finances

Forecasting Demand for Andson Services

by Anthony McTaggart

Its the beginning of 2015, and that means that corporations - both for profit and nonprofit - have to report to both shareholders and board members.

I was engaged in a conversation with an engineer at a public corporation recently, where he (and soon, I) was upset about the potential for, and complete lack of forecasting that was going on for production of their product line. Initially, I said to myself "Why aren't they forecasting?" That quickly changed to, "Wait, why aren't WE forecasting?"

Forecasting demand is required for most businesses - but may be overlooked in the nonprofit sector. It’s the analysis of past performance in one’s organization, combined with data that alludes to demand for future products, performance, or markets. In essence, it can be a beautiful symbiosis of art and science, one that usually takes time to hone and eventually master.

Some of us are so busy in the day-to-day that we often don’t plan ahead for what's to come. That can lead to two things: Either we have unsustainable growth that causes unplanned budgetary expenditures, or we get into the "No" mode - where we couldn't possibly grow since we have no time to plan where that funding or partnership might come from. How are we to serve a rapidly growing community if we don't plan for it?

Every window in my office is used as a whiteboard

Going forward for the 2015- 16 school year, we as an organization will be looking at 55% of our programming, in terms of budget and locations, being attributed to pre-existing, in place programming; 25% will come from new funding, meaning new locations. For the other 20%, meaning new business, we will be engaging in real demand forecasting. What this entails, is paying attention to data across the Valley: population growth, new communities, new partner locations (like where a new library or Boys & Girls Club are planned), trends in test scores, and areas of general concern in the community.

This isn't difficult, but it does take meaningful dialogue and time - now is the time to start within your own organizations.

If you think you don't have someone that can do this, you might be pleasantly surprised. Look no further than your Development and Marketing team. Mixed with some programming staff, you can have a forecasting team built and deployed by the end of February! Great Development staff have their ear to the ground and are always identifying new resources. This is learned behavior and can be taught. Great Marketers are used to deploying new collateral quickly, and creating a following. Great programming staff can quickly engage in feasibility analyses to conduct new programs.

Our team is amazing, and we are willing to help! Please contact us if you want to grab a coffee and discuss how to become better at forecasting. It would be a wonderful feeling to know what the next year of partnership holds. We look forward to sustainability and planned growth going forward for both our organization, and yours.

Cheers, Anthony

Money Matters

money matters RESIZED

As you all know, we at Andson are all about financial literacy and are dedicated to our mission of ensuring that our youth are financially literate! We love it when we find others with the same mission.

The article, “Teaching Financial Literacy, Starting With Teens,” in The Wall Street Journal discusses how Charles Schwab’s daughter, Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, emphasizes the importance of educating youth about finances.

According to this article, “It’s no secret that financial literacy is rampant in the U.S., where less than one-third of the population can correctly answer questions on interest rates, inflation and diversification, according to a study by Annamaria Lusardi of the George Washington University School of Business.”

It also points out that “only 17 states require high-school students to study personal finance.”

Ms. Schwab-Pomerantz, like us, promotes teaching our youth to be financially literate and says that it is vital for money management skills to be learned and developed at an early age.

She has focused her resources on educating teens specifically about the importance of being financially literate, and has joined forces with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to accomplish this endeavor.

In order to ensure that financial literacy programs do, indeed, make a noticeable impact on youth, she conducted a year-long study on her Money Matters program, in order to, “ensure we were making a good investment and we’re having an impact.”

The results of the study were promising:

“At the start of the program, just 47% of participants understood the importance of paying yourself first, or automatically saving 10% of what you earn. By the end, 71% understood.”

Damon Williams, senior vice president and chief educational and youth-development officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs, agrees with the importance of financial literacy programs. “The Money Matters curriculum provides them with the knowledge they want but have nowhere else to get,” he said.

It’s awesome to know that we have partners out there who deeply care about our youth and their futures as well.

