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My Story of How Money Scholar Banks Were Born

December 6, 2012
Super Saver!
Like most people, I learned the basic concept of managing money by observing and following what my parents did. Their behavior and personal convictions ingrained in me the concept of generosity, saving and budgeted spending.
Then came my college years and a wise professor who advised us to start saving towards retirement from day one of my first job. I followed that advice and funneled part of my salary into a 401K.  When the time came to make investment decisions about my 401K, I realized that I was at a total loss.  I asked the Human Resource manager who told me to invest in mutual funds.  I did; but in retrospect, it was likely that the HR manager was just giving me a pat answer and she was just as clueless.
I came to the conclusion that ignorance about financial literacy is the norm.  And I decided that I was going to be ignorant no more.  So at age 31, I began to educate myself about investing and smarter saving strategies.
After the birth of my second child at age 34, I left my job at Nordstrom after 12 years of employment.  (It was my first and last employer, other than myself).  I made some real estate investment, experimented with stock trading and marveled at how financial freedom could give me more time to enjoy what’s most important in life – my family.  It occurred to me that my then toddler children could have this same freedom by the time they are in their 20’s if they could start learning about investing, saving, spending and giving, starting today.
So I began searching for the perfect piggy bank — a tool that would enforce the four pillars of saving, investing, spending and giving.  There were many wonderful choices; but all of them only provided object lessons for “saving.”  And the banks seem so toy-driven that it lacked the appeal to keep older kids interested.  Since I could not find the perfect piggy bank, I began to design one — one that teaches all the necessary money management lessons children need to be financially successful as they grow older.
I envisioned a bank that is fun for young children but meaningful for children through their high school years.  I envisioned a bank that gave children a real tool that engaged them in in saving, investing, spending and giving.  This vision became the Money Scholar Bank.
I hope that the Money Scholar bank will be helpful in getting your family to talk about money — to explore different ways to save money, the things to look for when considering an investment, the importance of spending wisely and the privilege of being able to give to help others.
Christine Douglas

Give Back to Education

August 10, 2012

Many children throughout our nation are struggling in school, whether it is from the learning environment or the lack of materials needed to succeed. There are many ways several of us can take action to help better the lives of others in need.

1. Find a school near you in need of supplies and start a supply drive. Get your family, friends, neighbors, or school involved.  Some school dedicate and entire week to collecting supplies for a local elementary school. Each day students bring in certain items such as books, pencils, notebooks, toys, sports equipment, etc. and in return he or she receives a free dress day.

2. Take action by spending a few hours at a school in need of help. Some schools are over populated with students and do not have enough teachers or guidance. Many children need individual attention when trying to understand school work or completing his or her homework in a good learning environment. This can help better the students understanding of the material and make learning a lot less stressful.

3. Many businesses are also taking action to help children with school costs, so look into the opportunities these places offer. Target provides a school fundraising program where a percent of the purchase can be donated to a school of your choice. General Mills has a Box Tops program which encourages collecting Box Tops to save money for your school. Other companies such as Safeway and Office Depot also take part in a way that benefit schools and education. Local grocery storessuch as Fresh and Easy and Ralphs, donate to local schools based on how much you spend.

Spending a small portion of your time can change a student’s life. Education provides more opportunities and a sense of growth for a child’s well being. See how you can get involved and make a difference in everyone’s future.

What message are you sending to your kids about giving back to your community? Roll up your sleeves and get involved in your community.

Christine Douglas

Money Scholar

Making Money Matter

Back to School Shopping Tips

August 1, 2012

School supply shopping can be a stressful, expensive task as the new school year begins to role around. Hopefully, by keeping these small tips in mind, school shopping will become a lesson for the kids that will last a lifetime and become a less expensive trip.

1. Get Organized 

Make a list with your kids and go through the supplies needed. Decide which items are needs and which items are wants. Discuss priorities with your child of what is most needed and what can be lived without. Maybe set a budget for each child and let them shop with their list? This can teach your child organization, money managing, AND budgeting, very important skills for the future.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Go through last years school supplies and see which items are left over or can be used again, such as good pencils, calculators, a backpack that is still in good condition, items that were not used last year, etc. This can save resources and money for the next shopping trip. Also go through and see which items can be donated or given to someone else who could use them.

3. Shop Early, Around, and Late

Around mid-July many products are sold below their actual price in order to reel customers in, so look out for the items you know you will need.  While shopping, keep your eyes open. School supplies can show up in different places such as craft stores, dollar stores, super markets or even eBay. Keep in mind that merchandise will all be marked down or on clearance about one week after school starts so waiting to stock up on the basics is a great idea.

Shop Smart and share any tips you have!

