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Mastermind Groups, Audiobooks and Serendipity

You may have heard of mastermind groups and their potential for elevating your business and personal success. I first became aware of the potential power of masterminds through the iconic book – Think and Grow Rich. Where the success secrets of many of the world’s highest achievers were distilled by author Napoleon Hill.

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Mastermind groups work by focusing the combined skills and experience of their members to solve challenges being faced by individuals. In Think and Grow Rich it was reported that Andrew Carnegie, then the richest man in the world, met regularly with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison among others.

After reading the book I was keen to find and participate in a mastermind group to draw upon the collective wisdom with a focus on my financial education business which I had recently started. Here’s where the first serendipity occurred. Shortly after having the thought I received an email from David Ricklan at SelfGrowth.com announcing that they were launching mastermind groups for people in the personal development industry. I eagerly applied and after some time was even asked if I would like to facilitate a group.

While the group memberships were being put together, I began thinking about the first challenge I could bring to my group. I had recently published my first book in the Financial Fairy Tales series, Dreams Can Come True and I was very interested in exploring an audiobook version. I could imagine for example; the book being playing in the car on the school run.

The first member of my particular mastermind group was an American lady currently living in Japan. During our initial conversation we discussed her goals and plans and how the group could support her. When we tasked about my desire for an audiobook I was amazed to hear that not only was she a voice actor, but also had a friend who was a Grammy award winning musician who she could ask to provide original music.

Within a few weeks she had produced a fantastic audiobook version of Dreams Can Come True which has been downloaded and enjoyed by hundreds if not thousands of children and parents around the world.

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For me this story illustrates the power of our intentions and the reward for taking action. I am sure many of us have experiences synchronicities such as these which occur when we listen to and act upon our intuition.

If you feel curious about listening to the Dreams Can Come True audiobook then we have a few coupons allowing a free download from audible. Please comment below with you email address or get in touch via our social media pages and I can send you a unique discount code.

Helping Kids Learn About Money

Has there ever been a more important time to help our kids learn about money? Record levels of student debt, lack of financial education in schools, unconscious spending through apps and games plus the movement towards a cashless society are all compelling reasons.

Did you know that research has shown many of our values and beliefs around money are formed by the age of 7?
This means that as adults, our money decisions are being heavily influenced by the ideas we picked up as kids, whether helpful, or for many a hindrance.

The Financial Fairy Tales are a fun way to introduce money ideas and tools from an early age. Concepts such as saving, investment, budgets and entrepreneurship are explored though stories set in a fairy tale world.

The Financial Fairy Tales Patreon - helping kids learn about money
The first 3 Financial Fairy Tales stories and Activity Book

We have big plans for 2019 and beyond which includes 3 new story books, more learning activities and an animation series. Above all we want to help more kids around the world grow up with a better understanding of money by providing the skills, tools and beliefs which will empower them now and in the future.

How You Can Help

By becoming a supporter through Patreon, you can help us continue our work in creating these stories and learning activities. Patreon is a website and platform where people just like you can choose to support creative and artistic projects – whilst getting lots of cool benefits for yourself.

Visit the Financial Fairy Tales Patreon page and help us to help more kids learn about money.

Learning about Money- the Financial A, B, Cs

When it comes to learning about money there is so much information that it is challenging to know where to start. That is no excuse however for burying your head in the sand and making money someone else’s responsibility.

This simple guide outlines a few essential money principals.

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A is for Awareness

Typically people know how much they earn. Whether it’s by the week, month or hour, you know how much you earn and notice when something is different. But what about the other side of the equation? Do you know how much you spend?

Lack of awareness of spending can lead you to run out of cash, go overdrawn or rely on credit cards. Each of these has financial consequences. Being in charge of your money gives you a sense of wellbeing and control. A good place to start is by checking your bank statement, either online or a paper version. Go through line by line, can you identify each item? Many people find things they do not recognise or regular payments which they had forgotten about such as subscriptions. Maybe you accepted a trial offer which now is being charged?

Another example of awareness is being conscious over small regular amounts which you might spend every day. If you spent for example £5 a day on lunch, that may equate to over £1000 during a year. Would it be worth making a sandwich or salad at home and have £1000 for a holiday or other purpose?

B is for Budget

For many, Budget is a four letter word, but it need not be a negative. Taking a few minutes to plan what you are going to spend is a great step to putting you in control of your money and not the other way around. You can set a budget for any area of your life including fun and socialising. Many people find that by setting aside money for fun purposes means they can enjoy it more and be free of any guilt that they should be saving or spending the money elsewhere.

Setting a budget is a really simple task. Take a few minutes to list all the areas in which you spend money, then put your best estimate of the amount you currently spend next to it. When you add up the figures hopefully the total will be less than you earn. If not you will need to adjust the spending until it does. While you are feeling virtuous why not include a category for saving and reward yourself with a fun or play budget which you have to spend each month.

C is for Compound Interest

Einstein described compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world. The trouble is that it can work for you or against you. If you are paying interest on loans or credit cards the power of compound interest is increasing the debt and draining your current and future income.

If you have an outstanding balance on a credit card and just pay the minimum percentage each month it may take over 20 years to clear the debt! If you are only able to pay a fraction each month, make sure you are paying a fixed money amount rather than the percentage sometimes offered when you take out the card.

With interest so low at the time of writing there may seem like little incentive to save. This may be true in terms of financial gain from the savings alone, but the accumulated money saved can eventually be invested and grow at a better rate. The habit of saving money and living on less than 100% of your income is the important financial gain.

