Episode Number: 364

Episode 364: Empowering Kids for Financial Success with Maya Corbic

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Empowering Kids for Financial Success with Maya Corbic

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Maya Corbic is a first-generation immigrant, CPA, author of the kids’ book “From Piggy Banks to Stocks: The Ultimate Guide for a Young Investor”, and founder of the Wealthy Kids Investment Club. From challenging beginnings in shelters and government housing, Maya draws from her experience of overcoming financial challenges & simplifies money matters to inspire children to pursue financial success. Her vision is to empower every child to become a financially independent adult.

Maya Corbic grew up in war-torn Bosnia before immigrating to Canada at the age 15. She started working at a young age to support herself and her family. This immigrant experience drove her motivation to get an education and have a successful career as a CPA where she worked at accounting firms before quitting to spend more time with family and start teaching kids about personal finance. By the time she was 32 years old, she and her husband paid off $60,000 of debt, in addition to their mortgage.

In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • The value of social capital and interpersonal skills, how to seize opportunities, and the importance of learning and networking. 
  • When is the ideal time to start teaching kids about key money lessons such as understanding needs vs wants, paying yourself first, & aligning money personalities with family values. 
  • How transparent we should be with our kids about how much money we make and how it’s earned, to help them understand the value of money.
  • How to invest for your child using 529 plans and custodial Roth IRAs in the U.S, but also how important it is for parents to get their own financial situation in order before investing for their kids
  • How to lead by example when it comes to instilling good financial habits in children + much more
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Other Links Mentioned in episode:


Jamila Souffrant 0:03

personal finances called Personal for a reason, right? So when we teach our children about money, we need to think about our family values because that's going to dictate how we're going to teach them about money. When our children get whether it's allowance or you know money as gifts for special occasions or their birthdays, what they do with that money will depend on what we believe as parents should be done. Minus

10 seconds. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who wants her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in three to one.

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are in OG journey or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode. Hey, hey, hey, Jared, here's Welcome to the journey to launch podcast today I have on my Cormick she started in challenging beginnings in shelters in government housing, and as a first gen immigrant now CPA and she draws her experience of overcoming financial challenges to simplify money in a way that inspires children to pursue financial success. She's the author of the kids book, from piggy banks to stocks The Ultimate Guide for a young investor. She's the founder of wealthy kids Investment Club and the founder of the popular Instagram account, teach kids money has over 130,000 followers at the point of this recording, and her and her husband paid off $60,000 worth of debt in addition to their mortgage, her vision is to empower every child to become a financially independent adult. So I'm really excited to talk to my welcome to the show.

Maya Corbic 2:34

Thank you so much for having me to Mila. Okay,

Jamila Souffrant 2:37

so Maya, tell me a little bit more about your background. And then we'll definitely get into specific tips for children. So you know, as a mom, myself, I always love talking about how to make our children financially sound and wealthy. But I do want to get a bit into your background. I read in the bio, that you grew up in shelters and government housing. So can you share a little bit about your your origin story?

Maya Corbic 3:00

Oh, absolutely. So I'm a first generation immigrant from war torn Bosnia. I emigrated when I was 15 years old, with my two parents and a brother, and we lost everything in the wars. So we only had $50 in two suitcases. So you know, lived in government shelters and housing, I had two part time jobs. When I was a teenager, I was a hustler, needed to make that money. Because, you know, my parents couldn't really afford to buy things for me like shampoo or bus tickets. So I had to buy all that for myself. So I think pretty early, I learned that, you know, we have power to earn money, we have power to shape our own destiny. And that was a good student, thankfully. So I did the traditional route, I went to school, get good grades, and ended up going to a really good university, and then ended up getting my CPA designation, which helped me lift me out of poverty and just change my financial trajectory.

Jamila Souffrant 4:01

And this is all happening in Canada. Right where you still are.

Speaker 1 4:04

That's right. Yes, yes, I'm still in Canada. I'm in Toronto. But the content that I post is global content. Right?

Jamila Souffrant 4:11

I always love talking to fellow immigrants, because I find that we definitely have so much in common in terms of the drive to succeed once you are here. And I don't know, if your parents like wasn't explicitly told to you like, hey, you need education is key, or did you? Was it more? Are you watching them? And seeing how they struggled to know that you wanted to do better? Like what was that for you? So