To read more about this, go to http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424052702304640104579487533888321814-lMyQjAxMTA0MDEwMjExNDIyWj.

 

Do You Ever Get The Urge To Splurge?

splurge Resized

If you’re a super saver, or attempt to save money, more often than not you might feel guilty when you spend it on something that’s not necessary. Saving money can be super stressful when you’re trying to live off an extremely tight budget. Has anyone ever told you that once in a while it’s important to allow yourself to splurge, even though the ultimate goal is still to save?

According to the finance blog Wise Bread, here are a few reasons why you should splurge once in a while:

In order to stay focused and on track with your savings goals, you need positive reinforcement. However, only give yourself this reinforcement when you have cut down on debt and are meeting your savings goals. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself for your financial accomplishments!

When you’re on a tight budget and are saving as much money as possible, lots of “fun” things get cut out of your daily routine, which can be monotonous. Rewarding yourself once in a while for meeting your goals breaks up the monotony. As the blog also says, spending a little money on something that you normally wouldn’t one day would most likely make your day more memorable, and “having those memories is definitely worth the money spent.”

Lastly, keep in mind that some splurges can and will have long term benefits! Think about it. Sometimes spending money on something better quality (like  a purse, shoes, or an appliance) will have long term benefits, as it will last much longer than something that not only costs less, but that is also more cheaply made!

Everyone needs a “fun fund” to spend and not feel guilty about.

Just set a limit for you “fun fund,” and only reward yourself after you meet a goal/goals.

 

Just remember….sometimes it’s ok to splurge when you get the urge!

To read more about this, go to http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-allow-yourself-splurges

College Students - Starving Students or Financial Role Models?

college resized

There are financial benefits to living like college students, and we could learn a few things from them. How in the world, you might ask, are college students to be looked at as financial role models? When most people think of college students, they think of starving, desperate young people who can usually be found slurping down some ramen noodles off of a folding table (which is usually one of the only pieces of furniture you’ll find in their living space).

According to the article on Lifehacker, “The Practical Benefits of Living Like a College Student,” we should take a closer look at college students’ habits and traits.

College students are always out there being “busy learning, growing, and transitioning,” and they have some “highly effective habits” when it comes to money, even though these habits usually stem from just pure necessity.

A few habits that college students have that we could learn from are their eating habits, their constant openness to learning and growing, and that they tend to embrace experiences over possessions.

Think about it.

Although college students are forced out of necessity to eat and cook at home a lot, this is one easy way to save money. Just because you start making more money doesn’t mean that you can’t still cook in order to save that money. I mean, come on. How much do you spend on eating out each week? And if you cut that habit out for a while, how much would you be able to save for your next vacation?

Another point talked about is that college is a time of continual growth and many changes. After college, people get more settled, more set in their  ways, and are far less open to opportunity and change – which can make it very, very hard to change financial habits once they are established, especially bad ones. Going back to that state of mind where you are open to change and growth would have countless benefits when trying to readjust your finances.

Lastly, let’s face it, college students, most of the time, are just plain broke. However, for most students, their focus isn’t on attaining an abundance of material possessions at the moment, but rather an abundance of experiences. What an awesome state of mind to have! What if we we’re more focused on new experiences and meeting new people rather than always needing the newest versions of everything!?

Anyways, those are a few things to think about especially this month, Financial Literacy Month! The next time you see a college student maybe you’ll see one of these traits and think about how you can apply it to your own life, rather than just seeing a broke student slurping down some ramen noodles!

To read more about this, go to http://lifehacker.com/the-practical-benefits-of-living-like-a-college-student-1553814909

 

 

 

Financial Literacy Update

With the new school year off and running, it's time to shift Andson's gears back into our Financial Literacy Programming.

