Relating to money in the network: Wealth is a state of mind

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Marie Hall, Executive Director BeMoneySmartUSA

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Marie Hall founded BeMoneySmartUSA, a non-profit in Carmichael, Ca. which offers free workshops for youth to learn financial literacy, because she experienced first hand how the consumer-culture and network pressure to borrow and spend led to the global debt-bondage crisis.

This “too big to fail crisis”, which continues to escalate since the bank bail outs of 2008 and turned into a global melt-down,  reveals governments and financial institutions around the world financially prostrate and unable to fund general operations, legal mandates, and honor commitments for pensions, etc..

In this corrupt culture of “spend today at any cost”, Hall is on a mission to help children develop a wealth-oriented, rather than a consumer-oriented, state of mind.

“Children are not taught at home or in school about finance and managing money,” Hall said of our society, “It is a taboo subject like sex.”

And to this point, the New York Times recently ran an article about the wealthy not preparing their children to inherit large sums of money.

How to respond to influence from social media and “friend communities”

Today social media bombards us with easy ways to secure more consumer debt, as we are enticed with Farmville points, for example, or some other reward or perk to apply for more credit card debt.  For students, this is a big concern, because they are targeted by the lending companies for “student accounts”, which then involve expensive interest rates and there is very little thought or discussion about the true cost of borrowing in order to consume today.

What Hall helps young people to grasp, with hands-on exercises and employment opportunities is wealth is state of mind.

“I teach the kids they need to have very clear priorities about how they spend their money,” Hall said.

So when Marie instructs her students (ages 13-18 years) she offers concrete examples of how you earn and spend your money reflects your values. “I ask the kids why is it that lottery winners more often than not go broke,” Hall said, “And they are surprised to learn that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, if your bad spending habits are the same, you will not be able to retain wealth.”

BeMoneySmartUSA offers teens the following preparation:

  • How to prepare a resume and apply for a job.
  • What it takes to keep a job. What are employers looking for in an employee?
  • How to create and manage to a budget.
  • How to develop and manage a sound stock investment portfolio.
  • When to apply for credit and how to get a deal that benefits you.
  • And there are job opportunities for teens who graduate from the workshops at the BeMoneySmartUSA Farmer’s Markets.

To sign up your child for free financial literacy training, go to: BeMoneySmartUSA

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.