Speaker 1 4:37

I think I did have one advantage over, you know, maybe some other people is that both of my parents are highly educated. My mom is engineer and computer programmer. She did that in Bosnia. My dad has a university education for economics, like economics degree. And so I grew up with that mindset like my parents went to uni. receive, of course, that's just the natural thing I'm going to do. But then when we came to Canada, I think is just knowing what's out there, and what kind of opportunities are out there that, like, I don't want to be stuck living the way I'm living. I know there's more out there. And I know it's up to me to go and get it. I couldn't rely on my parents. And actually, it was telling somebody recently the story, because I guess there's there was that immigrant drive. So I always had to try to get into the best university and to best programs and whatever. And I went to University of Toronto and the way they are divided, and I did their Rotman Commerce program, which is very prestigious, that being a University of Toronto, they're sort of divided into different houses, kind of like your home room, I don't know how else to explain it. But there's this one house, it's called Trinity College. And they basically have everybody with the highest average, it's kind of like the most prestigious one. So it's like, I have to get in there. But what I didn't realize is that once I was in there, there were a lot of kids in there from private schools, very different upbringing, very different childhood than mine. And it was really funny, because at that time, I think it was maybe in first or second year of university, and I wanted to branch off. So I had a job working in a donut shop. And then I was also working at a car dealership. And I was like, okay, you know what, like, I'm going into business, like, I need something to help me bring up my experience and knowledge. So like, I need like a different job. So it was just chatting with like another fellow student. And as I said, like a lot of them are from private schools, there were a lot of boys from Upper Canada College, which is like one of the top private schools in Canada. Like, it's like, I don't even know what the tuition is now, like 50 grand a year or something. So he turns to me, and he's like, Well, if you want to have that experience, like why don't you just talk to your dad, and he can hook you up for like with one of his friends and like they can get you into one of their companies. And I'm like, What are you talking about? My dad barely speaks any English. He's trying to find a job and like, you know, he's trying to survive on his own. I'm like, I can't rely on my parents. Like I have to rely on myself. So it was just very different. Like it wasn't spoken. My parents never had to say anything. It was just very obvious. You're on your own. And you got to make this work.

Jamila Souffrant 7:19

Yeah, yeah. Just curious. Did your parents get to get back into the fields that they left or they had to pivot,

Maya Corbic 7:27

kind of, they had to pivot, like my mom did actually use the volunteering. She actually, but it paid off. She volunteered for our government. And she ended up getting a job at the Ministry of Forensic Sciences in Toronto. So all the like murder cases and all that stuff that happens on TV that we watch in Toronto, like she was kind of working on that in the lab. She's a chemical engineer. It's not exactly what she was doing. But she was in a lab. And it was a good job. And she retired couple of years ago. But she's an incredible human being like I just want to say like, for the duration of time that she worked like she ended up buying herself a condo in a really nice part of the town. She paid off that condo in full. I think when she bought it it was Don't quote me on it, but it was like 350,000. And she only, I think like ended up working because she's 72 Now, so she worked for not even 20 full years. And she paid off that condo, in like 10 or 15 years, she built up her retirement fund, she lived very frugally, like she's a role model when it comes to you know, stretching your dollar for as far as you possibly can. And by the way, sorry, through all this process, because it was really, really hard living the way we're living. My parents ended up divorcing so they're not together anymore. But my dad ended up opening up his own bookkeeping services. And so he was doing a lot of bookkeeping for construction companies. And now that he's 72, he's slowly retiring. He's getting rid of some of his clients, but he kept a few just to keep them busy. So they both ended up doing well in the end. But it was really a struggle, because they came in their mid 40s. They were starting from scratch. They were learning a new language, they did not know anybody. And now I'm in my mid 40s. And I can't even imagine what it would be like starting somewhere new where I don't speak the language or don't know the culture, right.

Jamila Souffrant 9:30

And I asked just about parents just because I know how important my mom's story is to who I became and then the idea of starting over so my mom started over in this country when she was only 20. So much younger and I often and you know having me as a single mom, I'm just like, how did you do that? And you know, looking at your parents, it's like the same thing. And what I hope that a lot of people do and I talk about this all the time is that the material aspects and financial aspects that we have that we are are proud of, you know, paying off debt, increasing our investments, those are important things. But I really do believe it's like the mindset and who we are inside that that can't ever be taken from us. And so in like the situation when it comes to your parents and how accomplished they were back in Bosnia, and that education, it took a certain mindset. And whatever that was, obviously, we don't exactly know to get them where they got there. And that carried over to where it's just like, it reminds me of the Jay Z line, he says, like he put me anywhere on God's green earth, I will triple my worth. It's like you put someone who has it and then loses it, it's like, they typically can establish themselves again, because of what they've developed inside. So I want to say that, that that's important, right. And

Speaker 1 10:41

I think it's so important to pass that on to our children, you know, that mindset that they're worthy that they can do things that they're fully capable. And, you know, my son, he is 16 and a half, and the new semester is coming up in school, and he will be doing some Co Op. And again, this is another thing too, which was so cool. Because he wants to do aerospace engineering. And I was like, okay, so he used to do Co Op, I don't want to get him a co op, where he's just filing or doing tasks that he's not learning anything from, not that he's not learning, but you know what I mean?

Jamila Souffrant 11:12

Sorry, it's Co Op internship.

Speaker 1 11:14

It's internships. Sorry, yeah. Since Canada, we call it Co Op, but it's really internship. Right? Okay. And I wanted him to learn certain skills related to engineering. And I was like, Okay, who do I know? Do I have any contacts. And it was incredible for me to see, as somebody who was an immigrant who did not know anyone in this country to now like, actually, I have contacts. And I was able to, like, call up somebody like what that guy said, from the private school, Hey, call up your friend and see, you know, if they can. So it was one of those, it was like, Hey, I noticed guy like, he's not like, a close friend or anything. But I know him. His dad owns aerospace company, hey, my son wants to get into aerospace engineering, can you hook them up? So he got a job position in a quality control department. And I said to him, I'm like, you know, I know, it's not the most exciting one. But he's like, Mom, it's the most important one. We all like travel, we fly, you want to make sure that those parts are, you know, done well, like the quality control is important. But anyways, my message to him was, make sure you learn as much as possible. So if there is, you know, like, don't be bored, go to like a different department, ask if somebody needs help. Because all that knowledge stays with you. Nobody can take that away, you know, make contacts talk to people, especially for this younger generation, I keep telling my kids all the time, you need to have social skills, you need to network, you need to know how to do that. Because, you know, they're really glued to the screen, and social media, and some of them are losing the know how to talk to people. And I think that's really important. So I've been encouraging him to do that, then that Co Op is starting at the end of February.

