Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Talk With The Founder of Wealth Watchers!

Thanks to Twitter, and other sources online, I’ve been lucky to meet, at least in cyberspace, a lot of great people in the personal finance field.  One of those people is author and business founder Alice Wood. Long story – short, after a freak accident in an airplane left her with a brain injury, Alice had trouble making good decisions about some things, including her finances. It eventually led her to create “Wealth Watchers”. Wealth Watchers encourages a group format for support, and a tracking system so you know where every dollar goes. Sounds like another ‘Watchers” group doesn’t it? And that was the point. Please check out Alice’s website listed in our links on the right side of the page. It is a great resource for students and parents. The first chapter of Alice’s book is printed on her site and is a very interesting read as well.

I asked Alice if she would like to give some tips to my readers and she graciously accepted. In part one today, I asked Alice her thoughts on the need for students to get into the habit of saving their money at an early stage.
Alice wrote – “Students should develop a pattern of savings as soon as they have access to money, whether it's a gift of money, or money they've earned. Any amount is better than nothing but I like the idea of 50% of going into a savings account as long as their parents are paying for their day to day expenses. But the child needs to have some say in how much they will actually set aside, otherwise they will resent the whole process. No matter what the amount might be, the goal should be to make it a habit to save.  I also like the idea of putting money into an actual savings account as long as there are no fees. Many banks offer free savings accounts for students. Using a bank or credit union as opposed to a drawer at home forces someone to "think before they spend." I don't recommend having the savings account tied to a debit card. A savings account is just that, savings, not spending money.”

Then Alice touched on a subject which, I think, rings true throughout our society these days whether your children are getting ready for college or not.
What's the right age to begin the (money) conversation? As soon as they can spend money or encourage their parents to spend money. One of the greatest things we can tell our children is "No"..."It's not in our budget"..."Put it on your list." - If parents can teach their children (and themselves) to delay gratification they will be setting their kids up for success when it comes to money and school.

I’ll have another post with Alice Wood later this week. Meanwhile, please check out her website for Wealth Watchers. See you soon. Cheers!

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