#025 This is Financial Literacy month and meet Todd Christensen, an expert in financial literacy, who has been involved with "Jump$tart", working with state leaders around the country. Todd explains that regarding financial literacy, there is room to do better, and many surveys have revealed that the current state is not much better than it was a decade ago. The "Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy" was organized back in the 90s to promote financial literacy, particularly among young people.
For full show notes and transcript go to Raising Financial Freedom
- "Pay Yourself First, put something into your savings before you pay your bills"
- "If we could save first, our spending would automatically just fit into our income"
In This Episode:
· [08:18] What is "Jump$tart"?
· [09:06] Todd describes strategies that can be employed in implementing financial literacy today.
· [10:33] What financial literacy lessons did your parents pass on to you?
· [12:38] What lessons have you passed on to your kids?
· [016:02] About moneyfit.org
· [17:27] What common problem have noted among your clients at Moneyfit?
· [18:17] How and Why did you get started with financial literacy?
· [14:05] The one thing people don't realize about money.
· [28:44] About the book "Everyday Money for Everyday People".
· [30:24] What is the best piece of financial advice you can give?
· [32:39] If you had to do it all over again, what is the first thing you would do?
[00:00:00] Eric: [00:00:00] Today on episode 25, we are back and it's financial literacy month.
[00:00:10] I just want to thank all the parents, guardians, aunties, uncles, cousins, everyone who support the show and spreads the word of raising financial freedom. So we have a new schedule of every other week, and we also have a publishing date of Saturday. We recently experienced some technical difficulties, but that's because we are experienced growth.
[00:00:33] So. No are adjusting to the changes and I hope you are too. So financial literacy month we're here
[00:00:41] Host daughter: [00:00:41] in, come on, dad, stop playing around and play the music.
[00:00:48] Eric: [00:00:48] Tough crowd.
[00:00:54] Introducer: [00:00:54] Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have it all financially? Do well-off parents simply hand their [00:01:00] children money or is there more to this welfare? Welcome to raising financial freedom. The podcast, we are here to talk about everything you never knew to teach children when it comes to starting their financial future, the principles behind wealth and methods that are out there to teach your child about.
[00:01:16] Personal financial freedom. There was no real tricks to earning other than learning. We are here to discuss, teach and grow with you. Raising financial freedom, the podcast with your host and concerned parents. Eric yard. Let us get right into today's show.
[00:01:36] Eric: [00:01:36] We have some
[00:01:37] news to go over. Also, Todd Christensen is also joining us today from money fit.org. So let's talk about financial literacy month and news going on this month. Now here in the United States in the month of April organizations across the country, conduct a variety
[00:01:55] Todd: [00:01:55] of events and carry out
[00:01:56] Eric: [00:01:56] initiatives designed to improve financial literacy.
[00:02:00] [00:02:00] Now the jumpstart coalition has been on the forefront since. Year 2000, I would say now this used to be a date, but it grew out to a whole month. This year is a little different because of the pandemic, but there are still things going on. And in the show notes, there'll be a link to a message by Laura Levine, president and CEO of the jumpstart coalition, letting you know what's going on with them.
[00:02:27] In other news, Heidi Heitkamp, former North Dakota Senator was on CNBC. She had a phone interview with CNBC and in the interview, she had a couple of things in there that really resonated with me about financial literacy. Basically the overall big picture of financial. I'm going to play you a clip. What links to the show is going to be in the show notes.
[00:02:52] We cause he had the full interview, uh, Senator
[00:02:56] Todd: [00:02:56] Heitkamp. Welcome. Uh, we're sorry. You're you're not a fully with us except by the phone, [00:03:00] but we're glad to have you here. Nonetheless, you make some interesting points in your article about how. Um, being financially illiterate is not just important on its face so that you can manage your home budget, uh, more, uh, prudently and better, but that it really does ripple up through the economy in ways.
[00:03:18] We really don't usually think of it. Explain what you were talking about. Well, I mean, it's actually in two ways, first off, we're all voters. We all have to decide who's got the best economic plan, the plan that most agrees with my principles and my economic values. And if you don't understand your own personal budget, it's hard to understand.
