Today’s guest is Deborah McMillan. Deborah talks about the personal experiences that led her to quit her full-time career as an actuary, and pivoting instead to becoming an entrepreneur helping teach children about money.
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Deborah is the founder and CEO of Knowledge Makes Cents. Knowledge Makes Cents is a financial success academy, offering a variety of kid’s programs that teach kids money skills and knowledge beyond just financial literacy for a successful financial future. Knowledge Makes Cents also provides workshops for parents. Prior to founding the company, Deborah also spent close to 25 years in the pension and retirement industry. Deborah is also the mother of one young adult daughter.
- How Deborah started off as an actuary in the pension and retirement industry given her affinity to math
- How much she enjoyed educating pension plan members (employees), but learned how many people were financially illiterate
- The personal experiences from her daughter growing up and father retiring that led her to quit her full-time job and start her own business teaching children about money
- The main barrier that is prevent kids from learning about money and how parents need to prioritize learning about money
- The principal strategy parents should be using to teach their kids about money at home
- The two schools of thought on allowance and the benefits of providing them with an allowance, so they can practice making hands-on decisions
- Why our education system does not prepare our kids enough to be prepared for adulthood
- The lack of proper financial training for teachers and how it can lead to problems
- Deborah’s number one goal in teaching kids about money and how to make it engaging
- Her concern about the new financial literacy curriculum that will be offered in Ontario schools
- The programs that Knowledge Makes Cents offer, including their FUNancial Freedom Game (Gr 4-7) as well as My Investment Cents (Gr 7-10)
- Principles and concepts kids can take away from these programs, including earning income, paying taxes, budgeting between needs and wants and the importance of long-term investing
- Other modules being offered and in development, including understanding the key players in the financial industry, careers in finance, learning differences between employees, business owner and franchise owners
- The main reason why she does not introduce the concept of credit scores and debt until high school
- Whether parents actually follow through with executing plans after courses or if students are left on their own, dependant on parents at home and how much they can help
- The importance of positive thinking about money and having the right mindset and beliefs that parents should be reinforcing at home
- Why parents have to be careful about the words and messages they use with and in front of their kids, which can lead to casting negative judgement about successful people and closing the door on spending with “We can’t afford it” phrases; how these result in negative associations with money and the unintended installation of limiting beliefs in our children
- The strategies that parents can use to get around the challenge of how they can afford certain spending expenditures and the importance of encouraging creative financial thinking among children
- How parents should not fear talking about money; instead, learn how parents can talk about money as a safe subject
- Healthy conversations to have with kids around money concepts including learning the value of money, being a smart consumer, giving back and sharing money with others, the importance of saving and investing
- How teaching the value of money and relating the money they have and how they earn it with how much it costs to buy things could be the most important discussion you have
- Real Estate Tax Tips
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie [Amazon Affiliate link]
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Thanks to Deborah for joining me this week!
In case you missed it, make sure to catch up on last week’s episode “Episode 019: Teach the Power of Investing to Your Teens with Michelle Hung”!