- I interviewed Garth Brooks (and he hugged me..still gives me goosebumps!)
- I traveled to Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- I gave birth to four pretty awesome kids.
But now, I've been given an opportunity to try something new, something I've never done before, but something I'm super excited about.
I've been chosen as a member of the "launch team" for the book "Smart Money, Smart Kids" by none other than Dave Ramsey (I know… goosebumps again.. that man is amazing) and his equally amazing daughter Rachel Cruze.
So what does that mean?
I'm still figuring all that out, but the first step was reading the the first two chapters of the book. Pretty awesome, yet common sense, stuff. Here's a link to check out those first two chapters for yourself: www.smartmoneysmartkids.com. Scroll to the bottom, enter your email, and start reading. You can pre-order the book on that same page, and I gotta say, I think it will be money well spent. I am reading the entire book now (I guess that's a launch team perk!) and loving it. I can't wait until it's available for everyone to read!
It's funny that I'm on this launch team though.
I don't exactly have a perfect financial history. I can't even count how many times my parents bailed me out of money troubles in college, and even as recent as a few years ago. But, the last time we borrowed money from them, my parents got smart. They put conditions on the loan:
- It was a loan. That meant it had to be paid back. And there was a deadline for the final payment.
- They made us take Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.
We paid the money back on time, and we took the online class.
Did our money ways change? Kind of. We paid off a bunch of stuff, built an emergency fund, and then fell into our old habits again. We've never had to ask for another loan, and we've paid cash for lots of stuff, but we're not exactly living the Dave Ramsey way either.
But we're climbing back on the Ramsey bandwagon. Topping our list: doing a monthly budget together on paper and building that emergency fund up again.
I'm only about halfway through "Smart Money, Smart Kids" but this book has inspired me to be a better example for our four kids. I want them to know how to handle money now, so when they leave (ahhh… the oldest will be gone in just three years! Sniff, sniff) they don't make the same mistakes we made.
My parents always say they wish they would have taught us better money management, but while we can't turn back time, we can change our family tree. My kids, ages 4-14, already know more about saving, spending, and giving than I did in my 20s. Here's just one example: Our oldest begged for an iPhone ("I'm the only one out of the entire 1,600 kids at my school that doesn't have an iPhone") -- we said not before upgrade time, and we won't pay your data plan. So she saved. And she saved. And she saved. Then she stumbled upon a great deal -- her grandpa upgraded and when she asked to buy his old one, he pulled the grandpa card and gave it to her. Bargain! It's been three months, and she has paid her $30 data plan on time (early, actually) every single month. She's accepted babysitting jobs in the middle of a crazy basketball season, just to make sure she has her phone money. Now, she's planning her summer: summer school (biology -- five hours a day!), weight training, and a summer job. When I told her that sounds pretty busy, she calmly explained that she needs to save up for her data plan and get her shopping-fix so she doesn't have to work during basketball and track seasons.
I'm working on being an equally smart mom.