[00:03:38] I think how. You can balance the federal budget, why you should be concerned about that deficit, why you should be a voter that's concerned about debt and deficit. And so I look at it for that's one side of the coin, but the other side of the coin is the more financially literate and financially independent Americans can be the less stress we have on government, the [00:04:00] less, uh, problems you're going to have with them.
[00:04:02] People making bad choices that lead to, uh, potentially over-regulation or basically bail out. Um, the, you know, if you think about this, if they understand risk mitigation, why would anyone build a house in a flood plain and a fewer people build a house in the flood, plain, the law that lowers the risk that all of us take as taxpayers in paying flood insurance.
[00:04:25] And that's just a small example, but you can look at all these choices that we make. Our choices, not just for us and for our individual, you know, kind of, uh, economic wellbeing, but it trickles up in the economy and strengthens the American economy.
[00:04:42] Eric: [00:04:42] So now the mass population as a whole. Can change companies, the mass population can change economy.
[00:04:50] And that's big. This reminds me of episode eight with Ivan inspires, where he was looking at financial literacy and wealth building. The [00:05:00] bigger picture of it may not be realized today is a clip of it.
[00:05:04] Todd: [00:05:04] But like, you may not be around to like to reap the benefits. You might be the one that just creates the, like the foundation.
[00:05:13] For your children to go ahead and build the wealth. It might not be done in one lifetime is what I'm saying. And because it might not be done in one lifetime that does not mean it's not, you should not pursue. So like you have to be selfless. In such a way, where do you have that sense of not sense, but you have to know that this was going to be a great deal of sacrifice required in order for this time.
[00:05:39] Eric: [00:05:39] So now on a small level, your child will change financially on the next level. Your family line will change. Financial and on the ultimate level, the country will change financial. And that is one of the main points. We try to stress here at raising financial freedom. Another article in news [00:06:00] today, which I already knew, and it's still prevalent to this day.
[00:06:03] There is a big financial literacy gap when it comes to black Americans and white, when it comes to saving, investing, and earning ROI. Which was just done recently by the T I a Institute George Washington university. So basically financial literacy is not good country, but it's even worse when it comes to minorities.
[00:06:25] The article brings new numbers up to the forefront and gives an updated view of what's going on with financial literacy. When it comes to minorities, the link to this article would definitely be in the show. Now our guest today is Todd Christensen from money fit.org. And we are going to talk about how to be money fit parents, and welcome everyone to another show of raising financial freedom today.
[00:06:51] I want to bring to you Todd Christensen,
[00:07:00] [00:07:00] Tom.
[00:07:01] Todd: [00:07:01] Okay. Thank you. You doing? Thank you. I'm doing great. That's a great of course. Got to do it for the guests. That's awesome. Todd, you're here with
[00:07:10] Eric: [00:07:10] us today and I want to talk to you about money and financial literacy, which goes, that works with money. So Todd let's get a temperature of how you feel about financial literacy, Todd, in your opinion, what is the state of financial literacy
[00:07:26] Todd: [00:07:26] country we could always do better.
[00:07:29] We're not doing so hot. There are plenty of, um, surveys. I've been involved with jumpstart coalition and they've done, they've done surveys and for years and years, and we are not doing it any better than we were 10 or 15 years ago. That's the thing. We're not making much progress in spite of all the economic motivation we had with the great recession and pandemic, but we could always do better.
[00:07:52] And you
[00:07:52] Eric: [00:07:52] said that. You get you work with jumpstart.
[00:07:55] Todd: [00:07:55] I've been involved in the state chapter leadership here in Idaho [00:08:00] and work with know quite a bit of the other state leaders around the country.
[00:08:03] Eric: [00:08:03] Can you explain a little, what jumpstart is?
[00:08:06] Todd: [00:08:06] Jumpstart. It's the jumpstart coalition for personal financial literacy.
[00:08:12] And they was, it was organized back in the mid to late nineties with the purpose of promoting financial literacy round among young people, especially, but each state has their own chapter and can focus on. School children or adults or teacher train, whatever they choose. But the whole purpose is to promote financial literacy.