Jamila Souffrant 12:57

Oh, good for him. I just feel like the social capital part of things, especially if you're not born into wealth. So the same way that that old student said to you, oh, just call someone up. And you're like, I can't. That to me is true wealth. It's the inner part of your mindset and who the competence is, you have to go out and try something, but it's also your net worth. And it is being able to have social capital. And you know, it's a skill to have people like you and to know how to ask for things, and then how to also give things. And so I just think this is something that we have to when it comes to our kids, like you said the screens, I have a nine, seven and five year old and so they are growing up where that's all, not all they know, obviously, they know more than that, but that is so surrounds them where it's like me, when I was their age, I didn't have any of this net stuff. So I had to rely more on interpersonal skills. But I know we'll get more into like what we can do to help our kids. But now when it comes to you graduating, so you have your CPA, what did you think you were going to do with that? And then what did you end up doing? Or how did you transition? So

Speaker 1 14:04

I ended up as a CPA, I ended up working. And by the way, like, that's not originally what I thought I was going to do. I thought it was going to go into medical field, but I did some internships and I was like, okay, that's not for me. So with the CPA route, I just thought that seemed to be the safest in terms of the student loans because I I had to take student loans and I knew I had to pay those back. So I was like, okay, what can I do? That's going to help me pay off those student loans the fastest and also support my family, which I knew I wanted to have one day. You know, people sometimes study something because they love it. I've enjoyed my career as a CPA, but it wasn't. It was very, like logical decision and like, purposeful decision. And so when I became a CPA, because I decided to kind of do that later in the game. I didn't line up my self properly, like I didn't have a proper strategy. So All the big accounting firms that are the most famous ones in the accounting world, as funny as that sounds, but they already had students. So I had to go with like a really small firm that nobody knew of. But it was really great, because for two years that I've worked there, I learned so much, I actually was exposed to everything a lot more than I would have it working for a big accounting firm. And that actually gave me an edge and advantage. So I was able to switch and start working for one of the bigger firms. But more importantly, the knowledge that I gained, then is the knowledge that I still use today, I'm actually able to look at the business from, I guess, a bird's eye, you know, and look at it as a big picture and see, okay, like what's going on here, not only from accounting and cash flow perspective, but from tax and everything else. So then after that, I ended up with a big accounting firm, and I was doing taxes and audit. And while it was interesting at the beginning, after a while, like the long hours were not as appealing and I wanted to spend more time with my family. My kids were very young at the time. What

Jamila Souffrant 16:08

did you do next? Because I know a lot of people, especially when you have kids, that's that feeling when they're so young, right? You have you want to be able to pick them up and do things with them. And work usually gets in the way of that. Yeah,

Speaker 1 16:18

so I actually ended up trying to do flex hours. So I worked 70%, supposedly 70% of the time, but you know it anybody from that world or corporate world? Well, I can't let's talk about accounting world, I don't want to talk about corporate world. But anybody who worked in the accounting and audit world, you know, you're working insane hours, like when I was nine months pregnant, I was working from 6am to 2am in the morning, like it was just insane. So I was like, Okay, I don't want to do that anymore. Let's do let's try, like flex hours. So I went, my paycheck was cut to 70%. But I was I was essentially working now full time. So it was kind of like, nine to five. So it wasn't much better work life balance. But it all happened gradually over the years. And during those years, my husband and I were able to pay off our first home, we were able to actually have some real estate investments, we paid off our debt. And I think it was very hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I could actually quit my job. Like it was almost like, I've never heard of anybody doing that. And also, one other thing is I think it's a cultural thing too, like in Bosnia. Pretty much everybody work like the, you know, the here or there a lot of stay at home moms in Canada and US. That wasn't a thing. That's not how I grew up. So like, that wasn't even part of my realm. Like, I didn't even think about that. And it wasn't until my husband just said, he's like, Well, why do you still work like we can afford for you not to work. And I was just terrified of doing that. And it took a lot of courage to actually quit. And then when they quit, oh, my goodness, I was crying so much. Because I knew it was the right decision. But I was so terrified. And I mean, obviously I was a very good employee, because they said, You know what, take a year off and think about it. Like it's not a full kind of like, okay, you're done. So they said to me, keep the computer, keep the laptop that you have, and then just bring it a year later, if you don't want to work for us anymore. That's fine. So I kept this laptop because it just gave me the sense of like, I can go back if you know if everything fails, right. But I remember one night, this is like months into me not working and starting to kind of create my own company and teach kids financial literacy. I remember saying to my husband, oh, you know what, like, let's just, let's watch Netflix. And we wanted to like do, we didn't have TV in our room. So we're like, okay, let's just bring the laptop. And I brought the laptop and they have this Office Communicator and Office Communicator was like, if you see green dots, besides people's names, you can see that they're working. It was 10 o'clock at night, I opened that laptop, I'm going to bed here. I'm about to watch Netflix, and they're all these green dots on the screen. And I'm like, I can't go back to that. Like that's just a no and that was the final kind of like, okay, you know what? I'm gonna turn this laptop in. It's been months. I've been on my own. I'm okay. We're financially okay. It's safe to quit. Like this. Is it? So that's what I did.

