Several parents have approached me recently in hopes of gaining some assistance on how to discourage materialism within their children. They share how they have read a variety of resources, including the articles from our website.  They also speak of how they have had heart-to-heart talks with their children and stressed the importance not being materialistic, but using money as a “tool” for improving the lives of others, not as a “means” for self-gratification. Usually, when our conversation gets to this point, I wait for the speaker to pause and ask, “What do you DO to discourage materialism within your child besides speak against it?” […]


No Child Left Behind, the federal mandate that was implemented by the Bush administration five years ago, is up for review. After participating in a roundtable discussion sponsored by Congressman Scott and reviewing the recent TIME magazine article regarding No Child Left Behind, it is difficult to understand how we can continue to hold educators, administrators, and schools accountable, but fail to hold parents and students to the same level of accountability regarding academic achievement. The four pillars of No Child Left Behind address stronger accountability for results, more freedom for states and communities, proven education methods, and more choices for parents. ( […]


What would your money say if it could talk?  I know, this sounds like a child-like and silly question, but it does have some merit to it. If we were to sit down and honestly assess our financial health, spending habits, and saving efforts, I am certain that our funds would have a lot to offer us in terms of positive and negative feedback. While I am an educator by profession, I am a “retail specialist” by choice.  (A “retail specialist” is the professional term for “frequent shopper.”)  Now, before any thoughts of maxed out credit cards or using mortgage money to shop my life away come into play, I must share that I am a “thrifty retail specialist”.  That means that if it is not on sale or clearance, then, in most instances, I will not buy it.  For me, the shopping smart is a woman’s ultimate sport! Having said all of this, as I was in line, in the process of satisfying my shoe craving by purchasing a pair of three-inch high, classic black leather pumps, my money spoke to me (and no!, I am not unstable, I just have a vivid imagination and I was open to listening.)  My money thanked me for using it wisely by making sure that i conserved it and refrained from using it irresponsibly. […]


It is a known fact that young people between the ages of 13-19 are forever challenging those of us that have brought them into the world and sometimes dream about taking them out of it. {popin} They demand the latest fashions.  They must have the most advanced electronics and technological gadgets.  Their hair and nails must be done on a regular basis, and I am not just referring to females.  They must have the latest model of tennis shoes that cost more than a microwave or DVD player.   They just take and take and take. If you are like me, living with a teen, then you understand that they do not think like normal people.   In their world, money not only grows on trees, fall from the sky, and lands on your front porch, but it is clear to our sweet darlings that we are the “money making machines” that keep the cash clouds full! Well, this year, we decided to really teach our teenager the value of a dollar.  The steps were very simple, yet profoundly enlightening for her. […]


{popin}On Saturday, June 14, 2008, Nationwide Insurance brought its innovative five-city economic empowerment and financial literacy tour to Richmond, Virginia.  The event’s keynote speaker was Tavis Smiley, an individual that is well-known for his efforts to educate, empower, and encourage all people, but specifically African-Americans. As I received the call, inviting me to attend the event the day prior, my initial response was, “the last thing I need to spend my Saturday morning doing is listening to someone with money tell me how to get money and materialistic things for myself.”  To be perfectly honest, I almost had an attitude about having to go to the event, especially since I was charged with the task of reporting on the activities that took place. You must understand, my father, who is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, as is Tavis, raised us with a healthy respect of finances as it pertains to our lives.  We were constantly admonished to view money and wealth as a “tool” for changing and improving the world that we live in, not as a “tool” for promoting our own comforts and self indulgences. […]


Many times, a parent will ask me when I think is a good time to get their children involved in the subject of investing. I really believe that the age at which a parent gets the ball rolling with their child depends on the financial maturity of the child. For some, it can be as early as 10 years old, although some may not be ready to broach the subject of investing until they reach college. Now, you may already be turned off to this article, because you either feel like you are not a college student, or you don’t have one yet. No worries, this is still applicable to people who are not college students. So let’s assume you are about to send your child away to college this fall and you want to equip him/her with, at least, a start in investing. One of the first things that I tell a teenager who wants to get educated about the stock market is to start researching a company that they are already interested in. For example, they know the latest sneakers that are popular right now. They also know which videogames are extremely hot. I tell them to find out the company’s stock symbol and go to a familiar website such as Yahoo Finance and start looking at how that stock performed in the past month or six months or for the past year. Once they do that I’ll ask them questions like why do you think the company did really well in a particular month? And sometimes they’ll answer, “Well, it could be because on a particular date, Dwayne Wade came out with a brand-new version of a sneaker. Before you know it, he or she will be on Google for at least an hour trying to [...]