[00:08:35] There's a lot of big banks and brokers that are behind it and want to see financial literacy grow
[00:08:41] Eric: [00:08:41] definitely as an organization. I hope to get on the show and able to talk to somebody. Absolutely. They are definitely the leaders, financial literacy. So hypothetically. In a semi perfect world. How would financial?
[00:08:56] Todd: [00:08:56] Okay, so there's a lot of push and in some places [00:09:00] to choir it in schools, and I think that would really be helpful. Certainly not going to hurt. There are really over the last 20 years, I think they've only been three States, maybe four that require any kind of personal financial literacy class for graduation from high school, others and other 10 20 have standards.
[00:09:18] But how those standards are implemented, it's hit and miss the real work for financial literacy has to be done at home. Kids can learn it and there's studies that show that they can learn it in a classroom, but it's, the success will come from learning and seeing it in their home. But the challenge, as you likely know, is that most parents are not comfortable talking to their children about money.
[00:09:42] They've made a lot of mistakes. Haven't we all and. Think that they're not qualified and don't know where to start and are embarrassed or just overwhelmed with the idea. And so they, we did our own surveys at money fit as we've done hundreds and hundreds of classes over the years in high schools. And as, [00:10:00] uh, as high school students, have you talked to your kids or have you talked to your parents about money and when was the last time and we found that 80% said about a thousand responses that they had never spoken with their parents about money, other than.
[00:10:14] Can I have some that's about it. Can I? And the response is always now we don't have any. Wow. That's
[00:10:19] Eric: [00:10:19] amazing. So when you were growing up, what financial literacy lessons did your parents pass on to you?
[00:10:25] Todd: [00:10:25] My parents. We're great examples of financial literacy. They were very frugal with their money. They, we I'm the youngest of eight, so they had to be, but I remember going shopping with my mom and grocery shopping.
[00:10:42] And of course seeing everything that looked yummy and delicious, I can, I have that. And it was, that's not what we're here for that we've got to get we're here to get groceries. And my dad was on his own. Uh, practice optometrist. And he was hard worker and I was in his office quite often in his [00:11:00] office working.
[00:11:00] So the literacy financial literacy lessons I learned was that you can be rewarded for hard work and running your own business, and you need to take care of your spending. They, they did, but when I was coming of age and heading off to college was the first time really in the early to mid eighties. First time when.
[00:11:22] Credit card companies really started marketing hard to college students. My parents had no idea that this was happening. I, and so we had not really had any conversations about credit cards. I didn't know how they work. And so when I got to college and of course, Hey, you get sent for free credit card.
[00:11:41] I'll give you, we'll give you this free t-shirt or a Frisbee or a hat. And I got my first credit card. $2,000 credit limit or it arrived, I think on a Wednesday morning and by Thursday evening I had it maxed out. So it was not that they weren't good with it. My [00:12:00] parents weren't good for them or that they didn't think I should know about it, or they just didn't know it was an issue on college campuses.
[00:12:06] I, none of my older brothers had encountered that. Where my sister. And so it was something new, but it's just a matter of staying aware of what's going on as you're heading off as they're heading off for little independence.
[00:12:18] Eric: [00:12:18] Yeah. That is definite. I could, it was cars. Get you in trouble. So yeah, with those lessons being taught to you, what has trickled down to
[00:12:27] Todd: [00:12:27] your kids?
[00:12:28] We have made it a point to be very open with our finances, with our kids, previous generations and not necessarily my folks, but I know previous generations from the classes that I teach, if they were to ask their mother or their father, Hey, how much money do you make? The answer seemed inevitably to be none of your business.
[00:12:47] And so we talked to our kids and we share, and we say, look, this is our family finances. So we were going to share information, but it's. We keep it here at home. But with our two older [00:13:00] children, when they were eight years starting at about the time they were six and eight, we did it three or four times.
[00:13:05] Every couple of years, we'd fill out monopoly money and we would count out, this is how much might we put it on the table. This is how much money we earn every month. And of course you put down a hundred dollars and I think, Ooh, we're rich. We would get to. Put that pile out there and their eyes would be so big.
