Book Release: My Money Matters 52 Week Money Management Workbooks for Kids, Teens and Adults

The average American has less than $25,000 in savings, including their retirement account.  The majority of Americans don’t have enough cash reserves to handle a $1,000 emergency.

When I read these statistics on creditscore.net, I wasn’t surprised.  As Americans, many of us fail to plan for our financial future and have not created good money management habits that we can pass along to our children.

“My Money Matters” is a collection of money management workbooks based on the Basic Money Management Principle, “I will not spend more than I earn.”  There are three workbooks created for kids (young people receiving an allowance), teens/young adults (young people working part-time or living away from home) and adults.  Each workbook features a weekly money management lesson as well as weekly budget sheets that allow the user to track the money coming in and going out.

Visit http://LaKeshaWomack.com/MyMoneyMatters to get a sneak peek of each workbook

While Author LaKesha Womack worked as a financial advisor for a reputable financial services firm, she realized that most people don’t know a fraction of what they should about money management.  Although most books aimed at promoting financial literacy are filled with a wealth of information, they often leave the reader wondering, “What should I do first/next?  How can I take this information and apply it to my situation?”

“My Money Matters” is divided into four quarters, 13 weeks each.  The first quarter focuses on creating and maintaining a management budget while the second quarter discusses saving strategies and goal setting for their financial future.  During the third quarter, the reader develops a basic understanding of financial management.  Finally, the user will learn basic investing principles and the role that investments could play in their overall financial plan.

Who do you know that needs help with their money matters?  Order ten workbooks and get your copy for FREE!

“My Money Matters” is perfect for families.  Each weekly lesson focuses on the same general lesson although the information is tailored to the age group it is written for.  The workbooks are also perfect for groups wishing to promote financial literacy.  Groups can hold each other accountable by meeting quarterly to review the upcoming lessons and their progress from the previous quarter.

Order twenty-five workbooks for your group for $200.  The workbooks retail for $10 each so that’s a savings of $50 or 5 free workbooks, which can be passed along to your members or sale them at retail and use the $2 per workbook as a fundraiser.  This offer includes free shipping.

About the author…

LaKesha Womack has over ten years of business consulting experience including owning and operating Womack Consulting Group, a firm specializing in helping entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses.  She has worked within a variety of industries including retail, financial services, publishing, technology and many more.  She is also the author of “Building a Brand without Spending a Bundle”, “Success Secrets for the Young & Fabulous” and “Is She The ONE?”  In addition, she is the Executive Producer and Host of “The LaKesha Womack Show” as well as a young adult minister within the AME Zion Church.

Host a “My Money Matters” Workshop!

Each workshop includes twenty-five workbooks and you can choose between

  • The two-hour session where we define the Basic Money Management Principle and discuss budgeting strategies
  • The four-hour/ half day session to explore the Basic Money Management Principle, discuss budgeting and saving strategies and create a SMART money goal
  • The six-hour/ full day session to explore the Basic Money Management Principle, to discuss budgeting and saving strategies, to create a SMART money goal and to discuss the role that investing should play in their financial plan

For media appearances, email LaKesha at contact(at)LaKeshaWomack(dot)com

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It takes a man to be a father…

I know some of the women won’t agree with me on this but even as single moms we can’t take the place of a father in our kids lives…
How do I know?
No matter how much my mom did for my brother whose father was killed before he was born; my brother still longs for the love of his dad…
Even my son has moments when no matter how much I’m doing with him, for him; he just wants his dad…
Today I honor all of the men who are playing the role of a father in the lives of their children and/or someone else. It takes a man to be a father.

Quick and Easy Homemade Meatballs

Most of the time, I take the easy way out when making spaghetti but on the day of my son’s graduation from kindergarten; he requested meatballs with his spaghetti.  He could have asked for a million other things but meatballs… What kind of mom would I be not to oblige that request… This recipe has been lingering around for a while and I finally got to use it.  He gave it two thumbs up so I hope you will enjoy it also.

  • one pound of lean ground beef (90/10) or ground turkey
  • ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 slice of toasted wheat bread ground to crumbs or ½ cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of diced onions

 ******************************************************

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients except meat
  • In a large bowl, combine meat and mixture with your hands
  • Roll meat between your hands in small to medium-sized balls (should yield about 30 balls, you can freeze any excess meat mixture once you have made the desired number of meatballs)
  • Bake 25 minutes and enjoy!

Want to try more of my favorite recipes?  Download my [FREE EBOOK] In the Kitchen with Kesha

[GUEST POST] 7 Ways Working Moms Can Take Care of Themselves

Working moms need to take care of themselves, even though sometimes it seems quite impossible. Even if it means you have to give up a bit of money or leave your kids in front of the TV for a half hour, it will eliminate stress and help your health in the long run!