The Piggy Bank Project at Bracken Elementary School enters its second year and the Andson team will be back in the classrooms delivering financial literacy lessons. New this year, there will be four tiered curriculums differentiated by grades and age groups - this is another example of Andson's flexibility and adaptability to the needs of our students. In tune with this philosophy, Andson has also developed a web-based school banking application that will simplify deposit tracking and reporting.

Promoting financial literacy at an early age will now become a reality in Comal County, Texas. As part of a pilot program for 4th graders, the five-lesson curriculum developed by Andson will be used at 18 different schools and will teach 1,500 fourth grade students the basics of personal finance. Andson is eager to share our passion and expertise with other communities and school districts.

Financial literacy lessons will also continue at Chaparral and Desert Oasis High Schools. Once again, Andson will be tailoring the lessons based on the socio-economic needs of the students and aiming to build mentoring relationships. We are excited for these locations, as well as adding new sites and partners for our High School curriculums this year.

Financial Literacy is at the heart of this organization. This summer was a very special time for us as we were awarded the Pinnacle Award by Treasurer Kate Marshall. Andson was one of three in Nevada to achieve this prestigious award!

Learn, Act, Learn - Financial Literacy gets rethought for High School Students

Andson Academics has become our flagship service - a tutoring program that scales well, serves our communities, and creates partnerships and collective impact. The Academic Assistance model is constantly attended to - we take pride in the tweaks that make the program better and better.  

That said, Financial Literacy has really taken off as a core component of what we do here at Andson. This past year was absolutely pivotal in the way we view and develop our Financial Literacy curriculums.  Nearly 2,000 unique students in 2012-2013 have already been directly reached by our Financial Literacy programming.

 

What we learned from the Piggybank Project at Bracken Elementary was that it's not about just one workshop of programming - not a five to eight week period. Rather, Andson's role in 2013 is to carry a student through multiple iterations of curicula. We start at the Kindergarten grade level and work our way through 5th grade. It was an amazing program that will really prove its effectiveness as we see this year's 1st graders all the way through their elementary graduation.

 

So, we started thinking, how can we accomplish the same at the High School level? How do we start with tiered curriculum, one that strengthens impact with every year until graduation?

 

What we've developed is a new way of looking at our high school students' needs. This is no longer a few weeks of interaction - this is about implementation over 3+ years.

 

At the Sophomore level, we explain the importance of grades, volunteerism in our community, and understanding needs vs. wants.

 

At the Junior level, we begin to plant the seed of the importance of education on future earning potential, and how to creatively fund your college education.

 

At the Senior level - we give them the full Andson curriculum, working with them for a greater understanding of personal finance.

What we estimate is that nearly half of the students we start with, we get to work with in their Senior year. For the others (due to transiency rate, etc) they will have seeds planted that they would not have otherwise experienced. This model is a complete work in progress - we've written some grant requests and hope to start this with Communities in Schools in the 2013-14 school year at Chaparral High Sschool.

Andson is committed to the idea of "Learn, Act, Learn" - no two schools or years should ever be exactly alike. Our materials have always, and will always cater to the student. This is how we personally can guarantee the greatest possible impact through our Financial Literacy workshops.

Savvy Shopper's Corner! The Smart Online Shopper

Shopping online is a great convenience, yet there is the agony of waiting for your order to be shipped and arrive on time. Here is some information, which may be considered helpful when shopping online. Plan Your Purchase

The earlier you make your purchases, the greater chance they will arrive on time. To cut down on shipping costs, try to order many items at once from a single retailer. Your purchases should be lumped together into one large package with one shipping fee attached. By registering with an online retail site, you can start your online shopping and any items in your shopping cart will be retained until you either delete or purchase them. Then, you can ship everything at once and at one price. Many online retailers offer free shipping on purchases over a certain dollar amount, and online coupon sites regularly offer free shipping coupon codes. If you can’t catch a break on shipping, ordering early enough will allow you to choose standard shipping. It’s always the slowest method, but if you order early, it should get to you on time.  Give yourself a little more time if you are ordering from a third party vendor through a big online retailer.

