Monday, October 29, 2012

"Vision without Action is Just a Hallucination!"

Austin celebrating
Halloween at the
Farmers Market
I had the pleasure of participating in the first workshop of the season for the Head Start to Finance Teen Personal Finance workshop series offered by BeMoneySmartUSA last year.  The workshop focused on the importance of planning, setting goals and recognizing the importance of making wise financial decisions.  We talked about the importance and need of developing good saving habits while we are young and they demonstrated the power of compounding interest.  An eye-opening demonstration showed us that we as teenagers have the advantage at our age to get ahead financially by saving money in a compounding interest account.  I found out that if I put only $100 in an account and let it compound for the next 50 to 55 years without ever adding another dime to it that I would actually have a million dollars saved.  If I were to add money to the account on a regular basis, it increased the amount and in less time.   As soon as the Facilitator brought up retirement, I thought, “Why do I have to think about retirement at my age?”  Well, it all goes back to the “time” factor.  It is no secret that there will be no social security for me when I get to retirement age and as a self-employed business owner, I will have to consider my own future savings for retirement.  Time is the best solution for wealth building for my future.   This would be one of those long-term goals I would be working towards so that I can retire comfortably at sixty-five or sooner.  They helped us recognize that we need to save up at least ten times our salary in order to retire for any length of time without adjusting our lifestyle too drastically.  It seems statistically, that very few people know what it will take for them to retire.   In fact, many retirement aged Americans are still working, not because they want to, but because they have to.  That is not where I want to be.  I want to make sure I have the choice.  They also explained the financial crisis and what the recession is about at this time, but making it very clear that we will encounter a minimum of 4-6 recessions in our lifetime according to historical data.  The secret to beating a recession has everything to do with being prepared.  Preparation includes having savings set up for emergencies, vacations and some long-term investment savings plans or insurance to help you in case of job loss.  Making these decisions is an important part of planning and being prepared financially.  They are considerations we need to understand and think about as we enter the world of financial responsibility.

Preparing, looking and landing a job is one of the hardest things for a young person without any practical experience.  We learned the importance of resume preparation, interviewing, standing out and follow-up.  A great role play demonstration really brought this to light as teens learned how to communicate, identify the decision maker, prepare a resume, and have a prepared introduction speech.  It was a great exercise, and as a teen I got a lot out of this.  I learned things I did not know how to do.  With this knowledge, I am much more confident about using these techniques when I apply for a job.

We had a great guest speaker.  Linda Bigler is a  coach for business people.  Like athletes, who need coaches to improve their skills and game, so do business people to improve their skills and profit margins.

Linda Bigler - TheCoach
Linda began by asking us  if we were people who lived above or below the line.  People who live above the line are those that get the results they want in life because they take ownership of their decisions, are accountable and responsible.  People who live below the line don’t get results because they always have reasons they didn’t reach their goals.  They blame, make excuses and live in denial.  She asked us to consider where we are?  I had to think about that because it is easy to blame and make excuses when I am not getting the results I want in life, and I know a lot of people who are like that, but I also know those that are responsible and take ownership of their choices and they seem happier, less stressed and overall more successful.  I want to live above the line.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teens Earn While They Learn at Local Certified Farmers’ Markets in Citrus Heights and Carmichael

Candiss works with Success Valley Famrs
While shopping the new Farmers’ Markets at the Sunrise Mall on Saturday and at the Carmichael Park on Sunday, both open from 8-1, it is not difficult to notice the many “red-shirted” teenagers hard at work behind the booths alongside the farmers and vendors who sell their produce and products at these weekly markets.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Business Camp by BeMoneySmartUSA; A Teen's Story!

Ever wish you could teach your teen or pre-teen a little about business? Or maybe you want to give them some inspiration to start their own business and even manage their money better. Well  BeMoneySmartUSA Foundation does just that!  They teach teens like me how to better manage our money and understand how the economy works and more about our present economic conditions. I found out in my life time that I will probably face a recession at least four to five times based on historical statistics!  I had no idea!  I am now better prepared to understand what it will take for me to prepare a plan for these times by having a strategy for managing, growing and saving my money for goals and emergencies.

BMSUSA Head Start to Business Camp 
I have also taken the business course and and I have to honestly say I learned a lot about  what it takes to run a successful business.

The name of the teacher and founder of the non-profit, Marie Hall, really breaks down and explains to the class the different types of things you should know about businesses if you’re thinking of starting one. She explains what they are and how they are different from each other, the class is a really fun place to learn about the business and finance world. There is always a lot of energy and the people you meet are great.

The business and finance classes are three days each and there is no cost.  It may not seem like a lot of time to be in a class but the amount of information you learn while you’re there is amazing. I guarantee if your teen attends either of those classes they will have an incredible understanding of businesses and managing their money better. I could go into detail about all the things you learn in the class but I would really recommend taking the classes.   My experience was great and I know yours will be too.

David Hamilton, 17 - California Virtual Academy

Friday, June 15, 2012

The "Lesson of the Week!" -- Teens Earn While They Learn

Each week the students who work in the BeMoneySmartUSA program not only develop job skills as they participate in different capacities, they are also responsible for weekly lessons that focuses on "soft skills".  Soft skills in the job market are usually defined as the skills that are related to one's social and emotional intelligence.  We work with the students to develop their social graces, improve communication, and develop positive character traits and habits that will help them achieve even more success beyond their ability to complete the occupational requirements of their jobs in sales and customer service.