[00:13:23] They think this is awesome. Look, we get to go to Disney world or something, and then we'd start talking about, okay, first thing we got to do is we're going to pay taxes. Even before we see our money, we're going to pay taxes and this is what we get for taxes. We didn't want to make it negative, but this is, these are the things that the government provides through some of these taxes, tax money.
[00:13:41] Here's some of the benefits so that I have to pay for at work. And we talk about generosity and our tithing. We talk about. Rant and they teach him about, yeah, we, we have to pay for this house. We're still paying for this house and utilities. And we would go through and let them know where every dollar was going.
[00:13:58] Here's money that goes into [00:14:00] savings. Here's money, that's for allowance, so that they say, see that they're taken care of. And so by the end, but in this activity, it could take 10 minutes. It can take 25 minutes, depending on the discussion. There, there was $1 left on the counter or on the table and we.
[00:14:15] Those older kids. They really never asked us for money again, because they knew that we had a plan and that every dollar was accounted for. And that if they w if they were going to get some money, they were probably going to have to ask or figure out how to earn it themselves. That's
[00:14:33] Eric: [00:14:33] you using the money that monopoly money to teach them.
[00:14:38] Were there any games that you, other, other games, other games that
[00:14:44] Todd: [00:14:44] we. We did have my wife found, and I didn't realize this. My wife found a version of the game of life that, and I'd been teaching personal finance for five or 10 years. And it was very different from the one I grew up. [00:15:00] With it was very realistic and I thought, Oh, this they've changed it.
[00:15:03] It's not so bad chance. And it's not these wild numbers earn $20,000 for selling some painting. That's yeah, it was realistic. And so I said, Hey, let's I think we'd seen at somebody's house. I said, so let's get one. And we bought a version of it and it was completely different, but. That sort of game. I remember playing that wherever we were, we played it two or three times during that visit.
[00:15:27] And I love that, but I've also got a couple other games that I've used over the years at work. I think payday is one of them and there was a game by Robert Kiyosaki that we've played with groups of kids.
[00:15:41] Eric: [00:15:41] Oh really? Even though he had a game. Interesting. Okay. So, okay.
[00:15:48] Todd: [00:15:48] Yeah. Tell
[00:15:49] Eric: [00:15:49] us about money, fit.org. How is it helping the people out there?
[00:15:53] And what's it all about?
[00:15:56] Todd: [00:15:56] Sure. Money fit is a [00:16:00] money. If it is a, it's a, the name of our organization is debt reduction services, but we also have this a DBA money fit because it tells more of what we do. We it's all about helping people stabilize. Their finances and B create a secure future. Uh, we're a nonprofit been around since 96 and what I do as education managers, I have gone into the community and led about 2000 workshops on the basics of personal finance from budgeting credit, building debt elimination, saving for emergencies, protecting your identity, how to spend via a savvy consumer.
[00:16:40] Okay. And we've created some online programs as well. That it was great. There was no good time with the pandemic, but we'd already pivoted to do a lot of online courses in the fall of 2019. So most all our education is now available for free online to help people have a good, positive experience. Seeing what [00:17:00] budgeting is like or learning about what busting some of the myths about credit.
[00:17:04] And that's helping people if they need help with debt providing a debt management plan, but as a non-profit, we're an education charter. So it's, we're all about educating. Oh, your
[00:17:13] Eric: [00:17:13] clients. What have you seen that as a common
[00:17:16] Todd: [00:17:16] problem? It's all over the board. We, I guess you could say, if you want to generalize, it's typically a home owning couple with a couple of kids that have.
[00:17:26] Maybe got into too much credit card debt or had an medical emergency and struggled with that to pay their bills, or they've just let some bills go. And their credit card interest rates are now in 20 30% interest. I've seen as high as 60% on some credit cards, these default or penalty rates. And so we're able to work with those creditors and get them down to two, three, five, 8% interest rates so they can get paid off in five years, but it's all over the board from medical to just.
