Featured

10 Simple Ways to Talk to Your Child about Money

  1. Be Honest

Kids are so observant and naturally curious. They will openly ask questions about money (Why is that person homeless? Are we rich? Why can’t I have…..?) and sometimes as parents we struggle with how to answer these questions appropriately. In his book, The Opposite of Spoiled, Ron Lieber talks about this very thing and how giving vague answers results in kids who grow up to not know much about the realistic costs of things or how to manage money. When your child asks a question, he advises asking them why they want to know so you can figure out the root of the question (is it anxiety or just pure curiosity) and then you can better answer the question with an honest and down to earth answer. (http://ronlieber.com/books/the-opposite-of-spoiled/

2. Read Books about Money Together

The younger children are exposed to the concept of money and its value, the more likely they will be to make smart money decisions by the time they reach college. This is my opinion based on many discussions with people about their experiences making money decisions, both during and right after the college years. There are so many books on this topic! Some are popular books like Dr. Seuss and Berenstain Bears and then there are books like Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday, Smart Girl’s Guide to Money, and If You Made a Million. There are also plenty of books for parents to read for guidance such as The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber and Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze.

3. Teach Them Delayed Gratification

This is such a hard concept for kids to grasp. Waiting is soooo hard for their little attention spans. It is however such an important life lesson that will do them well financially. Spending money on impulse or to make you feel happy leads to poor money choices. Those expenses often go on credit cards or aren’t budgeted into the monthly budget and therefore take you off track financially.

4. Think About How You Want to Answer Money Questions

What answer or reason do you currently give when they ask for something you know you aren’t going to buy them? Do you say you can’t afford it when you really can but just don’t think they need it? Do they compare your lifestyle to those of their friends? How do you answer those questions? Does parental guilt about your own money choices lead how you answer? Think through how you want to answer those questions and how your answer will impact their view of money. It’s ok to get back to them with an answer later.

5. Talk About Choices (Wants Versus Needs)

As adults we can see that the Mr. and Mrs. Jones are up to their eyeballs in debt to meet the status quo or that they have an education or skill set that allows them to afford that status. Talk to your children about the different choices people can make regarding money (without pointing out specific people of course). Help them see the difference between our basic needs and things we want but don’t have to have. Talk to them about the costs of different houses, cars, etc and what it takes to afford those things without going into a huge amount of debt. Talk to them about options such as saving a decent size down payment for a house or car and then taking a loan that is a less amount of time than the traditional route so they can pay it off faster. Teach them about compounding interest and how that looks for various credit card and loan options. Give them all the facts so they can make the smart choices.

6. Teach Them ways to Earn Money

I don’t pay my child to do chores and I don’t believe in allowance. Why? It’s not realistic. No one paid me to make my bed this morning or do my dishes. It’s a part of being in a family or community. We all have to pitch in. Instead, help them find their entrepreneurial spirit and use their skills to make money. If you don’t have a way to do this, another idea is to pay them to read books and articles that you choose. This shows them that gaining more education or skills equals pay which is a realistic life scenario.

7. Once They are Earning Money, Teach Them What to do With it (Set Goals)

Kids who learn early that money is a tool that can be used to make additional money will be set once they are adults. I have asked many people what they wish they knew by the time they got to college and they all say they wish they were taught to manage their money as a tool. Kids should know that they can’t spend every dime they make and should get in the habit of saving and investing some as well as being generous and giving some away too. Help them set obtainable short and long term goals with their money.

8. Teach Them that Money is a Limited Resource

We teach kids that things like water and clean air are limited resources and that we have to take care of our planet and recycle etc to continue to have this resource available to us. The same thing goes for money. When I talk to kids about money I joke about having a money tree in my front yard I can go to when I need to buy something. I can just pick money off that tree and go to the store or on vacation. They of course think this is funny and ridiculous, but it puts the concept of money being a limited resource into perspective. In reality we work hard to earn money and once we have it we should be careful how we spend it.