Jamila Souffrant 19:23

You said that your husband and yourself you started to pay off debt. So let us know a little bit about where you guys were financially. It sounds like your husband was working and had a stable job and but you were financially prepared because you were paying off debt. So how did that happen? Was it because you were earning good income together? And or being smart with your money being a little frugal, what was your financial situation like?

Speaker 1 19:47

So it was actually a little bit of both that enabled us being good with our money and also earning some good income, but it didn't start off that way. When we first bought our home. I was actually more Looking towards buying something smaller, like a condo that we could afford, my husband really wanted a house. So I remember when we bought our home, our first home, we were house hacking without knowing that was the therm or that this is what people do. The home that we bought came with a tenant who lived in the basement. But our first incomes were so small, and I remember doing our first budget, and realizing that, like, there is absolutely no wiggle room, I told him, I said, we're pretty much going to be staying at home, there's no eating out, there's no social life, like that's it, like we're gonna have this house. And that's all we have. And then when it's time, like I ended up upgrading my knowledge, getting my CPA designation, I got a better job, he got a better job, or we he actually started, eventually, he started, he opened up his own company, as well. As the more money started coming in, we realized that, okay, now we have more money, we can actually pay more of our debt. And we had different debts. And my husband's okay with me saying this, he had more of a party that I had that because I had student loans. And I also needed a car in order to become an auditor, that was the prerequisite for my job. So I had student loans, and I had car debt. And my husband had a motorcycle, that and all these other I don't even know, like all these different debts. And I remember, you know, I was the accountant that was kind of in charge of paying the bills. And there were all these different debts. And I just couldn't make sense of it. And I just remember saying to him, we need to consolidate all this, like it just needs to be like one bill that I can pay. And I know I've paid it either way, I'm not forgetting to pay something or I just wanted to grasp handle on it, like I wanted to, to tackle it. And so we ended up going to a bank, and we said, okay, we'd like to consolidate all these loans. And they gave us this one big last loan. And I ended up like working on paying that every month. And then I realized, like, oh, in our budget, there was money leftover, we can actually pay off more of that. So I increased the payments on that just to like pay it off. As soon as possible, I increased the payments on my student loans, because I want to do is gone. And then same thing for our mortgage in Canada, we can do this one thing where we can actually make our payments every week. But you have to ask for that. And so when you make your payments every week, it actually helps to lower down the interest that you pay overall. So we did that. And then every time we had extra money, we would just dump it on mortgage. And our tenant in the basement that we had, their rent was actually covering about 30% of the mortgage. So that was really helpful. And we were just really smart with our money. We had this one notebook, and it wasn't anything complicated that we did. But it was just that we had this one notebook. And we would write in it like any events that were coming up, or let's say vacations, or things that we would save up for, for like as a sinking fund. And we would keep track of that. So because we got married fairly young, and we had kids fairly young, a lot of our friends were still getting married. And I remember there was one summer, we had 13 weddings to go to. And it was all people that were close to us in a matter of people that came to our wedding. And we just wanted to repay the favor. So it was a lot of money that was going to come out that summer. And I remember like we were saving up for it. And we could keep track of all this in our little notebook. And then our vacations were not as fancy back then as they are now we would just do whatever we could. But we still wanted to make fun and have fun and make the best out of those trips. So we lived really, I would say frugally. And I do remember the times when certain people around us were kind of making fun of us or you know, teasing. But guess what, 20 years later, we're so much further than they are and nobody's making fun of us anymore. People are asking for advice. So

Jamila Souffrant 23:59

now, you quit your job. And you realize, okay, I have a skill set. Maybe I'm good at this. What made you go or what made you think about kids like specifically and teaching kids about money? What was that about?

Speaker 1 24:13

Yes. So when I was working for Deloitte and Touche, they had one week when we would kind of give our time back to community and I joined Junior Achievement Program. And back then Junior cheer program worked very, very different. And I would actually go to schools and teach and the crazy thing is like I would come back from a day of teaching and it would be very intense like I will be teaching from 9am till 3pm I'd come home and my husband would always say is like you are just glowing. Like is like I've never seen you come you know in that state from you know your work like you're just so happy. And I was like I love teaching I love teaching kids about money, they were so curious, they wanted to know. And I'm not a professionally trained teacher. And for some reason I never even thought about going into teaching. But I know I have the gift of teaching. Like I can read the room, I know what the room or my students need, so that I can give that to them so that I can engage them in the you know, if one point they're not engaged anymore, I know what to do to bring them back so they can start learning I can pinpoint where they're stuck and help them with that. And I don't know where that comes from. It's just in me. And so teaching was like something that made me happy, especially young kids. And so when I quit my job, I was like, I want to do something meaningful. And that's literally the first thing that came to mind. And 11 years ago, there really wasn't much out there on financial literacy for kids. Not even that many books. I remember like looking for books to educate my own kids. And I found two books at a time. And now there's so much out there, it's amazing.

