By Kara Martinez Bachman
Bestselling author, Rachel Cruze, knows a thing or two about smart money management. As daughter of popular financial guru, syndicated radio personality and author, Dave Ramsey, she grew up surrounded by sensible advice and positive role-modeling.
Cruze said she was born the year her parents filed bankruptcy, which was followed by a road to recovery that would eventually lead Ramsey to become a household name.
“They never ever wanted us to feel the pain that they went through,” she said, of how her parents taught her and her siblings from a very early age about how to manage money.
Last year, Cruze and Ramsey co-authored a book that became a #1 New York Times best seller, “Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money.” It deals with topics such as working, spending, saving, avoiding debt and planning for college.
“It’s very much from a father/daughter experience,” Cruze said, of how it gives two differing perspectives. “You have to live it first before you can teach it.”
Speaking of, the book has recently been turned into a six-lesson video course presented by father and daughter. Available at Smartmoneysmartkids.com, the cost of the $59 course is very affordable if divided among many participants. It may be experienced either in a large classroom setting, a small gathering of parents (a church group, “Mother’s Day Out” group, book club, etc.), or as an individual.
What are a few things that parents may act upon starting today?
“First, parents really need to realize that their example is huge,” she said. “Parents need to teach their kids that money comes from work.” She referenced the habit of giving children whatever they want without expecting anything in return.
“They’re not giving them the dignity to see what work is,” Cruze said, explaining that linking rewards to work teaches kids about the “real world.”
She also suggested parents should immediately build a master list of all household expenses. When families are truly aware of exactly what is spent, it is easier to maybe find a way to save — even if it is just a tiny bit each month.
“It’s a long road for some, but it is possible,” Cruze said.
According to Cruze, even those in dire circumstances may teach their children to plan for the future in ways that are hopeful; parents in financial straits should aim to “break the cycle that they might be in.”
“You have to believe that the cycle can be broken,” she said, adding if hard-hit parents have a negative attitude, “it is really hard to turn your life around.”
The answer, then, lies in getting informed, setting goals, and having hope that the future can be bright, especially for our children.