[00:17:55] Overspending to job loss and people are getting back in there, back into employment. Now [00:18:00] they need to figure out how to address all the debt that they were building during that employment and employed period. Todd,
[00:18:05] Eric: [00:18:05] how did you get started in all this? And, and why did you get started
[00:18:10] Todd: [00:18:10] that, you know, it, I did not grow up thinking I'm going to be education manager at a nonprofit.
[00:18:15] That's not a typical or traditional career route. Anyone chooses I'd actually started taking over a business for a mentor of mine. He knows. Helping him appraise dental practices, again, not something traditional. And so I was in the middle of working a business. It was a kind of a feast or famine type where you can go four or five months without any income and then make your, all your annual income in one or two transactions.
[00:18:38] When my wife and I got married and she was employed and we, I was in the middle of one of those famines and things, weren't going well at her work. And so I said, let me just go get a temporarily, get a full-time job. And until things turn around and I found this. Job. One of the small percentage actually finds it online.
[00:18:56] And after about a month, I realized, you know, I don't want to go back. [00:19:00] This is so what I love to do and teaching and helping people stabilize their finances, promoting basic financial literacy and in dealing and getting there and helping with kids. If you go into a classroom and you talk to kids about.
[00:19:14] Money and they help them understand that there's only four things you can do with money. You can earn it, you can spend it, you can give it and you can save it. And by the end of that classroom, they just they're there. They feel so empowered. I, I know what I can do with money now. It's a lot of fun,
[00:19:29] Eric: [00:19:29] especially when you see they faces, uh, start to understand what's what money is all about and how is it applying and how it works in the economy.
[00:19:38] Right. They get a true understanding of, Hey, I just can't go spending.
[00:19:43] Todd: [00:19:43] Yeah. I go into a classes as young as. I've been into kindergarten classes, but second grade is really a great time all the way up through high school and college and beyond of course, but those second graders, if I go back and do a second or third presentation, they see me come and Mr.
[00:19:58] C's here that they [00:20:00] just it's just makes my day. And it's hard to target. Picture myself doing anything out.
[00:20:04] Eric: [00:20:04] Um, I understand, I understand your kids got a little advantage on them then.
[00:20:10] Todd: [00:20:10] Yeah. Hopefully it's never, it's not going to be the case of the cobbler's kids have no shoes. Aye. We try and be open with them.
[00:20:18] And they, I was listening in on one of my 15 year old was doing, going through a review for a scout merit badge pageant. They talked. One of the questions was about money and boy, I was really impressed. He actually was listen. He had, he had actually been listening when we were telling him about how credit works in debt and all that.
[00:20:34] So I it's working on the cognitive level, hopefully in practice. That's always the always wait and see
[00:20:42] Eric: [00:20:42] how that goes. Yeah. Let's see the fruits of your labor. Did it take
[00:20:48] Todd: [00:20:48] exactly
[00:20:49] Eric: [00:20:49] with all your teaching, uh, that you do. Oh, what is the one thing that people don't realize about money?
[00:20:55] Todd: [00:20:55] About money? Generally, that's a loaded question, right?
[00:20:58] I think the [00:21:00] misunderstanding about the role of debt in our lives is probably in my mind, one of the biggest issues in our society, we have just come to expect that their debt is just a normal thing. You have to have car loan. How could you see some people can't even haven't even. Considered buying a car without a car loan, they just assume, Oh, I've got to have a car loan.
[00:21:22] And we've been raised if, hopefully we've been even lucky enough to hear this, but even if we've heard the idea that there's good debt and bad debt, that can cause problems. If we saw that in the great recession, we. Good debt was always traditionally home loans or mortgages, possibly business loans and student loans.
[00:21:38] If we've learned anything in the last 15 years, I can get into a home loan. That is way too big for what you can Ford and you can pay to get into way too much student loan debt than what your plans were for a career are going to really justify going to a private, very expensive liberal arts, because you want to go [00:22:00] into a very noble.
[00:22:01] Profession, but that pays minimal. It may not. It's not going to be the best financial choice. I'm not saying there's not value in non finances, but I start, I'd like to change that paradigm from good debt, bad debt to potentially good debt, because it is potentially beneficial debt. There's practical debt.