Bargain Hunting

Online shopping presents consumers with a wonderful new advantage – the ease of bargain hunting. Prior to shopping via the internet, finding the lowest price for an item meant using catalogs and circulars, traveling from store to store. Not so much anymore. Often, a simple Google search of the item you want will find even better deals. Search discount sites for the item you want before buying it elsewhere. These retailers purchase excess items that manufacturers could not unload on other retailers at a discount and generally pass the savings onto customers. Don’t be afraid of purchasing refurbished items either—this is often more surplus inventory. Do a quick search for coupons for the retailer available on other sites. Many stores will happily provide you with their own promotional codes if you sign up for their email newsletters.  Enter the code before you check out to earn the savings on your purchase.

Return Item Fee

Online shopping could eventually mean not so many physical retail stores, but even if that happens, the warehouse will always be there to storage merchandise and to employ people to stock these warehouses. If you return an item, it still has to be repackaged and replaced, although the retailer has not made any money from the return. As a result, online retailers have begun to charge restocking fees on returned items. Before proceeding to checkout, familiarize yourself with the retailer’s return policies. Simply packaged items like books or defective products should not cost you any more money to return.

Be Secure

There are some measures online shoppers can take to minimize their risk. First, ensure that all online shopping is carried out only on secured sites. It is advisable only to use credit cards rather than debit cards, for online shopping. Credit cards are an extension of credit while debit cards withdraw directly from your bank account.  Once in possession of your banking information, hackers can do much more damage to your finances than with your credit card number.  Using only one credit card for online shopping is another great way to shop on line. The potential for fraud is limited to one account.

Remember, online shopping, while convenient, could pose more risk.

Savvy Shopper's Corner! Some Tips For Smart Shopping!

Every day someone overspends when shopping at the grocery store. Often, items end up being tossed out or never used.

Here are a few helpful tips to cut back on excess spending when shopping at the supermarket.

1. Make a list! It only takes a few minutes to prepare but it will save you from wandering down the aisles and prevent you from shopping for unnecessary items.

2. Substitute supermarket brands for brand name products.  You can save on generic, non-perishable snacks, cleaning products, paper goods, and diapers. If you are used to brand name goods, try swapping one or two items to start. Even switching a few items on your shopping list will help you keep more money in your pocket.

3. Buy ingredients rather than prepared products. If you have time to make your own pasta salad at home, you can save money by preparing it yourself versus buying it pre-made at the store.

4. Convenience is costly! Buying fruits and vegetables and cutting them yourself is cheaper than buying pre-cut fruits and vegetables that cost double the price.

5. Learn to buy in-bulk! Buying larger boxes of cereals, crackers, and snacks will last longer. Stock up on items on sale that you use often and store in pantry with early expiration dates in front.

6. Using store and manufacturer coupons can also reduce your total costs at the checkout.

7. Buy a filter for your tap water! It will be more cost effective than buying bottled water.

Never too early to teach children financial resposibility

As we continue to focus our efforts on behavioral finance, we like sharing stories that are worth reading and can help us put into perspective the real challenge of financial literacy. The following article, written as a letter to parents, not only provides insight on how to teach children financial responsibility at various ages, but it also reiterates the importance of early education and parent engagement. Parents and culture will definitely influence the way children understand money and the habits they will develop and continue into adulthood.

Dear Parents,

The long-term key to improving America's overall financial literacy quotient is to get to the kids. What's important is to establish good financial behaviors early because those behaviors will carry over to adulthood. As a father of four, and grandfather of nine, I've seen it work firsthand. Start early, insist on consistency in behaviors, and set a good example. Monitor your saver's progress and celebrate the successes. With that mantra, here's how to get started:

When kids can walk, it's time to start saving. Establish the first behavior of saving by teaching your child to drop coins in a piggy bank or a jar. Explain the meaning of the word save.