9. Help Them Assign a Job to Each Dollar They Earn

If you have ever listened to Dave Ramsey, you have heard this on repeat. Just like the saying about idle hands, idle money is just as dangerous and wasteful. Giving each dollar a job reinforces that it is a limited resource that can be used as a tool for not only our needs but also our wants and dreams if we assign it correctly. You can do this by setting a percentage of what they earn to go towards what they can spend in the moment, what they need to save, what they should invest, and what they should give. (https://www.daveramsey.com/store/product/smart-money-smart-kids-book-by-dave-ramsey-and-rachel-cruze)

10. Use Apps to Teach Investing

Apps like Stockpile teach children the basics of researching, buying, and selling stocks by allowing them to invest in a small part ($5) of bigger stocks like Amazon, Tesla, etc. They can see how the stock is doing in real time while only investing in $5 increments. Have them research the stocks and compare competitors to see which the better choice is. The app provides news articles on each as well. When they decide to buy or sell, you will be sent an alert and asked if you want to give them permission to do so. (https://www.stockpile.com/)

Featured

How to Make the Joys of Christmas…. More Joyful

Oh Christmas 🎄

One of THE most commercialized holidays ever. It begins earlier every year it feels like. It’s the first holiday kids begin to realize how they measure up to their peers. “What did you get for Christmas?” is one of the first things they talk about after Christmas break. Who has, and who has not.

And we buy all these things for them and they receive all these things from friends and family and they appreciate it so much they play with these toys everyday and get the most use and enjoyment from them and are endlessly entertained! We as parents feel the need to keep up with the Joneses and provide the best of the best on this holiday, of all holidays.

Yea… not so much. They play with them for a week or so and then you pick them up or tell them to pick them up on repeat until you finally do the toy purge.

I promise I’m NOT the grinch. Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday! I love all the things Christmas brings except for one little thing, the pressure.

Christmas becomes so much about the buying and the doing and the running around to make it so perfect that we fail to use this time with our families to reconnect and build traditions. We get so caught up in the things.

We are gifted having our child(ren) home for 2 weeks during this wonderful joyous season. So how can we slow down and find more joy?

🎄We can make their day by simply staying in jammies, making pancakes and hot chocolate, and watching a Christmas movie. I can attest to the fact that this even works with a teenager.

🎄You can bake something together. Something you can enjoy and why not bake a little extra to share with a neighbor, friend, or take to a nursing home to bring joy to others.

🎄You can create memories by doing experiences together. Drive around and see the lights with hot chocolate. Go ice skating. Go see the Nutcracker.

So I have some challenges for you this Christmas season. I challenge you to gift your child an experience for Christmas. Something you can all do together to create memories. The toys will be donated, the memories you create from experiencing new things together will stick with them! Here are a few ideas from another blogger to get you started. How to gift experiences so they are just as exciting as toys

I would love to hear your family Christmas traditions and fun experiences you have gifted each other!

Facing Your Fears: Entrepreneur Edition

My daughter has been obsessed with Gilmore Girls lately. We’ve watched it and rewatched it. She noticed Kirk is ever the entrepreneur and suggested I write my next blog about him. Sounds fun right?

Have you ever watched the show? It seems like Kirk has a new job with each episode. He is constantly reinventing himself and trying out various work “hats”. One day he can sell you face cream and the next he is jumping out of a plane for an ice cream shop grand opening party. He reminds me of that restaurant you go to where the menu is 10 pages long and they can make you lasagna, kabobs, tacos, or a ramen bowl 🧐.

I’m not sure I would trust the video store guy to inspect my house for termites just like I wouldn’t trust a restaurant that can make every food group known, in 15 minutes. What I do love about Kirk’s character, is that he is always pushing himself to do something new. If one thing fails (he was a terrible hockey game announcer), he just moves on to see if he can master something else.

When is the last time you pushed fear aside to take that leap to the thing you always wanted to do? For me, starting Money Lit was that leap. I have a skill and a knowledge set and I had to be brave and courageous and allow myself the possibility of failing in order to see if this concept works. The reason most people don’t take that job they’ve dreamed of or quit a day job to pursue being an entrepreneur, is because fear is often louder than our dreams.

Today I challenge you to start that podcast, try selling your art, open that day care, whatever your dream is, let it be louder than the fear.

Athena Singh said: “Never trust your fears, they don’t know your strength.”

Credit to Mindfully Glam (Pinterest)

What is that thing you’ve been holding back on?

Kidpreneurs in the Spotlight

I hope you all have been enjoying this “Kidpreneurs in the Spotlight” series! It’s been fun for me to read their stories and write these blogs, and then see how the community online has reacted. So much support for our youth in Money Lit’s online community!

This week I am highlighting Kidpreneur/Teenpreneur, Carina Miller. She is 15 now, however she first started her company when she was 13 years old. She is an artist and she sells her work in our local Chattanooga community. I met her at the Chattanooga Children’s Business Fair in 2019 and was impressed by her art. I plan to buy a piece from her at the next fair. Side note, if you are ever in Chattanooga when this event (so far bi-annually) is going on, you HAVE to stop and check it out. It’s at our downtown library, on the 4th floor, and it’s hard not to give all these kidpreneurs all your money.