Begin Financial Education Early: It Makes Perfect Cents!

As a responsible parent, you want to ensure that your child is healthy, safe and happy. Part of instilling confidence and self-esteem within your child is making sure that they understand money and finances, and that they’re ready when they do eventually fly the nest into the big wide world. It’s never too early to start teaching your youngsters about money. Having an open and transparent attitude to family finances and being there to answer any questions that your toddler, adolescent or teenager may have means that they’ll be clued up when they have to make major financial decisions later in life. Take a look at how you can teach your kids the value of money.

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Structured Play

Two-year-olds are now able to open up an iPad, swipe across the screen and watch their favorite nursery rhyme on youtube.com without any intervention from mom or dad. Technology is taking over, and this is the same when it comes to money. Internet banking and paying by card means that toddlers rarely see any real money. When you are playing shop or heading down the local store to purchase a small item, get your real life notes and pennies out. Allow your child to feel the genuine article, not a plastic replica. Little kids love nothing better than feeling more grown up than they are, so allow them to pay the guy behind the counter when you pick up your newspaper and see if they can count their change.

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Family Finances

As your kids grow older, they may begin to want for more things whether this is the latest smartphone, console or tablet. If you are struggling to afford their wishlist, it’s vital that you tell them why. You may have recently renovated the kitchen, had to fork out for a new gasket on the car and paid for them to head off on their annual school trip. This meant you had to take out more short-term loans and credit cards putting you into debt. Explain to your child that this is manageable but only if you reign in the spending for a while. If this situation is familiar to yours, consider heading to a site like consolidate.loan and compare debt consolidation lenders. This way all those tiny chunks of debt can be merged into one monthly repayment.

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Incentivise

The best way to get kids saving is to make it worth their while. As you give them pocket money, they may choose to save up for something like a drum kit or a trip to the cinema. Motivate them by pledging to top up their funds with $5 every time they save $20, giving them an extra impetus to save. As they see their nest egg accrue, you may want to introduce the idea of a bank account or other avenues down which they could see their money grow even further. As they get older, it’s important that children understand the importance of saving, so they don’t become frivolous with money as they enter college and adulthood.

Financial education is only sometimes taught in schools, but it should also be an integral part of the home. Teaching sound money sense from an early age will enable your child to grow up feeling confident, content and happy when budgeting, saving and spending.

 

We need to talk about financial literacy: things your kids should know

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Personal financial literacy encompasses a range of money topics, from everyday skills such as balancing a checkbook – to long-term planning for retirement. Yet we live in a strange world where, unfortunately, not many people have learned to master the skill to properly manage their own finances.  Although there is a movement to include more finance-related coursework in elementary, middle and high school settings – parents and guardians are the primary educators when it comes to financial literacy for kids or teaching children to be financially competent.

Teaching children about financial stability and responsibilities can not only help them in their future when they lead their own personal lives, it is a great potential to change the country’s financial situation. When a generation comes along which has been properly educated about money, it means that the economy can get a very much needed boost.

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As a parent, the important thing to remember is: don’t shy away from talking to kids about money. Even if you lack in confidence in how you handle your own finances, you still possess invaluable experience and perspective that you can bestow on your children. Children as young as 3-years-old can begin to grasp the concept of saving and spending money by simply turning your day-to-day activities into learning experiences. Every trip to the bank, store or the ATM machine can be turned into a valuable lesson.

Your children can learn to save money from a very young age if you have the right approach. They’re not always keen on spending all the money the same moment they get it, so that’s an incredible opportunity to teach them about what they could do with the money if they saved it. The important aspect of this lesson is that they get the sense of delayed gratification for something they bought after some time has passed (while they were saving). It’s also a good way of preventing your child of becoming an impulse buyer – try not to let them spend all their money at once, no matter how much they wanted that special thing.

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Another good financial literacy lesson and example of teaching children to have a realistic approach to money, is to avoid telling them you can’t afford something. Children don’t usually grasp where money is coming from; therefore they won’t understand the reasons behind that statement. Instead, tell them exactly what the money is for: for example, it has been set aside for groceries, and groceries only, and if you buy a toy or candy – then you won’t be able to cook them their favorite lunch. With that comes the talk about priorities – what comes first, and what things come as a luxury or a treat that needs to be well-deserved.

Don’t let your children become misled by what they hear from outside their home or from peers – many children often spread misinformation that can be detrimental to your teachings. Some might even say that rich people are lucky for example – which can be harmful to their opinion. If your child believes that wealth is a result of luck, then they won’t have the right motivations to handle money responsibly. Teach them that only hard work and making smart decisions make people wealthy.

If you are interested in helping your children become more financially literate you may wish to take a look at the award winning Financial Fairy Tales books.

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As your child matures into a teenager, you should have already established the basic principles of saving money and being financially responsible. At this point, you can open them a bank account, and it may be a good idea to give your teen a basic credit card. Teach your teenager about saving long term and how interest affects them both with their savings and their spending. It may also be a good idea to let them take some accounting lessons. It won’t be long before your child ventures into the adult world and leaves the nest, so they should be all set when it comes to being financially responsible.

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By teaching your children about money, you help them discover the relationships between earning, spending and saving. In doing this, children also begin to understand the value of money. Don’t wait too long to teach your child the basics of managing money, because it will thank you later in the future.