Show the money. Periodically, show the child that consistent saving adds up by regularly tallying up your savings.

Take it to the bank. Make a ceremony of taking the child to the bank to deposit the jar of money. Teach them that the bank will give them money (interest) to "store their money."

If there is an allowance, it's time to budget by putting savings first. No matter what the size of the allowance is, break it down between what they can spend, and what they have to save. Note: this may be your first financial "negotiation" with your child - start with saving 50%, and settle for 25%.

The first large purchase. As your child ages, he or she will inevitably want to spend their entire savings - on one item. The answer is "no." Modify budget into more line items - discretionary spending, mandatory saving, and "saving for the large item." This is where the behavior of "buying within means" is established.

"But, I want it now..." This may be the time to develop a new financial concept - borrowing money. That's okay as long as the rules are set, and the "borrower" adheres to them. This is where the behavior of "borrowing within means" is established.

"Can I have a credit card?" Response: No, it's too early. We're sticking to the plan above. However, let me teach you about credit cards - after the "eye roll," stick to your game plan.

"My friends have credit and debit cards." Response: I'm happy for them. We're sticking to our financial plan, and here's why. In my own experience, my children were grateful for instilling financial responsibility at a young age. Start early, consistency, monitor progress, and celebrate success - I'm convinced that's the formula for increasing America's financial literacy quotient many times over. Get to the kids.

Proud Grandfather, Carl George, CPA

Note: This letter first appeared as an e-Wealth Coach article from America Saves. Carl George is the Senior Executive Partner at Clifton Gunderson LLP, a national CPA firm; past Chairman of the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission of the AICPA, www.360financialliteracy.org and www.feedthepig.org; and the proud grandfather of 9.

Education + Personal Finance are the foundation of Andson's April workshops

Andson is constantly committed to teaching students Personal Finance skills. It's April! That means it's Financial Literacy MONTH! We have identified a few key areas that we can really have an impact for students in just one short lesson. Education is an investment that students NEED to make - whether trade school or college, students with a secondary education will have more opportunities than those who only graduate high school. So how can we make sure students have a foundation to understand that debt can hurt a student fresh-out-of-school faster than any other force?  

In April, Andson's Financial Team will work with the following institutions to inform students about the pitfalls and positives of credit - as well as provide ongoing support to these student bodies.

    • Desert Oasis High School - Seniors will go through an intense Debt and Financial Aid seminar on 4/23. We will be working with over 600 students!

 

    • Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth ⁃ Nevada has a serious issue with teens that are homeless. However, given the right resources, they can go on to be successful. These students, more than any other, need to be made aware of the resources they can use to fuel their mission of independence and success.

 

    • Nevada State College is an amazing school in the southeast of Henderson. NSC and Andson are partners in so many activities, so it seemed only natural to bring a seminar on pitfall and installment credit to their student body. We are so happy to provide this as a resource to students in Southern Nevada.

 

We are so proud to be a part of Southern Nevada - let's give our students the resources they need to succeed!

Behavioral Finance and Andson - worksheets alone don't work

A statistics professor in my MBA program made a statement on the first day of class, "I can train you how to be a $10 calculator, or I can train you how to think."  Obviously, gone are the days of living without smart phones, auto-correct and calculators.

 

So why are we still teaching personal finance as textbook terms and definitions?  Why are we spending time on the things that students will inevitably forget; more importantly the things that they can easily look up on their phones? (Please Note: We do worry about many students' capability to spell and do simple math, but that's why we created Andson Academics).

 

We need to teach them that knowledge equals power. When faced with questions about IRA accounts, APRs or the details of an annuity, do some research on Google, instead of believing the salesman.  We need to be able to instill that delayed gratification and PYF (pay yourself first) gives them spending choices and spending power.

 

Behavioral Finance is the term that is gaining ever-so-much momentum right now in this field.  That is, instead of teaching a student about textbook definitions, let's teach them how to think about finance.