Jamila Souffrant 26:02

I Jamila here, host of this podcast and author of the book, your journey to financial freedom, a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness. Just a few years ago, I was in a job I didn't like with a long commute. feeling stuck, I knew there had to be a different better way. Then I found the pathway to financial freedom and financial independence. Today, I have more money, options and freedom than I ever thought was possible. And in my book, Your journey to financial freedom. I'll show you how you can achieve that too. You will learn how to spend and save responsibly, all while enjoying that spicy Margarita and extra side of guacamole. To determine where you are on the journey and evaluate your spending and saving goals accordingly. Quit your job, retire early, or reach financial independence. My book your journey to financial freedom a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness is out now and available on Amazon bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble and more, you can leave and listen to the audiobook narrated by me go to your journey to financial freedom.com to get her free bonus when he ordered the book and see all the places to buy it. Once again, go to your journey to financial freedom.com. What would you say is their ideal age? I mean, I know some people have just started learning about money themselves. Right? And so maybe they have older kids. So I don't want to discourage anyone about it being too late. But is there an ideal time for people who have younger kids, that there's a time to introduce and talk about money? And then where do you start?

Speaker 1 27:34

Yeah, so it's never too late. I just want to stress that. So absolutely, it's good to start as early as possible. I usually tell parents that as soon as they see their kids playing store, or play with pretend money, that's a good time to start. Or if you take them to the store and they're asking you to buy them things. At that point in time. The children are showing that they understand that money is used as an exchange to buy things. So it's a great time to start teaching them about about money. One of the first lessons I like to teach kids, it's just understanding the difference between needs and wants needs are things we need for survival wants are things we don't need for survival, but they're just nice to have. And I've been able to teach that to kindergartens, in schools. Kindergartens can actually get this, they're very good at it. And it's kind of funny because I've met adults that sometimes struggle with this, right? But kids are good. They know. And they might even call you out. So be careful what you teach them. Because if you teach them this, and you take them to the store, and you're taking stuff, I've had parents tell me my child told me that's not a need, put it back on the shelf.

Jamila Souffrant 28:35

Yeah, that's my son. He's like, why are you buying flowers, they're gonna die. That's a waste of money. Like, excuse me.

Speaker 1 28:43

I love flowers, I actually buy them. They are luxury. And again, like, this is something I did not buy, you know, 10 years ago. It is something that I buy for myself now. And I think actually, over the last, I don't know few months, my husband has picked up on it. So now sometimes he just comes home and home and brings me flowers because he knows that enjoy them so much.

Jamila Souffrant 29:07

So all right, never too early, teach them about need and want. What are some practical steps now that they can follow? Do you recommend one of the things that I know is happening is that money is so digital. So my second grader, they are learning about identifying coins now. You know, I'm like, that's good, because you need to know that and so and he knows about already the dollars and paper money but the coins has gotten but money now has become digital for so many of us because we just use our card now we tap we use our phone so kids are not seeing that. What is the importance of actually having your kids touch and feel money and see that exchange or understand that the world is moving forward and cash is becoming less and less popular?

Speaker 1 29:50

That's a fantastic question. So I do believe that to start off our kids learning about money, it's good to actually introduce them to cash that way they can See it, they can understand the currency in different denominations. As they get older, I definitely think that we need to teach them about cashless economy. And sometimes I have parents fighting me on this because you know, they're like, Oh, they're too young to understand, or I don't like cashless economy, we only use cash. And to be perfectly honest, I love cash. And I do remember the time when I only use cash. And you know, when you have certain amount of money in your wallet, and you see that money leaving your wallet, you kind of start panicking a little bit. And that slows down your spending. Now with credit cards, we just tap, you know, it doesn't even give us a chance to think about whether or not that purchases a need, do we have enough money in our account? It happens so quick. It's so instantaneous. So do I like that we're moving into this direction? Absolutely not. However, me as a parent, I have responsibility to prepare my children for the world that they will be living in when they become adults. So I think it is important to teach them about that cashless system. And sometimes parents think that oh, kids are too young, they're not going to understand it because it's invisible. Kids actually understand it a little bit better than the parents sometimes, because some of them play video games, and there's currency in video games. So they've already had some experience with this, they've used the currency to buy different skins or props in their video game, they understand what they need to do to earn that currency. So they are a lot more familiar with it than I think some adults realize.

