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EOM MoneyBags

It is time to go in a new direction and give my "best of breed" books that will make great gifts for young and old alike. My heart is in financial education, with the goal "to teach my students how to make better-educated financial decisions.

It is rare to find a book targeting parents and their children -- until now. Recently, I ran across an author with ties to Southern Illinois -- Wendy Gillespie, MBA, CFP and her book, "MoneyBags: A Guide to Teaching Your Kids About Money."

“My goal is to teach both parents and kids to have respect and be responsible for things, by creating a new cycle of wise money management skills that can be passed on to future generations," Gillespie said. 

One of Wendy’s many strong points is her ability to make each money concept easy to grasp and implement. Many times, education includes memorization only -- not here. Application exercises are so important for longer term retention. Wendy makes each exercise fun, memorable and most important, understandable to school-aged kids.

The moneybagslife.com website is filled with tools and handouts that bring the conversations and principles in the book to life, such as a family confidentiality agreement, a net worth calculator, and a MoneyBags budget document. Its mission is to help parents break the cycle of poor money management by educating them on how to teach their children to become financially smart and independent.

To get a better understanding on why I am excited about her book, here are some questions for the author and her responses.

Q: What is MoneyBags?

A: A guide to help parents break the cycle of poor money management by educating their children to become financially smart and independent. Comprised of 52 short chapters, the guide will keep children’s interest and make learning fun. Most books on the market teach either children or parents, but MoneyBags is a guide that parents and children can use together. The book offers story-based learning that is easy for children to grasp and each chapter ends with an activity or “homework” to help incorporate the chapter learnings into everyday life.

Q: Are you read out of the book academic or do you have real world experiences to draw from?

A: Growing up in an entrepreneur family, I saw early on how small financial choices become habits and lifestyles. The knowledge gained at a young age grew into a passion and career as a Certified Financial Planner®. As a financial lifeline to my clients, I have helped to educate client’s children and in some cases stop the cycle of poor money management. I have been named one of the Best Personal Wealth Managers in the Twin Cities, as voted by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Q: Why did you choose to write this book?

A: My financial lessons have been developed over years of educating my own clients on everything from how money works, to challenging their behaviors, to explaining the pros and cons of investment vehicles and financial decisions. For years, my clients have been urging me to use the lessons and make them available to a broader audience. After careful consideration, I realized that I had a great deal that I could share and that could help change the lives of young people by putting them on the right financial path.

The bottom line -- with the current fiscal situation, this book should be one to consider when teaching our kids and grandkids to be better stewards of their finances. Parents can learn from it too!

Plan your work, work your plan and learn to share your harvest!

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DAVID O. ENGLAND is the founder of the Eye on the Market Radio Show and Training Academy and retired associate professor of finance at John A. Logan College. This column is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. For questions, contact England at thetraderseye@gmail.com.

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