My Week at Rutgers

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I spent the week lecturing at Rutgers University, and what I found was surprising...yet I shouldn’t have been surprised!

We started our time together by reflecting on what our very first memory of money is. It took me some time to realize, my first memory was locking myself in my bedroom during a tantrum. My parents would bang on the door to get me to open. Hah no way mom and dad! BUT then, I hear them say…”If you don’t open up, we’re taking all your money away.” Well it worked like a charm each and every time they threatened me with it.

Because of this memory, one might have a strong belief that money can easily be taken away. Or maybe, I work too hard for my money for someone to rob me of it! With these beliefs someone might always spend everything they earn so there isn’t any money to lose. Yet another person might feel the need to hoard all their money away so no one has access to it. Neither of these are healthy beliefs or habits with money, but now you can understand there are reasons behind what we do with money. You can find out your money history by taking our quiz!

Next we spoke about how our parents are with money. How the students grew up with money. This is where it got interesting. I asked if they’re parents ever fought about money. It was a unanimous YES! So I’ll ask you the same question, did your parents fight about money ever? Mine did! It wasn’t a lot of fighting, but they both grew up so differently. My father’s parents both worked hard to support 5 kids, so it seemed there was never enough money. They grew up in a small house with only one bathroom, went to the Jersey Shore every summer, and that was it. They never needed for anything, but they also never splurged. I remember my grandmother saying that the 5th time she was pregnant, she was fed up and bought all new maternity clothes. They were thrifty. My mother’s mom was twice divorced, had a successful TV show, and made some good money. While she spent on herself, she was very cheap with her family. This could lead someone to believe they aren’t worthy, they aren’t worth a new handbag or a nice house. Learn more about my grandmother’s story in my book Strong Woman Stronger Assets.

As I look back at my time at Rutgers, and after talking about my own parent’s, I realized how hard it is for two people in a relationship to be completely on the same page in regards to their money. The first step is understanding. To understand why your spouse is so frugal or a spendthrift, and the same for you. My husband and I had similar upbringings, yet there were still differences. We have to acknowledge what each of us brings to the table and also give acceptance over our money habits. It’s actively working together to find the right path forward with our money, keeping the conversation going, and always being open with one another...even when I don’t want him to know how much I spent at the mall!

Now that we have our daughter, we’ve been talking about how to transfer our money values to her. What will she have to work for, how much do we give her, and how to teach her to save. Not every child is the same either, so figuring out what will resonate with each child will be a challenging task! What motivates your child? Is it material things, tech stuff, sports, or musical? Tie their interests in with money, get them saving, and make sure they care about what they are saving for. If you want them to donate money, have them research different non-profits, foundations, and organizations so they feel really good about where their money is going.

My hope for these Rutgers students is they have a better understanding of why they have certain beliefs and habits with money. That they will be more accepting of their future spouses and know how to balance their money values with their spouse’s. AND that they have tools they can go to when they are ready, they won’t be haphazardly spending and saving money. They can now do it with purpose. They can do it with clear intention! Find your purpose, your intention by checking out my NEW book TIME to REFINE, grab it now on Amazon!

Because this is my goal for you, my friend!

With love,

Jess