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My Story

Financially Literate Children = Financially Free Adults

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 gave 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

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