[00:22:19] You use a credit card and I pay it off every month that has its negatives to be with overspending. And then there's everything else is just bad debt. But I think that the idea that we just. Oh, it's just the way of life. That's like fingernails on a chalkboard. And when I hear that with the mate,
[00:22:34] Eric: [00:22:34] with there being major points in, uh, financial literacy, uh, I'll pick some, these earning is saving, there's investing and then is budgeting.
[00:22:46] If you had to pick one, which one would you, which one would you pick? To shout out loud to the
[00:22:53] Todd: [00:22:53] savings, hands down, hands down. If we would, if we could all just save something first, pay [00:23:00] ourselves first. A lot of people, a lot of people have heard that term terminology. You got to pay yourself first, but when I get to them, one-on-one they say, I don't know what that means.
[00:23:09] It simply means. Put something into your savings before you pay your bills. It, if we could actually build an emergency savings fund, every household could build an emergency savings. And we've really seen this skyrocket in the last year during the pandemic. And it actually happens every time we go into recession, everybody pulls back their spending and builds their savings.
[00:23:31] But if we could just do that consistently. Think about all the things that that would change in our economy? Yes. There would be some companies and, or, and businesses that we would no longer need payday loans right now that other than the employees, most people wouldn't miss that, but we could have, wouldn't have to worry so much.
[00:23:50] What if the appliance a refrigerator breaks down because we'd have. Some savings to be able to go buy it, not put it on a credit card and pay 20% extra in interest every [00:24:00] year. So savings hands down that would cure a lot of problems. Yet. There's some challenges with income that we do have some income, um, differences, but even the, even on average, even the lowest income have been improving versus the lowest income 20, 40, a hundred years ago.
[00:24:18] But when we compare it to the highest income, that's where, when we start comparing, that's where we all. Charge is crazy, but most problems and I'm not all, but most household financial problems that I've seen are spending issues, not income issues, because we expect a certain lifestyle in this country.
[00:24:37] And when we see neighbors or people on TV have a certain lifestyle, we feel not to say entitled, but we feel it's unfair because somebody who's earning low income can have work harder than people who are making massive amounts of income physically. Even emotionally or mentally, but if we could save first, our spending would automatically just naturally fit [00:25:00] into our income.
[00:25:00] Interesting. Me
[00:25:01] Eric: [00:25:01] personally, I think it is budgeting. Because I think everything falls under that will fall under that heading, which is savings investing vesting.
[00:25:14] Todd: [00:25:14] Yeah. I can understand that. And that's really, it is the same thing. If we would budget savings first, then every, all that planning for all spending, we would just make it fit within our income.
[00:25:25] After that.
[00:25:25] Eric: [00:25:25] Yeah, I would say budgeting, but I still have a love for the investing part. So
[00:25:32] Todd: [00:25:32] yeah, I'm not, I'm definitely not. I'm definitely not dissing budgeting. I teach it all the time. It's just, I wouldn't want to say, do this and not do that. They are all part of our household finances.
[00:25:43] Eric: [00:25:43] So, um, how do you feel when you are able to help one of your clients, um, from going the wrong way?
[00:25:52] To the right way.
[00:25:53] Todd: [00:25:53] Yeah. Yeah. Those are some of the best days. Those are just, I have a number of experiences, but I remember one, couple, I had [00:26:00] met them in a commercial, a workshop I was doing at a local church and they came up to me afterwards and said, we need to come and talk to you. We'd like to buy a house, but we have so much debt.
[00:26:11] And our credit is so terrible that we just, we don't know what to do. And so we made it, I mean, they came up the next a week or two later. Brought a little baby in their carrier and sat there, outset, sat her there on the next thins them on. And we said, okay, let's first thing let's do, let's pull your credit report talk.
[00:26:31] Cause they've already shared their goals with me. And they found out that all that debt that they were worried about and had been losing sleep about and their terrible credit they were scared of was so old. That it was beyond statute of limitations for, for being sued in court for it. And it was no longer on their credit and their credit was, it wasn't golden, but it certainly wasn't bad, but it was, and it was good enough that I said, look, you guys got this income now [00:27:00] and you're wanting to buy a home.
