a lot of us and where we are today, financially. It will make sense in a minute, promise!
This paragraph is from page 57 of the book, head over to that page to read the paragraph in context and its entirety. For now, I will break up the paragraph and walk through each phrase. It is my belief that this is the core of what Kiyosaki’s rich dad is teaching in this book.
"To spend your life living in fear, never exploring your dreams, is cruel."
Have you ever had dreams of doing something incredible, but scared of starting towards that partly because you are not financially secure to move forward with it? I agree with Kiyosaki, that mentality of thinking is very cruel. It is almost debilitating. That is why I have felt the need to travel throughout my life. I am hungry for experiences in other countries and cultures. Some of you may feel this same hunger for experiences, but maybe you are spending your life living in fear. Make a plan. Make sure that plan includes travel. Stick to the plan.
"To work hard for money, thinking that it will buy you things that will make you happy is also cruel."
I think we all know that money does not buy us happiness. So, why do we continue living our lives buying tons of stuff, that we are unable to afford and do not have the budget, that we think will make us happy? If you are stuck in this phase of life, take a step back and try to look at the larger picture. Imagine where you could be in 5 years if you had a budget and plan to go along with it. Imagine the people that you want to be beside you. Remember that living within your means is the most optimal, and we should always strive for it.
"To wake up in the middle of the night terrified about paying bills is a horrible way to live."
Sadly, this is true for many people who lack financial intelligence. For those who are too afraid to talk to a professional for help with creating a budget because they just cannot accept (nor admit to themselves) they do not have an understanding of where their personal finances truly stand. The first step is admitting to yourself the truth. The second step is asking for help. Remember, I am just a phone call or email away!
"To live a life dictated by the size of a paycheck is not really living a life."
If you have ever lived paycheck to paycheck you know EXACTLY what this is talking about. It is almost as if the minute you get paid you are already drowning in too many bills that you just cannot dig yourself out of. In turn, this also means that there is no room for fun... So then we create exceptions to the rules in order for us to “really” feel like we are not missing out on life (FOMO, anyone?). Thus perpetuating the cycle of debt, and continuing to drown in these exceptions to the rules. Try to remember that fun does not have to cost a thing. Instead, seek out memories and moments with a loved one.
"Thinking that a job makes you secure is lying to yourself…”
When I was in undergrad and started my very first office job, I will never forget the advice of a colleague; "every job is replaceable" she said to me. I think perhaps she really meant it as an encouragement to validate that I did not need to stay dedicated to that workplace after I graduate. In fact, there is actually no guarantee that our jobs will be there the next day, or week. Companies can quickly decide to close their doors. Unions can quickly decide to go on a strike. Please, please, please create a backup strategy plan for your nine-to-five job. Always keep your resume updated. Your backup strategy can be as simple as saving up three months of living expenses, or maybe it is starting your own side hustle! It does not matter the strategy, as long as there is a strategy in place.
"Please don't let money run your life."
I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback if you have read this book. Even if you have not read the book, and something in this blog post sparked your interest. Comment below, or send me a message!
Have you heard those stories about bloggers who are working for themselves making money off their blog? Have you wondered how feasible or attainable making money off your blog really is for anyone? For those of you who have been blogging, or those who are even interested in blogging, let me be very clear here -- you, too, can make money off your blog!
I am so excited to tell you how you can earn affiliate income from blogging! Before this year, I had a vague knowledge about affiliate marketing. Then, I started digging deeper into learning more about what is affiliate marketing. The more research I did about creating a blog, the more I was interested in affiliate marketing. I continued to dig a little deeper, and found this course online called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. One of the very neat things about this course is that the person who created this course, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, has been doing affiliate marketing for several years now and was able to quit her full-time day job to pursue her blogging business!
Michelle is currently making over $50,000 a month in affiliate marketing alone. Her success was not an overnight success, rather it took her time to build up this business. Now, she gets to travel full-time with her husband while working on her blog. That sounds amazing, doesn't it? Essentially, affiliate marketing is a marketing arrangement in which you receive a commission for traffic or sales generated from referrals. If you have started a blog then you should also start looking into affiliate marketing. It is actually semi-passive income, where you get the opportunity to also promote products that you love!
Michelle blogs over at Making Sense of Cents, and details frequently about budgeting, savings, and all things money related. The course that she created walks you through all of the details, the ins and outs, of truly what it takes to do affiliate marketing, like she does on her blog.
Here's what the course goes through:
Check the course out at this link!
This course is not free, and it definitely needs to work within your budget before you click on purchase. However, I have learned far more about my website and blogging from taking this course than I could have learned all on my own. I definitely feel there is a return on investment. Since I am new to the blogging scene and have just started my business this year, I have not made actual money from affiliate marketing yet. What I have seen is very specific growth in my page views on my blog, and visits to my website. I believe that if I continue to produce content, grow, and expand my blog I will start seeing the commissions coming in.
As always, I am here to answers your questions - so feel free to drop me a line. . . And, remember to stay within your budget!
I never thought 2018 would be so full and so lovely. And now, it seems crazy to think that this business of mine is a real, living, and breathing entity and I am honored to be able to show up every day to it.
When I first started this business I was unsure of which way to truly start. I felt like I knew my endgame, but was unsure of which path to move forward with. I know there may be some of you out there thinking the same thing. Perhaps you even toyed with the idea of starting your own business as well, but just unsure of exactly how to get started. In this blog post I reflect on my first year in business and then I breakdown the path I took to that brought me where I am today. I hope this provides insight and encouragement that it is possible to start a business alongside working a full-time job.