Sumatran Tiger by Carina Miller

Here is Carina’s story about her entrepreneur journey over the past two years.

“Hey, I’m Carina, I’ve been selling my art since I was 13 years old and am now 15.  I started out only selling matted original artwork but have now expanded into bookmarks, cards, and sketchbooks all emblazoned with my art as well as many more original pieces matted or framed. The first decision was to get all the purchasing of booth set up and basic supplies out of the way to give the booth a head start in presentation. I used all my birthday and Christmas money the first year for my booth, which helped to soften the debt some. 

The starting costs of an art business are supplies heavy; at one point I was $630 in debt to my parents in preparation for the first large art sale. Yet, after two booth sales the debt was able to be kept between $100-$200 for a year. By the end of my second year the total profit was $300 dollars and I am now safely out of debt with plenty of stockpiled supplies for projects to come. While getting out of debt, I was very careful with my funds, I’ve never liked spending money but now that I am out of the hole, I have more liberty over the quality of my art supplies, which is really nice to have.

The amount of supplies needed to get an artwork from my desk to the customer successfully made this a rocky road. Prioritizing a good booth set up was risky opposed to slowly building it up over time, but I had to just trust that the presentation would save me. It was an uphill battle with the added stigma of “child” artist, the immediate impression someone gets when they hear a 13 year old is an artist can be hard to escape. Art has always been an enormous part of my life, I had to believe that people would enjoy my art enough to allow me to be self-sufficient in creating it. Over time products that are more tailored to my customer base have been added to the booth as I got a feel for the waters. 

Carina Miller with her art on exhibit

As of right now my goals are mostly being self-sustained in all creative endeavors. After that I will begin to save up money for other expenses in my future adult life and hopefully my experience will help in whatever career I choose.  As a yearly goal I would like to donate to various animal conservation programs so that I give back since I do draw a disproportionate amount of endangered animals, which is something I have always valued. At the end of this year’s sales I will be donating a portion of my profit to Big Cat Rescue, a wild cat rescue and rehab facility that fights against the illegal trade and abuse of exotic cat species.  

As a final note to parents… As a kid or teenager, you absolutely need start up money to do well in most business endeavors. For me it was hard to accept money from other people, I’ve always hated feeling dependent upon others, but I’m glad my parents offered, or I would never be where I am right now. In any craft it is vital to also find an entrepreneurial mentor figure whether they are specific to your trade or not, they are really helpful in getting you on your feet. It was a scary thing to start with all those big numbers attached and that long list of to dos, but it paid off and I will keep working this for all it’s worth. 

By the way my business is Inspiration Art by Carina Miller on FB, or inspiration_art_by_carina_m on Instagram. You will next see me at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre on February 21st through March 1st where my artworks will be on exhibit in the Mainstage Lobby.”  

Kidpreneurs in the Spotlight

This month I am highlighting kidpreneurs who are using their human capital (skills and education) to create goods and services to make money.

This week I am highlighting two brothers, ages 7 and 10, who are entrepreneurs with different motivations and inspirations. Cash is 10 years old and has a goal to make a difference in the world while making his own money. He is known as the Conservation Kid and his goal is to inspire others to clean up the waterways. He has been working hard to help people see how our actions affect animals and the waterways. He was recently awarded his first grant to further his work for this cause. He is an artist of several forms and is also an author of the book “One Small Piece”.

Here his thoughts on why he started this company and what his goals are. ” I started my own small business so I could make a difference and also make money for things I wanted. I have more opportunities to do more with more money. I make mostly all my items from reused materials so it has been cheaper to get started and I’m not making as big of an impact on the earth recycling old products into something new. My business has opened a whole new world to me. I have traveled to Mexico to swim with sharks. I was invited to LA to be on the Kelly Clarkson Show and I have spoken at a bunch of different meeting and conferences. I recently started doing documentary type films and I was able to buy a brand new computer with money I had saved. I try to divide my money into different areas. Savings, Donation, Tithe, and spending. I donate a portion to ocean conservation, I save most of the rest and occasionally I will spend some on things I really want. Being a good steward of our earth has taught me to also be a good steward of money. I know not to waste it on he newest things that may not hold value but to save it for things that really matter and make a difference in what I want to do in the future. ”

You can find more about what Cash does and how you can help his conservation cause at Conservation Kid

His little brother Colt is 7 and has his own love for animals. He makes products for your household pets and donates his toys to local animal shelters. He specifically loves cats (boy after my own heart). I have bought two cat toys from him when he was at the Chattanooga Children’s Business Fair (if you are ever in the area when they are going on, you have to check this out!) My cat Sasha LOVES the cat toys Colt makes and they are so inexpensive too!