Students receive a work schedule each week electronically that includes a "lesson of the week".  These lessons are written communication that includes a concept, a definition of the concept, and example and is followed by a task or request for follow up through some sort of practice or discussion.  Examples of these lessons includes the focus on self-motivation, initiative, work ethic, "can-do" attitude, making good impressions, focus on team work, showing a willingness to learn, problem-solving and the importance of being accountable, responsible and prepared.  These are skills that are not always taught or practiced in any other environment for the age range of teens we work with.  Students as young as twelve are learning through hands on experience the importance of developing and practicing these skills.  It not only helps them in their present job with BeMoneySmartUSA, but it also prepares them much more completely for the business world.

Monday, January 30, 2012

FREE Hands-On Teen Personal Finance Workshop(s) for Ages 12-21

FREE Teen Financial Education Workshop(s)

Introducing the Money Smart: Personal Finance Workshop(s)
sponsored by BeMoneySmartUSA

In support of youth financial literacy and entrepreneurship education local teens and youth ages 12-21 will have the opportunity to participate in one of the ten Money Smart: Personal Finance Workshops offered by BeMoneySmartUSA with support from the Sunrise and Carmichael Park Farmers' Markets, Carmichael Chamber of Commerce, Cypress Avenue Church and the Sacramento Bee.

Teens learn about Risk vs Reward
in the Ball Toss Game
Students role play
 "Distractions of Saving"
In these one-day workshops, participants will enjoy a fast-paced tour of the steps and strategies to financial fitness and entrepreneurial success.  They will participate in hands-on activities, games and contests that demonstrate the importance of wise financial planning now and for their future. Students will learn how to be wiser consumers, gain insight to banking, budgeting, saving, investing and credit cards using successful strategies adopted by entrepreneurs.   The goal of these free workshops is to provide the next generation with the opportunity to participate in interactive education programs that teach financial literacy, business concepts, and entrepreneurship skills.

February 11, February 25, March 17, March 31, April 14, April 21, April 28, May 19, May 26

Various Locations:
Cypress Avenue Church, 5709 Cypress Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608
Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q Street, Sacramento, CA  95816
BeMoneySmartUSA, 4701 Whitney Avenue, Carmichael, CA  95608

Education is the only long-term solution for preventing financial crisis. Education increases the ability to achieve economic stability. This event provides local teens with an opportunity to participate in a interactive, real-world financial literacy education experience that is relevant and practical. The event enables a better understanding of the long-term effects of financial decisions while advocating for more financial and business educational programs for youth in our community.

This is a sponsored program so admission is free. But registration is limited to 300 participants.  All participants must pre-register at  For more information, please contact Marie Hall at 916-806-3989 or email

BeMoneySmartUSA is a local non-profit training company based in Carmichael California, specializing in youth financial, business, and career education programs. Our innovative training programs and curricula introduce students to the world of business, entrepreneurship, and money management.

Our goal is to inspire, train, and educate young people about managing money.  Our mission is to equip and empower youth by giving them the opportunity to participate in educational programs that teach financial, business, and entrepreneurship skills. We support the needs of schools, youth organizations, parents, religious organizations, institutions, and businesses that recognize the importance of financial education for the next generation.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

BeMoneySmartUSA Student Starts a Non-profit to Support Childhood Cancer Research!

Annina Hanlon, middle - and her family

If you walked past Annina Hanlon on the street, it would be customary to assume that she was your average teenager, but that is not the case.  Annia, 13, is an extraordinary teenager for more than one reason.  She is presently in the process of creating and developing her own non-profit company to raise money for pediatric cancer, a cause she holds near to her heart.

Annina herself was diagnosed and treated for a rare form of bone cancer knows as osteosarcoma.   While in treatment, Annina grew bored with the tedious and exhausting processes and treatments so she began to draw artwork in her spare time.  Now, Annina is using her artwork to create and  sell greeting cards and T-shirts to raise awareness and inspire research for pediatric cancer.  Annina raises funds through the sale of her cards and 50% of proceeds collected for every box sold goes directly to Liddy Shriver's Sarcoma Initiative.   Annina has named her organization “CureMeToo”.

Having attended the BeMoneySmartUSA Business and Finance camps, Annina learned how to start her non-profit and realize her dream of helping children everywhere.  For more information, please visit and

The Cure Me Too organization name is intended to start conversations about cancer research donations: “Cure Me too” says, “don’t forget about curing kids’ cancers.”  Most people do not realize that when they donate to the big, general cancer organizations, very little, if any, of their donation will trickle down to pediatric cancer research.  Therefore, making donations to organizations whose mission is to raise money for PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH is the only way to make a significant impact on curing kids with this horrible disease.

The Cure Me Too name has further significance: To highlight that there are numerous pediatric cancers which are considered less common or “rare,” but for which we still need cures.    A “rare” cancer doesn’t feel rare when you have a child with that diagnosis and you meet numerous families online who have a child with the same diagnosis!

Written by Alexandra, 15 Roseville High School