What does starting a business take?
What would I say are some of my greatest accomplishments this year?
My very greatest accomplishment this year is that I actually did it! I am considering that, in and of itself, the success! I am so happy to say that I have made it to the end of the year with this new venture of mine. I am so happy to say that I do have clients of my own. Having thought and dreamed about owning my own business for quite some time now, and actually seeing it come to fruition means more than the world to me. The reason I know this is meaningful and true for not just me, but also many others, is because of the amount of support and encouragement you all have shown me! This was a surprise factor for me, and another great accomplishment this year. For me, to be able to see the impact my business is has on my clients, as well as the many family members and friends who are more than supportive of me, is such a great accomplishment. I hope that my reach continues to expand in 2019 so that I may continue to be a resource for those on the pursuit of their personal finances.
What are some things I have learned about myself during this process?
Working as an accountant over the past decade, I have learned a lot about working on a team, and working with managers across organizations. Meeting one-on-one with managers, I soon realized that I very much enjoyed being in the space of guiding and directing someone on how they are spending their budget and the implications it has on the longer term. When I transitioned to starting my business and working one-on-one with individuals I quickly realized how much I enjoyed being in the space of helping the individual analyze their financial state and create a meaningful budget from there. This is why I developed Know Your Budget. My hope is that it will allow me to continue to help individuals, working alongside them, to create and use a meaningful budget.
Here is the progression of my journey over the course of the year
This path and journey has led me to some very practical experiences I will be able to continue to learn and grow from, in order to better myself moving forward. Here are a few guide posts along the journey of my first year in business.
Have you ever thought there needs to be an organization out there that matches skill-based volunteers with nonprofit organizations? Well, you are in luck! Such an organization exists in the Pasadena area called Jericho Road Pasadena. They consider themselves the modern-day matchmaker, except for volunteers and nonprofit organizations. Jericho Road Pasadena’s roots run deep in the Pasadena area. Jericho Road Pasadena is very connected with local nonprofits and community organizations. They seem to have their finger on the pulse of what is needed around town. I think this is such a neat business model, and I am so happy to have found them and have the ability to volunteer my time and energy with them.
What is Jericho Road Pasadena’s Mission Statement?
In order to understand the heart of the organization, it is best to first observe their mission statement. Jericho Road Pasadena’s mission statement, listed on their website says;
Jericho Road Pasadena's mission is to bridge communities by matching the professional talents of volunteers with the needs of community-based nonprofit organizations to promote community development, strengthen social services, and enrich the lives of volunteers.
What programs does Jericho Road Pasadena offer?
Jericho Road Pasadena has a couple of different program offerings. The programs they offer are listed on their website, and below...
These programs have well-thought out processes that assist in providing insightful and meaningful work. Jericho Road Pasadena interviews the skill-based volunteer to understand their skill-level in order to pair the volunteer with the very specific needs of the local nonprofit organization requesting the service. The nonprofit would have already filled out a Project Scope of Work or a Nonprofit Request for Board Members. Once the introductions have been made, then the newly paired individuals start tackling the to-do list.
What is my involvement with Jericho Road Pasadena?
This is the exciting part of my story… I was referred to Jericho Road Pasadena earlier this year by a friend of mine who had been volunteering with them for a while. I heard really great things, researched their website and was instantly sold by their business model. The executive director, Melanie Goodyear, interviewed me earlier this year to see if she could find a match for nonprofit accounting work. During this interview she mentioned a board training program called The Leadership Connection that Jericho Road Pasadena puts together, and she wanted me to consider attending.
There were a couple of things going on here… First, we wanted to start with The Leadership Connection (TLC) right away because it was perfect timing for The Leadership Connection to begin. Then we would focus on volunteering with nonprofits after TLC. Once TLC was completed, I had the extra time available to volunteer with a nonprofit. This, my friends, is how I was introduced to Elizabeth House. Read my post about them here! What a lovely group of people to work with.
It was around this same time that Melanie wanted to connect me with a nonprofit as far as board services are concerned. To be quite frank with you, I was not actually thinking I would be on a board this year! I always had thought that it would be something that I would want to do in my future, but once I had more life experience and wisdom under my belt. As it turns out, we found a match in volunteering my time as a board member with Ten Thousand Villages in Pasadena. Read my post about them here!
What is Jericho Road’s biggest financial challenge?
When asked about their biggest financial challenge, Executive Director Melanie Goodyear said: Our biggest financial challenge is raising money for capacity-building. Capacity building is certainly part of every nonprofit organization, so I wanted to touch on what that means. Capacity building is all about building up for future endeavors. This is a key area nonprofits need to focus on at different points of growth in the lifespan of the organization. Specifically, capacity building is all about sustainability. In other words, how will nonprofits continue to survive and thrive in the next year, or two, or three? The Council of Nonprofits says it best; “Capacity building is an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit.”
How can you show your support to Jericho Road?
They have several ways that you can donate your year-end giving to them. Would you please thoughtfully consider donating your year-end giving to this nonprofit organization?
Melanie also suggested that CalNonprofits has a great "Unconventional Giving Guide" which may give good tips about how best to allocate end-of-year donations.” Here is an excerpt:
My thoughts on numbers, spreadsheets, money, spending, forecasting, budgeting, and everything in between. Read on!
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