Here are some wonderful ways for working moms to take a load off…

Hot Baths

Nothing feels better than to sink into a hot bubble bath to release stress and tension. Not only is the hot water calming, but add in a nice bath pillow to help you relax. Lay your head back, close your eyes and sink into the comfort of your own tub. Adding a nice candle and book to read will help you relax even more and enjoy some time just for you.

Eat Well

Most working moms don’t eat well enough. It seems that we are always on the run and grabbing a piece of fruit or an order of fries to go does the trick. If you work harder to eat three good meals a day, comprised of whole foods, you will feel much better.

Exercise

As much as you feel exhausted when you get home from a long day’s work, find some time to get out and take a 20 minute walk or pop in a 30 minute exercise video. It will help you feel much better and relieve a lot of stress at the end of a tough day. Some yoga can help you unwind AND give you more energy!

Live it Up

Do what you can to look and feel your best. Get a new haircut or change the color. Wear the nicest clothes you can afford and ones you have been hoping to have. You deserve that nice outfit! Go out and have a spa day for you. Get a massage! Even one day of pure ecstasy can help for a month.

Blessings

Count your blessings. Make a list of all the things you feel gratitude for. Think about what you are grateful for and have your kids make the same type of list. It will make you feel better to see all the things you really do have in your life and to know that your kids are happy and thankful too.

Get Help

You should never feel obligated to do everything yourself. Get some family and friends to help. Have a babysitter come in every now and again to get out for a few hours. Trade off babysitting evenings with the neighbor. Let someone help you with the yard work or go to the grocery store for you. You will find that you feel better and that people enjoy being needed! As long as you’re willing to help out with something in return, you’re golden!

Expectations

Don’t expect so much. Lower those expectations of yourself and of your kids. You don’t always have to be that super mom person and they don’t always have to be those super kids. Cut some slack for all of you and watch how much simpler life can be without such high expectations.

All working moms need a break now and again. The key is taking that break and doing something special for yourself!

Kris Paige writes about finance, parenting and saving money at www.creditscore.net.

At what age do you think financial literacy should be taught?

I have asked this question on my personal Facebook page and through the Answers application on LinkedIn

Check out what some people had to say and let me know what you think…

From Facebook:

::: Between 13 and 16, or whenever they start earning a paycheck from a part-time job.

::: Whenever they are in a position where they have to manage money…from chores around the house, jobs in the neighborhood, whatever. Never too young for a kid to be responsible

::: I think college is too late because at that age you want your child to be responsible enough with money to not squander it on frivolous things

::: Start early and build each year!

::: It’s so important to start them off as children so that they don’t become financially illiterate grown men and women. I hate seeing grown men and women living from paycheck to paycheck or being evicted every three months because they havent learned the lessons of budgeting and not living outside of their means

::: My niece will be 5 next month and we’re definitely working on it! She has to learn the value of the dollar early!!! She has a bank she is not allowed to touch unless she’s depositing money into it and a little purse with money she can spend. She’s very careful about not running out and negotiating how much she pays for things.

From LinkedIn Answers:

::: I gave my son a 1 oz silver coin and we watch commodity market charts and videos of trading pits. He’s 9 and he perfectly understands pricing, supply, demand, competition, surplus, etc… I’ve found that he picked up microeconomics incredibly quickly. We’re beginning to discuss revenue and expenses. I’m thinking about giving him a weekly candy budget as a starting point. He’ll be able to save it, trade it, or consume it. I’m still toying with how I’ll do it. But, to your question, start early, start with the ideas and theory, and link the ideas to his everyday encounters.

::: I started when my three were in elementary school. No, we didn’t discuss economics but did start with them learning that every thing has value and if they want something, they have to earn and save for it. Simple stuff using pennies and nickels (OK, today that is probably dimes and quarters).

::: My parents/teachers started about the same time we learned to tell time (first grade). My mom was a teacher and she had flash cards (yes, the paper kind!) that helped teach us about money and the cost of buying things. The cards showed objects (toys, candy, etc.) with a price tag and we had to match up the coins it took to buy each item. Now of course, there’s all kinds of software available.

Links:

::: Once you give an allowance and/or your child starts making money. 
see: http://www.mymoney.gov 

::: Kindergarten 
By the time a kid graduates from high school, s/he should be able to budget, save for a specific goal in the future, know what checking, savings, and credit accounts are, how to write a check and balance a checkbook, complete a W4, read and understand a pay stub and a W2, and complete and file their own income tax returns. 

Yes, really. 

I spent 8 years as an IRS-trained income tax preparer. 
You wouldn’t BELIEVE how illiterate people are.

