Finance Friday: Gifts for Graduates

I remember it well. June 13th, my graduation day from college. Having spent five years being taught how to think and then learning to think for yourself graduating from college is like your Dad taking the training wheels off your two speed overnight.

You were used to dime diving – ya know searching through the couch cushions in the student lounge to collect coins for your laundry. While you didn’t make much you made due. You always found enough money to go shopping, go dancing, and oh yea, go out eating.

But unfortunately, that “Real World” you kept hearing them refer to is rampant with due dates (past due dates), minimum payments and balances, fees and grace periods that expire after six months. Instead of buying flowers for the graduate in your life consider preparing them for the financial world they cannot hide from – no matter how many times they hit the proverbial snooze button.

I’ve stated before that I knew absolutely NOTHING about personal finance when I entered college. Not only did I graduate with a Roth IRA, a funded emergency fund and savings account, and a debt free week long stay in Panama, but was also able to purchase my first home at age 23. I attribute my enlightenment to one book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by the Godfather of passive income, Robert Kiyosaki.

If you can get your graduate to do nothing else, I highly recommend you force this upon them – then let them make their own decision about how to proceed. The Godfather very simply talks about his upbringing and the influences that helped shaped his vision from his friends dad (Rich Dad) and his biological father (Poor Dad).  He introduced me to the concept of “passive income” and “making your money work for you”. I can say without a doubt, this book changed my life!!!!!

My other recommendation demonstrates a practical viewpoint of implementation. A semi-recent graduate himself, Ramit Sethi discusses in his book and blog by the same name, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, how young professionals can earn more, invest more, and do it all rather easily. He hates most financial advice and I hate some of his advice, but I give credit where credit is due: 90% of his material is absolutely valuable.

While he feeds off some stereotypes (especially in his Indian culture) he offers concrete advice as it relates to the psychology of individuals and why most people behave they way they do. The one thing that I took away from Ramit was the simplicity of automation, as I discuss here. Master this and you never have to worry about managing your finances again!

These weren’t books that anyone in my family suggested to me – or even could suggest to me. It was pure fate that brought me to these two gems. The goal isn’t to get your graduate to implement every single piece of information but rather to get them to be aware and start to think about these things. Have start early, so they don’t finish late!

Editorial note: And no I don’t think I’m slick I realize I’m posting Finance Friday on a Saturday…my bad!

Love Lockdown

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Happy Valentines Day Everyone. Though it was yesterday, I feel compelled to continue to wish everyone both love and joy as they continue to pay for the activities that they were are a part of. Valentines Day is one of the biggest “unnecessary spending” holidays out there. Guys trying to impress gals. Gals trying to impress Guys. All accomplished on rented money. Did you use your credit card yesterday? If so, I hope you continue to love your significant other longer and harder than you are going to hate those interest payments.

 

I signed with a financial planner and her firm this week. A decision I am still questioning as whether or not it was the right thing for me do believe that building wealth will take a team of qualified persons with knowledge and expertise beyond my means. In the movie Baby Momma, Tina Feys boss (Steve Martin) complements her )and himself ) for a job well done and an idea well thought of and says: “That’s why I’m a genius…for hiring people like you!”. Rich Dad Robert Kiyosaki remembers his lesson on the importance of building a team and promotes them today in any avenue that he can. He partnered with his accountant Sharon Lechter to co-author his mega selling series Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

The company I went with has a long history and what seemed to be a dedicated field of international employees all hungry for success. My problem is that I have been my own money coach for such a long time that I am admittedly fearful of relinquishing control, of relinquishing my money into someone else’s hands. And for a fee nonetheless. But the benefits of a Team can be extraordinary.

For me, I had to realize that I no longer found the time to make those financial decisions that would bring me in the most bang for my buck. While I continued to save and invest, I didn’t have time to research stocks and companies. I lost track of the holdings in my Roth IRA and blindly committed my money.

At Miss New Money we (I) believe  that money travels in an Olympic row boat with an Olympian Team to crew. I’m just the sponsor. It constantly needs to be moving, rowing, working, earning me more money.  New Money. Investing without understanding was as if I pushed the boat out into the water and hoped the currents would be kind; that my boat wouldn’t crash.

I’m still nervous. But only time will tell.

Thirty Day Full Price Cleanse

Day 17: actually went retail shopping this week and I used coupons for the items that I purchased. I saved $75. I also walked away from quite a few items. Just because things are on sale or you have a coupon, doesn’t mean you have to buy. Putting two and two together, I actually saved much more by the stores selling ugly things! Thanks!

Total Savings to-date: $151.67

Nostradamus of Financial Markets

After the awards ceremony, a woman that I regard with the utmost respect, came to me and said I am moved right now. You guys (referring to my boyfriend and myself) are f**king amazing”. She continued to ask me, “do you know what you have done? You just shaped the lives of eleven young adults. Has that set in yet?” Last night was a complete success and went off without any problems.

I once came across a quote, and I have no idea who originally said it but it goes like this: Success is when you add value to self, significance is when you add value to others”. I like this quote and move my life and life actions in the direction to ultimately become significant.

In other news, I recently came across and fell in love with Cash Flow the e-game. If you are not familiar with Cash Flow, it is a game whose tag line is :”The more you play, the richer you become“. The way you win is to bet out of the rat race, the mundane employee driven circle, and onto the Fast Track, where you buy businesses, vacations and ultimately your dream. It was created by the infamous Robert Kiyosaki, who has been dubbed the Nostradamus of Financial Markets. I personally think it’s the Lil’ Wayne Complex (he claims he’s the best rapper in the world), in that if you claim it, you are it. But I digress….His claim to fame is the entire Rich Dad, Poor Dad series where, through books and games, he simplifies financial concepts down to increasing your passive income or your mailbox money to the point where it is greater than your expense.

It truly is a fun and educational game. We played Cash Flow every week and the students actually created a millionaires club that they called, the Money Makers. The best thing this game can teach you is the flow of money between assets and liabilities and income (or cash flow) and expenses.

On the Rich Dad website, I was just informed that Mr Kiyosaki has a new soon to be bestseller called Increase your Financial IQ

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