Author, Personal Finance for Dummies
Q. Please tell us a little about your background?
A. My professional background began as a management
consultant in the financial services industry where I got an inside
perspective on how investment, insurance and other firms developed
and marketed products and services to maximize their profits. Following
this work, I began working in 1990 as a financial counselor and had
a unique practice in providing hourly based counseling and did not
sell products or manage money for an ongoing percentage.
Q. What drew you to writing about kids and/or money?
A. Our country has a lot of personal financial
illiteracy. Many adults don’t know how to manage money because
they never learned as kids. As I saw a lack of quality personal finance
journalism from an objective practitioner’s perspective, I got
involved in that in the early 1990s. I wrote my first book, Personal
Finance for Dummies, back in 1993.
Q. Who introduced you to saving and/or money
and at what age?
A. My folks instilled these good habits at a
young age – probably beginning around the time I entered elementary
school. I would get an allowance and was encouraged to save, which
I did through a local bank account.
Q. What do you think the biggest challenge parents
face when it comes to teaching children about money?
A. We live in such a consumption oriented society
and there’s non-stop temptation to spend. Kids are bombarded
with tons of advertising so they grow up knowing much more about spending
Q. What's your best tip for parents on teaching
children about money?
A. Take the initiative and responsibility for
teaching them. Explain the goal of advertising and the importance
and value of saving. Explain the demands upon and realities of a household
Q. What's the biggest mistake you think parents make
when it comes to teaching children about money?
A. Not realizing the importance of actually
doing it and assuming that kids are getting the needed lessons and
skills some other way.
Q. Are you pro allowance? Briefly, why or why not?
A. I think for most kids and families, allowances
are a good thing. I think kids should have to do some chores to earn
the allowance (and should be expected to help around the house irrespective
of the allowance). It teaches them that you get paid for work and
kids value money much more when they’ve had to earn it rather
than simply have it handed to them.
Q. At what age do you think credit card education
A. I would start in elementary school (middle
school at the latest) to teach kids that cards should only be used
for convenience purposes rather than for credit purposes.
Q. At what age do you think parents should allow
children to have a credit card?
A. I think debit cards are a much better tool
and I would do that in high school, the later the better.
Q. If you could only give a child one piece of advice
on money, what would it be?
A. Understand the connection to being money
savvy and how sound financial management gives you more choices in
life and peace of mind.
Q. What's your favorite money quote or saying?
A. “Satisfaction isn’t so much getting
what you want but wanting what you have. There are two ways to be
rich: one is to have great wealth, the other is to have few wants.”
– Dr. David Myers
| about | products
& services | resources | news
& press | contact
All content property of The It's a Habit Co.,Inc.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2006.