[00:27:01] If you take care of this debt and that debt. And they did. And the next two to three months, they, they really buckled down and got rid of a couple of big debts. Sandra knew that I probably time if you to start thinking about contacting a mortgage broker and ran into him two months later and they were getting ready to close on a house, it was just one of the best days of my career.
[00:27:22] It was fun to hear that sort of thing.
[00:27:24] Eric: [00:27:24] Yeah. That, that sounds, that sounds good because you. Basically show them that, Hey, all the bad things that we did financially really is gone right now. And your credit score really isn't that bad of how you think, and you bring that light to them, right? And I knew that it was so happy.
[00:27:45] So you, you definitely didn't even have much
[00:27:48] Todd: [00:27:48] work to do. No, it was it's annual credit card, credit report.com. It's free. I didn't have, we didn't have to pay anything. We didn't, it's just something that takes 10 minutes, five minutes. And we looked it over and I said, okay, now what debts are [00:28:00] you worried about?
[00:28:00] Cause I'm not seeing them. And they said, what's been 10 years or 12 years or 15 years. It was just fun. When, because they came in, there was just this darkness, this fear, I could feel it. And w after, as soon as we're done looking at the credit report, they lean back and you could feel the stress just leave.
[00:28:18] And there was an excitement and a hope there that was not there before. Oh, that's
[00:28:22] Eric: [00:28:22] good. Yeah. That's good. That's real good. Yeah. So, Todd, uh, I want to jump into your other hat. You weren't an Arthur. You're an author and you're an author of everyday money for everyday people. Yes. Now that book speaks to, I would say to the nine to five or is out there.
[00:28:40] Right. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and
[00:28:43] Todd: [00:28:43] absolutely sure. I, so I had been at money fit that reduction services for almost 10 years and I had done, I had led almost a thousand community workshops. And in inevitably, you're going to hear lots of stories. But you're also gonna hear a lot of [00:29:00] really interesting, different, new ideas that you had never heard of on how to manage your dad and success stories and so forth.
[00:29:07] And every time I'd hear one of these, somebody would share in one of these classes, I said, Oh, that is such a good idea. Why somebody, how to write a book? And pretty soon it clicked, Oh, if I'm the one they're telling the stories to, I better write the book about it. So I joined an authors group and here in town, the local publisher just started writing down the stories that I'd heard.
[00:29:28] And it included a lot of my own personal experiences, personal finance, and kept trying to figure out, okay, what kind of, what do I want to name the book? And I don't, I think it was early one morning. I had just gotten up and it just came everyday money for everyday people because that is what it is.
[00:29:42] Everyday people need better information. They're not getting it about how many works. They're not getting it from their parents. They're not, they didn't get from the parents. They're not getting it from schools or what does that leave? And it goes, if they go online and ask questions, can they really trust somebody?
[00:30:00] [00:29:59] So it's just been really gratifying to see the response over the last five, six, six years since that seven years now, I guess, since it came out, Todd, what
[00:30:10] Eric: [00:30:10] is the best piece of financial advice you could give any child or any parents? Best
[00:30:16] Todd: [00:30:16] piece of advice don't give up. Don't give up finance. There's there's so many problems that are going to arise best informed.
[00:30:25] Best financial educated people are still going to struggle with something. We've had our own struggles. You know, we continue to have struggles and it's so easy to just say, okay, this is where we have been. This is where we are now, where we're always going to be. But if you've can set some goals, if you know where you'd like to be, just don't give up.
[00:30:45] You'll get there. I wrote another book, just. Published it earlier this year, 50 plus on fire for it's. For those of us in our fifties, who still would like to achieve financial independence and still have dreams of using our [00:31:00] time in our fifties, late fifties and sixties to, uh, go beyond the nine to five and maybe do some volunteering and create a financial independent life financially independent life that allows us to do.