Links:

::: Learning about finances really begins as soon as they can understand “bartering.” In other words, when kids understand that a trade has to be made to keep things equal; they are old enough to understand finances. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they will understand how to budget, save and all that. However, they will learn that things have a cost. 

Are you still with me? Now when I take my toddlers even thought they don’t have a concept of money I still give them the money, when we are at the register, to put on the counter in exchange for what we are getting then they see Daddy get some money back. 

Now there are decent books out there that can help with these, but honestly you are the best resource. It is your money management skills that will make the biggest impression on your children. 

They need to see you saving, and not just to spend it on something, but as my mom use to say – for a rainy day. By that I mean: a new roof, getting the car fixed retirement etc. 

The bottom line on books to purchase or courses is one’s that will help you learn the skills to be a good money manager. Then you will be the model for your children. 

In fact, you can have them sit next to you and help with the math when they are old enough so they get the idea of paying bills. They will see how the money flows in and out of the house. 

Here’s something you don’t want to miss. Teach them to invest. Money when invested works and never needs sleep, a day off, it, to call in sick etc. Investing money is one of the best ways to earn money – and it is one of the purposes of saving. 

What are my qualifications to give this advice? Well I’m no financial advisor; however I’m an educator (K-12), and I’m a person who lived debt free as my parents did and with excellent credit. Who did I learn this from my parents and neither of them was a financial guru either; neither had a college education, both grew up on farms, but they knew the value of a dollar. 

How did they fair? Well dad never holding more than a blue-collar job, and mom being a house wife they were able to buy anything with cash – even a 90K motor home (that’s right they cut a check for 90,000) without having to tighten their belts. In fact, they traveled about 9 months out of the year and lived well doing it. All this on no inheritance, but only on what they saved.

Are you a lazy parent?

For  some people, if they are honest with themselves, the answer is yes…

Parenting is hard.  Anyone who tells you differently… Well, let’s just say for me parenting is hard.  Not because I don’t love my son but because taking care of him is more than a full-time job, it’s a lifetime of responsibility.  From the time I first knew I was pregnant until the day one of us passes away, I will be responsible for him.  Of course, that responsibility will gradually decrease as he gets older (hopefully) but I will always feel some level of accountability to be there for him.

Some parents, I have observed, don’t seem to take parenting that seriously.  They are content to allow others to do the bulk of the work – a day care center, the school system, other family members… I even had a lady who rents fun jumps tell me about the parents who bring their kids and leave them for hours without coming back to check on them.

Lazy parenting also manifests as…

“Not right now…”

“I don’t feel like it…”

“Just go somewhere and play…”

I will admit that I am guilty of uttering those phrases sometimes and I have to catch myself and be sure that I am making time for my son.  I realize that he won’t always have time for me so while he does, I need to take advantage of it.  That doesn’t mean that I drop everything I am doing when he beckons but it does mean that I…

  • look him in the eye when he’s talking to me so that he knows he has my attention
  • review his homework, everything in his backpack and ask questions about school every night to be sure I know what’s going on with him
  • try to find activities that we both enjoy – UNO, golf, reading – so that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when he wants to “do stuff”
  • plan dates for the two of us to hang out or go out to dinner  because I want him to know what quality time really means
  • give him more experiences than stuff… when choosing between a hundred-dollar pair of sneakers and a trip to the museum, I am sure you know which we choose
  • saving and planning for his future, yes… that is an important component of not being a lazy parent, set your kids up for success instead of failing to plan and making them suffer the consequences later in life
  • most importantly, let him win, I don’t think we spend enough time teaching our kids what it feels like to be victorious, although I can beat him in almost anything that we play, there is nothing like the excitement that I see on his face when he has won a game of UNO or hit the ball a little further than me on the golf course

Like I said, parenting isn’t easy for most of us but we owe it to our kids to put in the work to help them become well-adjusted adults.  There is not instruction manual for raising kids so we all do the best we can and that’s what our kids deserve… our best, even on our worst days.

5 Things I Learned From My 5 Year Old

  1. Everyday is a new day.  Simply put.  He wakes up and has a single-minded focus on how great today is going to be.
  2. The world is a playground.  No matter where we go or what we are doing, he finds something to amuse himself.
  3. Vegetables are good.  He eats a greater variety of vegetables than I do, sad I know but he doesn’t have any preconceived notions of what they should taste like so he just goes for it.
  4. Bubbles are fun.  Whether they are in the bathtub or floating in the air on a warm sunny day, bubbles make you smile.
  5. Tackle life with 100% zeal.  From the time his little eyes open until I force him to sleep at night, he is putting his all into whatever he is doing.  He takes a minute here and there to rest but looking in his eyes, I see those little wheels still turning.