Here are his thoughts on starting a business. “I started my own business after I saw my brother do his and he was able to buy things he wanted and I wasn’t because I didn’t have extra spending money. I also love animals, cats especially and I wanted to find a way to help them. I make animal toys and donate part of my money to our local animal shelter. I have made a difference not just for myself but for animals where I live. I want to be happy and I want to make animals happy too so starting my own business has been great. My parents have taught me to save money and not allowed me to spend it on everything I want. It’s hard sometimes but I know it’s worth it.”

You can find his products and more information about his company at Colt’s Critters.

If you have any young entrepreneurs you want me to highlight, send me an email at MoneyLitLearning@gmail.com. Your email should include your kidpreneur’s company info, their story behind their “why” for starting their company and what they hope to do with the money they make, as well as a photo of them with their goods/services they offer. Next week I will highlight a teenager who is an artist and entrepreneur who has learned to carefully manage her revenue and is now out of debt.

Kidpreneurs in the Spotlight

For the month of February I wanted to highlight some awesome kidpreneurs in our local Chattanooga area. I met these awesome young people at a Chattanooga Children’s Business Fair that was started by another awesome entrepreneur, Tee Frierson-Bates. The kids set up their booths and sell their items and people go around and vote on the best presentation and products. Having done a shark tank challenge with local middle school kids in the recent past, this intrigued me and I had fun just walking around asking kids why they started their business. Being the Money Lit person I also had to ask how they plan to manage the money they make. After attending two of these and buying some awesome products, I decided to reach out to some of these awesome kidpreneurs and ask them to write up a little blurb on their “why”.

This week I am going to begin by highlighting a young lady who makes and sells jewelry. Her name is Vanessa and she is 9 years old.

Vanessa at the Children’s Business Fair

My favorite product of hers is her earrings. She offers them in various materials but my favorite part is that she offers a vegan leather as well. I have sensitive skin and can’t wear certain metals so when I asked about this at her booth, they changed out the posts for me right there on the spot! She is learning young to have good customer service and I was impressed. I have now purchased two pairs from her and I love them! Check out her story below!

Second set of earrings I bought from Vanessa

My name is Vanessa Nicole Perez and I am 9 years old. Last year I started my business, Vanessa Nicole Handmade Accessories, creating and selling handmade leather jewelry and accessories. I sell them online through my Etsy shop and in person at local fairs, and festivals.

Since I was very young I have always came up with different business ideas and ways to make money by making and selling crafts, drawings, books, and jewelry to my parents and other family members. Last year I decided to ask my parents for help to start a business where I can sell to other people while doing what I love most.

My dad has his own business too and I like that he is his own boss. He has always told me stories about how he stated working when he was 7 years old, selling newspapers and bread in the streets of Mexico. He always tells me that you have to work hard for your dreams and that hard work pays off.

Since starting my business I have learned many different things. One of the lessons I have learned is that having a business is not as easy as I imagined. I love making the accessories and shopping for materials but there is so much more that needs to be done when you start selling online and setting up booths. Setting up the website was one of the hardest parts about this business but I am learning more about it every day and I enjoy shipping orders and going with my mom to the post office. I am also learning about the importance of having a budget and how to keep track of sales and the business expenses. Setting up booths and attending business children’s fairs has also helped me learn how to interact with customers and how to sell in person. I have also learned about the importance of giving back. This past year I was able to donate part of the money I have made to different charities. I was also able to set up a booth at my school and use part of the earnings to help my school’s playground fundraiser.

I have several goals for my earnings. Right now I am saving money to buy a machine that cuts leather since that is the hardest part about making the jewelry and the most time consuming. So far I have been putting back the money that I have made back into the business but this year my parents are going to help me start saving money for my future. This year I will also like to continue using part of my earnings to help charities that help other kids.

How cool is it that youth in our communities are learning these skills as such a young age? Support this amazing young lady by heading over to her Etsy page and buying a pair of earrings for the special someone. Valentines is coming up soon (*hint hint)

4 Weeks With The Boys at Ycap

Thanks to a generous donation from MedicTests I have spent my last 3 Mondays with the boys at Ycap. Ycap is a mentorship program through the YMCA. According to their website Y-CAP is: “an early intervention and prevention program for youth ages 10-15 who have been referred to us either through the juvenile court system or the school system. Each student and their family has a personalized treatment plan which addresses their educational, behavioral, and spiritual needs, including mentoring, tutoring, hot meals, family nights and group therapy.”