Jamila Souffrant 31:31

How would you then recommend what to say your kids will be a little bit older, and you want them to now be in charge of saving and or spending their money? So whether that's from birthday gifts, or holiday gifts? And then maybe just they get allowances? How would you recommend you them splitting that money up directing them to think smartly about how they spend that? So

Speaker 1 31:57

what I say to all the parents is that there is no right way. First of all, one thing that I've learned over the last 11 years is that personal finances called Personal for a reason, right? So when we teach our children about money, we need to think about our family values, because that's going to dictate how we're going to teach them about money. When our children get whether it's allowance, or you know, money as gifts for special occasions, or their birthdays, what they do with that money will depend on what we believe as parents should be done. So typically, you know, you can ask your child to divide our money into four different categories like save, spend, donate and invest in terms of how much they save, it's entirely up to you. I also, what I've done with my kids, was that I taught my kids pay themselves to pay themselves first, basically, for those of you who don't know, what that means is that as soon as some money comes in, you put aside a certain portion you pay yourself before you start paying anybody else and paying all those bills and spending the money. And the reason why I did that with my kids is because I wanted to make that a habit. And they say that 95% of what we do we do out of habit so that when they become adults, when they get that paycheck, they don't just go out and spend that whole paycheck, they actually put aside a little bit into savings, and then eventually they invest that money. But they're taking care of themselves before paying everybody else. That's been like one of the things that I've done with my kids, but you know, you can structure this in any way you want to. My big thing is that this is something I tell all the parents that attend my workshops, is that when you give that money, make sure that it's not just given and it's like, Okay, see you later. Now you go and do whatever you want with that money. The reason why you're giving them the money is because that money is a teaching tool, it's supposed to teach them something. So you really have to think about what it is that you want to teach them. If it's donating, if you want them to take 10% right away and donate that money. Like you know why you why that lesson is important. And that's something that you will be reinforcing.

Jamila Souffrant 34:00

So when it comes to the saving and investing part, right? So if your kids are super young, because as they get older a bit they're things they are specifically saving for even as I guess, younger kids, they could, but I'm thinking more of like a teenager who wants to save for maybe a car or bigger purchase. But where do you put that money? They have like, let's just say $500 From all the gifts for the last couple of months. So they got in for their birthday or whatever holiday. And so they decided or you as a family has decided 250 of that, or 300 of that is going to be paying themselves saving and investing. Where does that money go for you? Or where do you recommend parents to start to save and invest for their kids?

Speaker 1 34:39

Yes, I think it depends on the goal and the timeline. So if it's a short term goal, it may not necessarily be wise to put all that money in the stock market. My kids and I we invest in ETFs and index funds. Those are the easiest investment vehicles to invest in to actually understand how they work and they have very low fees But we are investing for long term for goals that we have that will happen 10 years or later. But if it's for something that will happen in the short term, I would investigate or like look into, you know, high yield savings accounts, or I would look into bonds. And just make sure that I feel comfortable that I know that that money will actually increase because of, I guess, the investment vehicle that I'm putting it in, because it is for short term. The thing about investing in stock market is that, you know, when we invest for long term we're giving it's time to recover. Like right now we are I know, some people are saying we're not in a recession, we are in a recession, just you know, stock market wasn't doing great. Now it is, but you just don't know if it's going to recover or not if you're investing your money for short term. So that's why I would stay away from investing into stocks for something that's short term, but for long term, by all means.

Jamila Souffrant 36:05

How transparent should you be with your kids about money? Or about when they ask how much you make? How much money do you have? I'm getting a lot of that now that Oh, are you? Do you have a lot of money? How much money do you have? Or how much do you pay for that? And I do share with them because I want to be transparent. My kids are like, you need a car, you need a new car. And I'm like, Do you know how much this car costs? And I told them, and they were like, my daughter was like You wasted your money. But I just I think it's so interesting now that they're starting to ask, really like, what how much does that cost? How much does this home cost? So what do you share? What do you don't? What don't you share?

Speaker 1 36:41

So I think it depends on on every family. I mean, every family is their friend. But I usually like to ask like when they asked me a question, let's say how much money do you make? I like to ask them a question back, like, why do you want to know? Because that will determine how much I share. So especially if they're younger, right? So maybe they're asking how much money do you make? Because they've heard you complain? how everything is so expensive, and oh, my god, like maybe some people are very dramatic. It's like, I'm gonna lose my house or this and that is going to happen, like I can't afford to, we won't be able to afford to eat or maybe they're just scared, right? So maybe you don't necessarily need to tell them how much you make, maybe just need to reassure them and tell them that everything is going to be okay. Or are they asking because they know that Susie's parents make so much money, and they're comparing themselves. So when you ask them that question back, why do they want to know, it will give you a better idea of what kind of answer they're looking for. But just like you, Jamila, I'm also very transparent with our kids, especially now that they've gotten older. Like, I actually want them to know how much money I make and how I'm making money because it is a little bit different how I make money now versus like, when I was an employee when I was exchanging my time for money. So especially if I'm making passive income, let's say I've created a course, or like my, I have the membership club, the wealthy kids Investment Club, and I tell the kids, I'm like, you know, I've put in the hours of work, there's a content in there. But now, that content, like I'm not, I just keep adding new content, but the original content is there, and people are consuming it. People are learning people are benefiting. But I'm also benefiting because from the monthly membership like that, that's passive income to me. So I like sharing this. I also like sharing, like, if a school books me to do a workshop, how much money I'm making, for, you know, the hours that I'm driving there that I'm teaching, and then the hours that are like that I'm driving back. So it's like, okay, that's how much money I mean. But why is that because I have the skills because nobody can take those skills away from me, which is what we talked about, right? Because I've put the time and effort to design these workshops, so that other people can benefit. And not only that they benefit, they tell others about it. So others it's kind of word of mouth, right? People book me. So I like to tie all these concepts and all these lessons together because they are teenagers. And I want them to think about different ways of earning money and what is possible for them. Because when I was growing up, if somebody had told me that I could make money the way I'm making money, I would have been like, You're joking. Like, that's impossible. And even now I still struggle with it. Like the money mindset thing is real. It really is real.