 

  • What should I be leery of?
  • When does an interest rate raise a red-flag?
  • What are the fees that will be involved?
  • Where can I go for help outside of a payday loan?

 

All of these are examples of teaching young people how to think about their money.  Time Business & Money has a great article right now on the concept of changing behaviors instead of just teaching facts.  We couldn't agree more and in fact pride ourselves and our programs on providing more than just a workbook or worksheet.

 

Roth, who runs the infamous blog Get Rich Slowly admits that he himself learned all the "basic financial literacy," in his senior year of high school, but was no better because of it.

 

Roth goes on to say that personal finance is something internal for most people - though for many there is definitely a cycle of poverty they need to overcome.  What needs to be taught is that in order to make a change, it needs to happen within us.  Otherwise it's just like a fad diet - you always end up back at square one.

 

I myself cannot begin to count the amount of times that we see young people that just don't want to end up in the same debtor situations they've seen friends or family end up in.  Many times that's enough and it works.  More often than not though, one is the sum of their surroundings; so bringing a fresh way of thinking and perspective into the classroom is more important than ever.

 

Let's continue with a mission to change behavior in our students, and not just make them calculators and dictionaries when it comes to personal finance.

 

Sources:

Time Business & Money

http://business.time.com/2013/03/11/why-financial-literacy-fails/

JD Roth

http://business.time.com/author/jdroth/

Get Rich Slowly

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/

Helpful Tips to Paying off Your Student Loan

When it comes to college, most people find the biggest struggle is being able to pay for it. Some people do not even go to college because of high tuition and other extra costs like books and parking passes. It seems almost impossible to attend college without having to take out  a student loan. But once school is over and you get your degree, student loans are dropped on you and it is up to you whether or not you will successfully pay them off.  People are defaulting more than ever because of the unexpected high monthly payments. People do not consider the interest of a loan, how long it will actually take to pay it off, or that maybe their career will not be as successful as planned. The best way to avoid the unexpected feeling and stress of student loans is planning. The sooner you start planning for college and researching different types of tuition plans, the more control you will have of your future. You never want to accept the first plan that a person hands you. Researching and talking to advisors will help you decide. Advisors can be anyone from a financial advisor to a friend that you trust.

Be prepared to start paying off your student loan as soon as possible. A big way to put a dent into your student loans is to pay more than the minimum payments. Even an extra $20 can make a difference. The extra $20 can come from budgeting your money properly.

These are just a few helpful tips for you but there are several different ways to help you with your student loans. Again, planning is key! Prepare yourself for a more successful future!

To obtain more information, read:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-tips-paying-off-student-132815610.html

We are at Nevada Assets and Opportunity Summit!

We are at a conference in Reno, NV right now. Boring? Absolutely not! Today we are so lucky to have NV Treasurer Kate Marshall with us. (Shameless Plug- Ms. Marshall recently visited The Piggy Bank at Bracken). Our lunch keynote speaker was Jose Cisneros, city of San Francisco Treasurer - who talked about the extensive Financial Services they've come to provide. A great City, yes; but totally replicable (and the city of San Francisco is committed to helping do this in other cities!)  

Inspiration in the workshops today is incredible. Anee Brar heads up the city of San Francisco's K-to-C program; every child that starts Kindergarten gets a savings account with matches and incentives for college. IF YOU HAVE A SAVINGS ACCOUNT FOR COLLEGE - YOU ARE 6 or 7 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO GO TO COLLEGE. Parent Engagement is also important so we hope to be able to share common and best practices in the future.

 

The afternoon session was Behavioral Economics, hosted by PHd students from UNR, as well as Mark Pingle, professor of Economics from UNR. It was very interesting to get some technical reasons as to why people make the savings choices (or don't).

The programs are coming to a close - but we do have a Q&A regarding consumer protection in personal banking and finance. Very important and pertinent for young bankers who don't have experience with banking products.