Foundation building game which solidified the concepts of building on human capital and skills for a job so we can in turn make money to cover our wants and needs

Money Lit was asked to come and do a four week financial literacy session as a life skill to ages 8-12 in the Fall and then come back in the Spring and do one with the older age group. I had no idea what to expect but I quickly realized we were going to have fun learning together. This group is high energy which I somehow did not expect going into the first Monday, but I was ready for their energy the next week!

Being an after-school program they have been learning all day and did homework and they are not prepared to sit and listen to anyone talk at them any further by the time I arrive. Luckily for them Money Lit is hands on and we engaged in discussions together and several activities to learn the concepts.

Short-term versus long-term savings goals

Over the past three weeks we’ve talked about why we need money, what wants are versus needs, why we need a job and what skills we need (job related and soft skills). Once we established that we need to make an income, we discussed what we should do with our income to not only survive but also thrive in life. They chose a career card and made some budgeting decisions based on their net income.

This week they took what money they had left after their basic needs were met in the budget and we discussed how to make some of the remaining money work for us. We talked about investing and stocks. They each chose how much of their money they wanted to invest and then chose stocks based on that.

After a week off for Fall break (even though it feels NOTHING like Fall here in Chattanooga right now), we will meet for the last time and they will get to see if they “made money” or “lost money”. The person who made the wisest investment will win a prize. I have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and I can’t believe we only have one more session left! Check back in after Fall break to see who made the best investments and how the “money club” (as they like to call it) ends.

Want to teach your teen good money habits? Give them good decision making skills.

Parents of teens!


I have had some requests from parents with teens for ideas on how to talk to them and teach them good money habits. I am going to draw on my personal experience with my teen and recommend this book: The 7 habits of Highly Effective Teens .


Is it directly related to money? No.


So why am I recommending it? Making good choices with money starts with learning to make good and intentional choices. To do this we must know ourselves and form good habits for decision making in all aspects of our lives. This is especially difficult for teens. I have been reading a book called: The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults. You can find it here if you would like to check it out for yourself. This mom is a neuroscientist and she talks about how teenage years are so hard for decision making because their brains are still forming until the age of about 25 or so when they are now thought to reach maturity. This does not excuse behavior, but it does help us understand that we need to continue to guide them through logical decision making during this time of brain plasticity, hormones, and growth.

more than once.....they need 2 things on the menu so it would be easy, and one of the choices something I don't like

So how can this book help develop healthy decision making habits? Here are the 7 habits he addresses:

  • Be Proactive. Being proactive is the key to unlocking the other habits. …
  • Begin With the End in Mind. …
  • Put First Things First. …
  • Think Win-Win. …
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. …
  • Synergize. …
  • Sharpen the Saw

I had my teen read this recently. Did she do it willingly? No. Did she enjoy the book? No. So why did I suffer through “encouraging” her to read it? During this vital time when teens are forming who they are, I hoped that by reading this book some of the info would seep in and stick so when situations arise she has the tools to make the best choices.

She finished the book this weekend and we’ve already been able to utilize the concepts. My teen loves to debate. She will argue her point on just about anything, large or small. She has been pushing me to get her a dog lately and she has been trying hard to come up with valid arguments for this decision. I decided to draw out a habit from this book mid-negotiations, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” and help her see how to use this when trying to negotiate and discuss your point of view. Watching her think through how she felt I would benefit from a dog and addressing what she perceived were my concerns was amusing, but she did understand the concept and hopefully it will help when communicating with others in the future or when thinking through pros/cons for decisions.

Parenting With Love And Logic under Parenting Classes Miami Dade where Parenting... - #Classes #Dade #Logic #love #Miami #parenting

While she was reading this I found a teen on Youtube who read the book and does little videos on each of the 7 habits to help other teens relate. I’ve attached her video where she summarizes the book. Hope this helps some way in your current or future teen parenting journey to encouraging positive choices for both life and money. Happy reading 🙂

The Connection Between School, Extracurricular Activity, and Financial Literacy

I recently read an Article discussing the connections between kids doing chores and success. It explains how by highlighting the skills learned during the process of doing chores such as time management, being a cooperative and productive member of society, and delaying gratification. It explains that this simple act of enforcing a reasonable amount of chores for each age group will help your child succeed almost well enough to get into Harvard if they wanted. What a claim right?