[00:31:14] More than punch the punch clock day in, day out. And that's that again? Manifestation of the hope that there's, if there's something else you want to do more, you want to do just don't give up, keep going. Yeah,
[00:31:27] Eric: [00:31:27] you were, you was forced on a hamster wheel, but you can get off. You definitely can get off. Yeah, right?
[00:31:34] Todd: [00:31:34] Yeah. this is what we're taught in schools and animate. I love schools. I love my, my degrees and, but it's not the, it doesn't. Share or it doesn't give us all the options out there for career and for what we want to do with our lives. Yeah.
[00:31:50] Eric: [00:31:50] Basically to be taught, to be a cog in the wheel.
[00:31:52] Todd: [00:31:52] Yeah. Yeah.
[00:31:53] Sometimes it feels that way at some cogs are bigger than others and some cogs are smoother than others, but sometimes it can feel [00:32:00] like we're just part of a machine. And so when the idea of, if you've heard a fire, financial independence retire early, this movement is it's, the idea has been around forever, but it's really.
[00:32:10] Taken off caught fire in the early 2010s, late 22 thousands that you can build your own financial independence outside of your career so that you can do what you want with your time. That's most value to you and ANSYS society.
[00:32:24] Eric: [00:32:24] That's good. That's definitely good. Todd, if you had to do it all over again, what is the first thing you would do?
[00:32:30] Todd: [00:32:30] I would tell myself to stop comparing what I had with what everybody else had. I remember being at college. And looking out the window, I was on the third floor, second and third floor looking out the window and seeing a friend drive in on a brand new two door sports car, a Ford probe that tells you how old I am.
[00:32:52] And I thought, Oh, that's what I want. And you start seeing what others have and you start wanting what others [00:33:00] have. And so you start spending. Based on what others have rather than on what you have and want. And so I really had a problem with overspending. That was my problem growing up, or when I was younger, just to be satisfied with, with my priorities and have a goal of where I want to go and how to get there, but to set up a plan on how to get there.
[00:33:26] Eric: [00:33:26] Todd, I want to thank you for coming on the show and sharing all this good knowledge with us. You bet.
[00:33:32] Todd: [00:33:32] I appreciate the opportunity. Let
[00:33:34] Eric: [00:33:34] us know where we can get in touch with you and continue this conversation. And what future projects you got going on in
[00:33:43] Todd: [00:33:43] the future? Yeah, my money fit is just money fit.org, and I would love it to be able to share some more of their financial literacy projects that we do in schools on embarrassing bears.
[00:33:53] That's just fun and free for teachers, but yeah. What about
[00:33:57] Eric: [00:33:57] financial literacy month coming up? Just now [00:34:00] you have anything special going on.
[00:34:01] Todd: [00:34:01] April. I love April financial literacy month. There's there. Every state I know jumpstart, as I mentioned before, is big into financial literacy month. And a lot of States, state governors will have a proclamation signing here in Idaho.
[00:34:17] We actually, the jumpstart does a, an annual piggy bank beauty contest where. Kids. Third to sixth grade can see a piggy bank of their own making, and then it gets voted on and they can win some money for the five 29 plan here in Idaho. And then they get to meet the governor. It's just. There's so many opportunities out there.
[00:34:37] Every state has, does something different. Get involved. It's a great opportunity.
[00:34:41] Eric: [00:34:41] Once again, I want to thank you for coming on the show, what I've taken out of this episode and this show let's prioritize some of our time towards financial literacy. We make time for a whole slew of other things. But for this month, especially this month, let's try to [00:35:00] prioritize more time for financial literacy.
[00:35:02] Let's take our kids to the local event, whether it's online or offline or take them to the library or buy him some books. Or better yet, just sit down and have a talk with them about money playing. It's simple as that. Keep it simple at the beginning, but then build on that. I will have a link in the show notes for 10 free financial tools available during this financial literacy month.
[00:35:24] So come on now you can do this. Better yet we can do this. Stay tuned to next episode, where we're talking to another organization who was definitely pushing the envelope in financial literacy until next time stay safe.
[00:35:40] Introducer: [00:35:40] We really hope you enjoy this episode of financial freedom. The podcast stay connected with us directly through raising financial.
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