This is one of those trips that we are so glad we took the time to make. Thank you to the Financial Stability Partnership for hosting this inaugural summit. We will make it a point to be here every year.

Silver State Schools Credit Union College Scholarships!

Are you a senior at a Nevada High School looking for college scholarships? Deadlines are coming up pretty fast but you can still apply for one of the six college scholarships that Silver State Schools Credit Union is offering. Be one of the six lucky students who will receive a $2,000 one-year scholarship that is renewable to up to four years. The deadline is March 16, 2013. Do not wait until the last minute to take advantage of this opportunity. To fill out an application, visit the Silver State Schools Credit Union website: http://www.silverstatecu.com/news/news-details.aspx?newsid=36

Having Fun While Learning About Money!

What can we do to make it fun for children to learn about money management? How about add music? That is exactly what the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the Charles Schwab Foundation are doing, and children are jumping at the opportunity to learn and be apart of the experience. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Charles Schwab Foundation are making an impact on teens that are learning about finances in a fun way. The two organizations have worked together to start the Money Matters Music Mogel (M4) contest that incorporates the Money Matters: Make It Count programs with music, allowing teens to have fun while learning. The Money Matters program teaches teens about money managing skills at more than 2,900 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. The contest has teens take what they have learned in the program and allows them to incorporate the knowledge into original lyrics that are accompanied by beats created by Grammy-nominated Kevin “Khao” Cates.

Once the songs are created, they are put to a vote and the winner receives $1,000 in scholarship funds and $1,000 to his or her BGCA club. Also, the winner will have the opportunity to create a music video to go with the song. Four finalists receive $500 each.

The previous winner was from our very own town of Las Vegas! Syretha Shirley of the Boys & Girls Club of Las Vegas won with her song, “Time is Money”. Congratulations Syretha! I wonder who the next winner will be?

Resources:

(http://www.bet.com/news/national/2012/12/13/charles-schwab-and-boys-girls-club-to-reach-youth-through-money-managing-contest.html)

youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8LgUv8VGag

 

When did you have your Financial A-Ha! moment?

Some people are born financially savvy, some learn from their parents.  Even more, however, may never learn - and hence struggle for years, living paycheck-to-paycheck and paying high interest rates.  

When reading Kentin Waits' article recently regarding his financial awareness, I realized that there are such pivotal moments in the lives of young people, that we have got to keep doing what we do, because if Andson can provide this for even one student, then it's all worth it.

 

Waits, at 13, was allowed to manage the $120 per month Social Security benefit allotted him.

 

This article isn't pivotal, it's not as if he's a millionaire now.  What it gave him, though, was even more beneficial - it gave him the groundwork to think about money; really think about it.  You can "be born" with a sense of frugality, but in reality it comes from societal influences and culture - whether in the home or a little further out.  Personal Finance is absolutely a learned behavior. Waits was given the opportunity to learn.

 

I had that same moment at one point in my life, the first time I couldn't pay my credit card off the same month it was due.  It took a little longer than Waits, I was 18, but it sunk in nonetheless.

 

Those are the moments we want to provide to students and youth through Andson's activities.  It's why we are working on The Piggybank Project, why we are expanding our reach in 2013 to High Schools, it's why we exist.

 

So, we ask you, have you had that "A-Ha" moment yet?

 

Source:

Picture via Flickr (Creative Commons license) by_evilpeacock

Kentin Waits' article on wisebread.com

THE PIGGY BANK PROJECT IS OFF TO A GREAT START!

On Friday, October 5th, 300 students at Bracken Elementary School made their first deposit and in a matter of a few hours the school's bank account hit the $1,000 mark!!! Just as they would do in a real bank, children patiently stood in line waiting for their turn to see the "bank teller" and hand over their deposit slips and passbooks - each student received an opening deposit of 25 cents donated by the Young Philanthropist Society.