Jamila Souffrant 39:21

It is and I think it's something that even if you are professional, or someone like ourselves, who are leaders in this space and teach about it in certain ways, is that doesn't mean that we don't have it ourselves. Right that we don't have to work on it. One of my sons, he loves seafood. And so if we go to a restaurant, he always wants a lobster. And I'm like, Do you know how much that costs? Right? And that I'm not saying it to be in a scarcity mindset. But I tell him I'm like listen, I can already tell you like to eat nice things. And in this case, you need to figure out a way in which you could support yourself and eating nice things and living the life that you want. My daughter she's another one why can't we have a house with a Cool. And I'm like, You know what, when you get older, if you want a house with a pool, you can have that. But you'll have to figure out a way to afford that. And so really locking into the things that they're interested in and telling them that I know sometimes just looks like we just give it to you and provide it for you. But it takes work. And then the other thing I'd say, similar to you is that, because I don't have a traditional job, and I'm not like leaving the house and working, and they, they know that I'm home, right? It's, it was also a matter of teaching them what I do to make money. Right? Kids said to me today, what are you doing today, you have an interview, I'm like, yes, that I have an interview today for the podcast. That's how I work, you know, it may not be in the traditional sense that maybe some of the other kids in your schools, parents work, but I am still earning money for this family. So it's, I do think it's really important to share with your kids how you earn money, what you do, so they can start to respect that value of the dollar.

Speaker 1 40:54

Yeah. And I think it's really interesting, you know, what you just said, like talking to them about how much things cost. So it's that fine balance, about not introducing scarcity mindset, but teaching them to be grateful for what they have, and how much things actually costs. So, you know, I'm really trying hard, because, you know, sometimes I will tell them, you know, when I was growing up, that wasn't available to me, and, you know, here it is like, and I'm not trying to make them feel guilty about it, it's more just to bring the awareness that, you know, you guys are luckier than many other kids. And, you know, please enjoy it and be grateful for it. And also at the same time, like, there's so much more available to you, and you can do even better. And we had that thing with the pool, too. You know, my, my kids asked, because we were we actually ended up like building the house that we're in right now. And they're like, oh, sorry, you're gonna have a pool. And I said, No, and they're like, but why not everybody has a pool. Well, everybody is the neighborhood that we live in. And I'm like, all the kids that you hang out with, you can go to their pools, so you don't need to have a pool every day, pick a different friend go to their pool. But it's kind of like, again, what you said, we said the same thing. One day, when you have your own house, or when you're making lots of money, you can build a house with the pool. And so it's available to you, it's out there. Right,

Jamila Souffrant 42:20

right. Now, we're talking a lot about, you know, teaching kids financial concepts, or at least having them aware of what things cost. And I know so many parents as we should like, we do want better for our kids. But I also find it that so many parents are worried about investing on behalf of their kid or saving on behalf of their kid and they're not financially stable. So what advice would you have for that parent who knows that they need to get their financial life together, but they still want to do things for their kids? Would you say that they need to pause and not worry about investing in 529 accounts and get themselves together? First? What advice would you give them to make them feel empowered in this situation,

Speaker 1 43:00

I definitely think they need to get their own situation under control before they start helping their kids. You know, they say when you're on the airplane, put on your own oxygen mask before starting to help everybody else around you. I also do realize that time is an asset that our kids have. So the sooner we can start investing for them, the better it is because that money can accumulate. But, you know, if you really want to help your kids, I mean, you know, it's almost like impossible for you to just focus on yourself. And you know, the time is ticking by and you're like, I really need to take advantage of this long time horizon that my child has in front of them, then just invest $10 a week, $20 a week. And, you know, I know that for some people, that's even a stretch. But often I encourage people to think about how can you earn $10 a week, or $15 a week, it could be like, you know, returning the beer cans or beer bottles into recycling and like earning money that way or if your child is old enough, they can help like they can maybe you know, mow neighbor's lawn, or do some other things where they earned out money so that money can be invested. Or if the kids get money from grandparents for their birthdays, or like other relatives, take a portion of that money and then invest that at least you're doing something

Jamila Souffrant 44:22

you could tell me if the options in Canada are different, but to then just be a little bit more specific, not giving explicit investment advice, but to say, in the US, we have the option of opening up the 529 accounts for them which primarily are for education, which they did change the rule a bit where it can also be converted into a Roth as an investment account for them, which is I think, a great option. But there's also the UG MTA fund like accounts where the kid eventually gets control of it at a certain age depending on your state. And then there's taxable investing, and tell me what the options are in Canada but then what Would you recommend for a parent to do if they're feeling overwhelmed by the options? Or they don't even know what the options? Where did they start? Yeah, so

Speaker 1 45:06

I have seen loved the options that US has, we don't have as many options in Canada than I wish we did. And I almost want to start lobbying the government to actually provide those custodial Roth IRA is my absolutely favorite one. However, the money invested in that account has to be earned by the child. So unless you have your own business where you could like hire your child, especially like if they're a baby, and now their model, baby, for your business, and for your marketing and promo materials, it may be hard to invest into that account. But I love the new rule, the new law that allows us or allows you guys Americans, to transfer the money from 529 into custodial Roth IRA, if your child chooses not to go to school, I would probably start off with that first. And, you know, start investing money into that account. And then if your child chooses not to, to go to school, you can always transfer that money into their name. And that money can continue to grow and earn interest, or, you know, if your child, if you have another favorite child and the first child, this is you off, you can transfer that money to your second child, right? I mean, there are a lot of options there. So I think I really liked the 529 account, I think it's a great option.