As a parent myself, I am always aware that the decisions I make and enforce with my daughter can either help or hurt her chances of growing up to be a successful and functioning adult in society. As parents we always want more for our children so we send them to schools we think will help them learn and succeed the most. We put them in extracurricular activities that will help them gain important skills for success.

When I go into schools and present financial literacy concepts, I begin with the basic economic concept of Human Capital. Why? I want the kids to see the connection between being/staying in school and the extracurricular activities they are in and the skills they learn from this. I ask them what sport, music lesson, etc they are in and what they learn from it besides the obvious skill of the sport/instrument itself. I want them to make that connection between learning time management, delayed gratification, sticking with something, researching, etc and see how that can play into their success as an adult to make and save money. I want them to see that education is like a ladder and if they don’t keep building on the ladder they won’t reach their goals. What good is a half built bridge?

So what does this have to do with financial literacy? If we can teach our kids the healthy habits of how to budget/manage time, delay gratification, stick with something, and make the connection that continuing to learn no matter your career choice will help you grow in whatever you choose to do, then they will be able to do the same with money. This is all budgeting is. Budgeting our income, delaying gratification so we don’t sink in debt, stick with our money goals, and always keep learning how our money can work for us instead of the other way around.

It all begins with the skills we teach our children now and the way we show them to make intentional decisions.

5 Things I Learned When I Started a Summer Camp

This year I started a business that began with the idea of finding as many ways to present financial literacy to kids in elementary and middle school as I can. I wasn’t, and currently am not, fully aware of all the places this company will go. At the time I DID know I wanted to start a summer camp around this financial literacy concept with a few basic economics facts thrown in too. 

Once I found and was approved for a venue I had two weeks left to do some serious marketing. I had already started throwing the idea around out there, just putting out feelers, but now I had two weeks to seriously gather up some campers and get this started! 

The camp did not fill to capacity or exceed expectations (or even really meet them), BUT I learned so so so much and feel like it was a big success. Here’s why. 

1. Just go for it

I had an idea and I went for it. It was just a concept and I took it and created a whole curriculum and marketed it and had campers all but one week of this summer camp. It was 100% my baby from start to finish and I didn’t kill it. Not only did I not kill it, it thrived and I had campers asking to return. This taught me that the saying “everything we want is on the other side of fear” is such a powerful statement. If there’s something you’re wanting to start or do, just go for it and see where it takes you.

2. Self-discovery

I discovered new things about myself that helped me realize new potential. Starting a new business and having a whole world of mostly unknowns in front of you kind of feels like being thrown in the deep end of a pool. The more I learn along the way, the more I realize how much more I’m capable of. This on the job self-discovery is so important for success because it encourages you to move forward.

3. Keep your overhead low

Hiring an intern was a life-saver for my summer camp. Had I hired a full-staff I would have been paying them out of my own pocket. This was a new concept that hadn’t been tried before so I had no idea what level of revenue I would receive. I posted this opportunity for local college students looking for a summer internship and I found the most amazing intern. She was so ready to learn, needed the school credit, and saw it as a unique opportunity to grow. An option for interns is to pay a stipend which is what I opted for since I didn’t have a proven track record of profit to validate setting a wage. In the end it kept my overhead low and prevented me from going into the red. I also did other small things like snack planning for the week and reusable dishes/cups/utensils that helped with daily cost. It all adds up!

4. Word of mouth marketing works

When deciding how to market this concept, I wasn’t sure which one would be the best for Money Lit. I see billboards all over town for summer camps, yard signs, banners, flyers. While you do have to spend money to make money, I wanted to make sure my marketing avenue made sense and was reasonably affordable. I looked into the cost of different options and decided that I would go with word of mouth via social media and passing out flyers and see how that worked out for this first summer. I also had a couple of churches post it in their bulletins. Each avenue worked. I had had campers register from organic social media posts, the church announcements, and flyer posts.

5. Redefine Success

Money Lit’s first summer camp didn’t fill to the potential I hoped or planned for. I still call it a success. Why is that? I planned, marketed, had staff that were well managed and did a great job, had campers that had fun and want to come back, learned more about my community, learned more about marketing, and learned more about myself, and even though I didn’t make a profit I also didn’t go into the red. I know exactly where I will take this over the next year to be ready for next summer. Bring on Money Lit Summer Camp 2020.

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started