United Way's Young Philanthropists Society members are leading this unique financial literacy initiative designed to teach children how to save money through an innovative curriculum and by simulating a traditional banking experience.  During the course of the 2012-2013 school year, students at Bracken Elementary School will learn the basics of personal finance while stressing the importance of saving and spending wisely.

"The Piggy Bank" at Bracken Elementary will be open on Fridays from 8:30am to 9:30am giving students the opportunity to put into practice the lessons they learned in the classroom.  This is another example of successful community collaboration and we are excited to be part of it!  - "The Piggy Bank" is a partnership between United Way of Southern Nevada, Junior Achievement, Silver State Credit Union, Walter Bracken Elementary School, and the Andson Organization.

Congratulations to all the kids and families at Bracken Elementary School in taking the first steps on the road to financial responsibility!!

BizKid$ is changing the way Andson does Financial Lit!

While we believe that materials put out by NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education), as well as the Money Matters Curriculum by Charles Schwab's Foundation can really make a difference for the Junior and Senior High School students - we have struggled on how to fill the gap for Middle School and High School Freshman. BizKids is changing all that with their amazing television programs and content-filled website.

April 18th - got your taxes done? Here's a list of celebs and athletes that didn't...

During Unit 2 ( Budgeting) of our workshops, we like to take a moment to talk about how even the rich and famous need to budget.  Often times we mention Hollywood actors that have lost all their wealth just because they couldn't budget.  Most of the time, taxes are a major problem for these stars.  The only reasonable explanation that seems likely is that these celebrities don't pay taxes each paycheck like the rest of us - and they spend it faster than it's coming in.

 

MSN has put together a list of 15 celebrities that didn't make their deadlines for tax day in the past.  It's a great read that will likely get incorporated into future workshops for Andson.  Here's the highlights:

 

  • #14 - Rapper Xzibit owes nearly $1 million dollars.  He claims money problems began due to the cancellation of "Pimp my Ride."  The clencher - Xzibit's Range Rover was a lease...
  • #11 - Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne owe $1.7 million in back taxes.  The saddest part of this story is that their daughter, Kelly Osbourne, already owes $34,000 herself.  If that isn't motivation for what the Andson Organization is trying to do...
  • #7 - Marc Anthony owes $3.4 million in taxes.  This after a 2007 settlement of $2.5 million in taxes.
  • #6 - Rapper Lil' Wayne may owe as much as $5.6 million after a recent $1.13 million dollar payment to the IRS.
  • #1 - This one comes all the way from Australia - Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan allegedly owes Australia approximately $37 million in taxes!

 

There's more detail in the article.  Go straight to the source at the bottom to read the whole thing - it's definitely an eye-opener.

 

So, remember that even though your tax bill may be high today, someone almost always has one higher.  Who knows, maybe some of these stars will actually make the deadline since we got 3 extra days in the U.S. this year (sorry Mr. Hogan).

Edit:  Wow, just a few days after the celebs list - looks like CNBC has put out a list of star athletes that has gone a similar route - 15 Athletes Who Have Gone Broke.

 

Celebrities Source:  Wonder Wall via MSN

Athletes Source:  via CNBC

Andson Workshops in Central Florida - Altamonte Christian Schools

Friday, April 15th we had the opportunity to go give a workshop at Altamonte Christian School, in Altamonte Springs, FL.  We had a great time with the Senior Class, and were able to spend the entire day with them - we may have even got them out a little early (you're all welcome).  It was nice to see that this group is headed in the right direction - they had a good understanding of personal finance, most were even good savers!

As always, we really stressed Investing as well as the Credit Cards lessons.  Time Value of Money is definitely an area that gets young people thinking about interest rates and returns.

We also got some feedback on the presentations, which was definitely helpful and greatly appreciated - hopefully we can just keep making them better and better for future workshops.

Thanks to all the students and faculty for making the day a success!