For years I’ve taught life skills in a low socioeconomic neighborhood. While I never imagined myself being a teacher growing up, I ended up loving it. I loved my administration, my peers who taught by my side and my students, who I was blessed to serve. When I got a promotion this summer, it was bittersweet to leave the classroom. While I had so much fun with my kiddos, I knew it was time to leave and go on in my career into administration myself.
Part of the life skills curriculum I taught were financial literacy and education. I can tell many a stories of my students realizations but one that hits home the most was the time all of my students thought everyone got food stamps. They were very confused that I had to use actual cash and then told me if I had a baby, I could get food stamps too. While shocking, I was just like these kids when I was in junior high. I knew you could buy food in cash but after my mom and dad separated, things were financially rough. My mom was disabled and we received government assistance including, but not limited to, food stamps.
Since realizing how important financial literacy is, I have a soft spot for making sure my students, despite their socioeconomic status and culture, know what a budget is. Culture and religion, along with your socioeconomic background, may influence the way you think about money and your mindset around it moving forward. That was a major reason behind starting Money Smart Latina, so I could make sure Latinas had options and knowledge.
I was happy to be given a copy of It Is Only Money- And It Grows On Trees! by Cara MacMillan to read and then review here with the rest of you. This book is a nice read about a teacher who goes into a classroom with multi-ethnicity students to learn about other’s mindsets towards money and wealth. Learning about the Jewish culture of money and wealth was especially fascinating to me. My BF happens to be Jewish and I spent last summer in Israel studying counter terrorism, so this culture and it’s people have a special place in my heart. It was fascinating to learn about their jar system and how they give so much away to help others.
Along with learning about different cultures, it was full of ideas to share with others to help with their mindset of money. For instance, do we need to spend more than what we make or even the same? Can we live below our means instead and save for a rainy day? Do we have to have the nicest of everything all of the time or can we make do? It also gave great tips and takeaways, such as looking to expand your skills and building a small business on the side. As a young single woman who lives on her own, I think having multiple streams of income is key to building your wealth and financial stability for yourself.
This book also comes with worksheets to help discuss and think further into your own mindset about money and finances. I know that lately, realizing that money wasn’t just something I should be good at but instead, realizing it was part of my security, made a big difference in my mindset. I need to feel like I am saving for something and my peace of mind knowing I am taken care of helps a lot. This also makes me realize I need to save more!
Check out It Is Only Money for a look around the world at mindset and money through the fun eyes of students and their teacher!