Christine Douglas

Money Scholar

Making Money Matter

Flash Sale Sites

July 26, 2012

A new, uprising trend of online shopping has emerged – flash sale websites. What is a flash sale site? A flash sale site is a website that offers limited time discounts. Usually sales last for about 3 to 5 days and offer discounts from 30% – 80% off. Once the sale is over, everything is removed from the site. Keep in mind, once an item is placed in the shopper’s online cart, the customer is on the clock to confirm his or her purchase (usually about 10 minutes).  Also pay attention to the details. Some items are non-returnable, shipping and handling costs, and the turnaround time to ship items can average 14 – 21 days. These websites offer a variety of items that many shoppers cannot resist!

Popular Flash Sale Sites:

Kids and Mothers:



Fashion for Women, Men and Kids:



-Beyond the Rack

Home and Lifestyle:

-The Foundry


-My Habit by Amazon

So join the trend, become a member of your favorite flash sale site, and begin bargain hunting! This is a great way to do some of your school shopping this year.

I’d love to hear about your great finds and if you find another site that’s not mentioned here please share it with us.

Christine Douglas

Money Scholar

Money Money Matter

How Much Does College Really Cost?

July 4, 2012

The competition for getting into college has increased dramatically over the past years, as well as the cost. Many people do not know what to expect when preparing for that next, possible step in their child’s life. It is important to be aware of how pricey college can be and to prepare early for the future.

Check out the prices for college in California.

2011-2012 cost including tuition and mandatory fees, books and supplies, room and board on campus, miscellaneous/personal, and transportation:

Copyright © California Educational Roundtable

Keep in mind the cost of certain colleges, especially if California colleges are within your family’s future. Not only does the cost include the tuition, but there are several other factors that build up the price in the end. So save and plan well for the future.

Christine Douglas

Money Scholar

Making Money Matter

10 Fun, Inexpensive, Summer Activities to Do With Your Kids

June 26, 2012

When it comes to spending valuable time with the kids this summer, you do not have to take out your wallet to create memorable moments. There are several creative ways to enjoy a beautiful summer day without spending too much.

1. Bake – Baking is a fun way to test your skills in the kitchen and be rewarded with a treat in the end!

2. Barbeque Smores – Get out the barbeque and have your very own smores and campfire.

3. Outdoor Movie Night – Bring out the small television or laptop and enjoy watching movies under the stars. Don’t forget the blankets!

4. Picnics – Pack lunch. Then go to the park or even your own backyard to have a unique meal with your friends and family.

5. Backyard camping – Set up the tent in the backyard and have a camping day of your own!

6. Water Day – Bring out the water balloons, slip ‘n’ slide, or even the sprinklers to cool off and have fun on hot, summer days.

7. Go on a Hike – Go to a local hiking trail and enjoy the scenery while staying active.

8. Build a Fort – Indoors or outdoors, collect sheets, pillows, chair, and whatever else you can find to create a very original fort.

9. Make Play Dough – Get a little messy and make your own Play Dough! Recipe here

10. Volunteer – Take the free time and give back to the community-visit an elderly  neighbor or offer to babysit your neighbor with kids who may needs a break.

Hope your summer is off to great start!

Let me know what fun an inexpensive things you do with your kids.

Christine Douglas

Money Scholar

Making Money Matters

12 Principles To Accumulating Wealth to Share with Your Kids-The Final 3 of 12

May 29, 2012

I hope you all had an amazing holiday weekend. We went to a birthday party on Saturday night and tried to go to a Drive ins, Diners and Dives recommended place in Long Beach, CA, The LAst Cafe,  but it was closed. My daughter is a huge fan of the Food Network channel. Note to self to check the hours of operation next time.

Fear not we found another great place for lunch right on the water,  Parker’s Lighthouse.

Ok, now for the remaining 3 principles for accumulating wealth:

#10 Use Your Imagination

Words alone can not describe the power which lies in this faculty of the mind. It was once said, “All the breaks you need in your life wait within your imagination. It is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind- energy into accomplishment and wealth. It is here that all the plans ever created by men and women have taken shape.  The impulse, the idea, the form and action all come through the aid of the imaginative faculty of the mind.” Play with it. Learn to use it.

#11 Ask Powerful Questions

Get into the habit of using your brain power by posing questions and then noticing the answers when they show up. It’s as if they just ‘pop’ into your head. Sometimes it’s immediate and sometimes you have to wait on it for a day or two. Ask yourself a lot of good, powerful and positive questions.

# 12 Make a Vision board or call it a Dream Board for Kids

Cut out pictures of whatever you desire and put it on a board you can see everyday. Have places you want to go, things you want to have, words that inspire and empower you and a check with an amount filled in. Everything you currently have or experience first started with you envisioning  yourself with it first.

Plan your life’s adventure in your head first.

Have a great week!

Christine Douglas

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