Jamila Souffrant 46:19

And also for tax reasons like for us in New York state, it deducts a certain amount from your New York State taxes that you need to pay when you do invest that way, I know a lot of other states have the same thing. So I think it's just important here that what I want to leave the audience with is that there are many options in which you can invest for your kids, especially for you in the US. But the important thing is to just start. And if you are confused, or don't know what to do, of course, you know, do your due diligence and research. But to understand that, you know, there are options for you out there. When it comes to the way your you've raised your kids, obviously, you're still raising them, but the way that you are intentionally talking to them about money. I know you said you had a six year old and I think you have more kids, but do you find that they actually are retaining that information? Do you see a change or the impact on what you've done so far in the way they handle money and, and deal with money? It's

Speaker 1 47:18

Oh, I love that question. Because I have to, I have to honestly admit, it's scary sometimes, because I keep telling my husband, it would be absolute tragedy. If my kids go into the world. They're terrible with their money, especially because this is what I do for a living. But I have to say, and this is very honest kind of recount of what has happened over the last 11 years. When I started my company, that's when I started teaching them. So they were very young. But some concepts I have to repeat over and over again, and some of them still repeating. And you know, sometimes I'll talk about something maybe a year ago, and then I'll just mention it and the kids are like, what's that, and I'm like, oh my goodness, but we talked about this like, so it's just one of those things that you have to keep repeating. But I think another part of it is that we as parents would set the example for our children. So they learn a lot by observing. And I do see that, you know, they have changed certain behaviors over the years. I actually, I don't know if your listeners know this, but we're all born with different money personalities. And it's not just sender, spender and saver, which are the two most common ones and I have one child that's a natural spender, and another one that's a natural saver. But what I always tell parents is like, it's really good to align their money personality with your family values. So my husband and I, we believe that money is there for us to enjoy, but Enjoy Responsibly. So we don't just want to sit on a pile of cash. Like I actually, you know, once that money is invested properly, and I pay all my bills, I want to enjoy my cash, I want to travel, I want to do things that are important to us. So with our saver, we sort of had to talk with him and say, hey, you know what saving is great. But it's okay to spend money on things that are really meaningful and important to you. It's okay to give money. So we've come to a place where now like he'll buy gifts for birthdays for his nephew, his cousins, and you know, he'll donate to charity, which is so nice for me to see. And then my daughter who was more she was more of a spender like now she's very much like conscious of you know how much things cost she does her research. Like just the recent conversation was about dogs. Do I buy the Ugg boots or do I buy like dupes that look like dogs and they can actually make my outfit look good still like even though it just doesn't say OGS on them, right? And she's she'll say things like, you know, my friend like one of her friends ended up getting money for Christmas and he ended up putting it in this like savings jar and she was like while I told him to invest that money because just keeping it in the savings jar for like next. I don't know how many years is not going to earn him any interest. So it is getting in there. It's like they are picking it up but I feel like I'm a little panic because as I said, I have a 16 year old and and I have a 14 year old and like they're gonna be out soon. And I'm like, do I have enough time? You know,

Jamila Souffrant 50:08

I know. Oh, I love that you say that as someone who does this for a living. So you could like, hopefully show people that whatever feeling like they're having about their kids. It's like universal no matter how much you feel like you done or you're doing. Once you become a parent, they really are their own people, right? Like, yes, we think we can control them. But ultimately, they have the control. And so you have to pour into them. Same thing, even if it's not about money, just life lessons that I feel like I repeat to them over and over and they're looking at me like, Hmm, it's just that we can only do our best and lead through example, Maya, wow, this is great. Please let everyone know more about your work where they can follow you and find you. Well,

Speaker 1 50:53

thank you so much. First of all, I had a lot of fun chatty with you so you can find me on Instagram. My Instagram handle is teach dot kids dot money. You can find my book online on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Walmart. And the book is called from piggy banks to stocks The Ultimate Guide for a young investor. And I have wealthy kids Investment Club. It's a family membership program that teaches you how to successfully invest and it has video lessons workbooks, quizzes, and all that and we're actually really exciting thing about it is that we are revamping it right now it's getting a makeover, so it's going to be even better. So anybody who joins now, that's kind of like your grandfathered price that's going to stay in even for the new version of the club.

Jamila Souffrant 51:40

Okay, and we will include those links in the episode shownotes thank you so much again, Maya for coming on the show.

Unknown Speaker 51:45

Thank you for having me.

Speaker 2 51:50

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to launch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to launch comm slash Jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review number to follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeys. They're three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

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