Financial Literacy & Education

Financial Literacy: The First Step in Becoming Your Own Money Boss

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We talked with Jamie about:

  • How financial literacy is important but creating positive behavior habits with your money is an even bigger factor
  • Giving your children the tools to understand financial concepts and space to practice while they are under your roof, which will help set them up for the future    
  • How the earlier you can instill the habit of saving, the better

About Jamie Bosse:
Jamie Bosse is a financial planner, author, and mother of four with a passion for mentoring and financial literacy. From blogging to books, she shares her deep financial knowledge to help clients and others understand, manage, and improve their financial situations while educating future generations about saving and decision-making as early as possible. She’s the author of the children’s book series, Milton the Money Savvy Pup, and her first “grown-up” book targeted at helping parents take control of their lives, Money Boss Mom, Helping Young Parents Be the “Boss” of Their Financial Future, was published in 2021. Jamie has 19 years of financial planning experience under her belt and is currently a financial planner with Aspyre Wealth Partners.

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Full Audio Transcript

Lauren (00:00):
All right. Well, Jamie, thank you for joining us.

Jamie (00:03):
Thanks so much for having me.

Lauren (00:04):
Yeah. As I was mentioning just a few minutes ago, I have had so much fun following you, and just really admire that you've really put yourself out there. I know we're going to get into it with the books you've written but also just really embracing this idea of being a mother in this financial planning world and professional world, if you will, and being very comfortable with that. And so, I'd love just to start with you sharing a little bit more about your journey to where you are today but then also want to hear more about the books and sort of what led you to that. So I'll pass the baton and let you share a little bit more.

Jamie (00:42):
Okay. Sounds great. So I have been a financial planner for 19 years now, which is so funny to say. And I actually got a degree in financial planning, so I graduated from college with that degree but I got into the field completely by accident. I was a first-generation college student and went to school to become a teacher actually. And I think that was more just because I didn't know all the jobs that were out there. But when I was a sophomore in college, my parents filed for bankruptcy and that raised a lot of questions for me.

Lauren (01:14):
Oh, goodness.

Jamie (01:15):
I was like, how did this happen? What does this mean? Are they going to jail? How do I prevent this from happening to me? That's when I really realized I must not know very much about money or have good examples about it. So I wanted to learn how to handle money myself, and ended up taking a personal finance class at Kansas State University just for me, not to major in it or anything but just for my own knowledge. And so I ended up taking that first course and then another one. And then as I got more into it, I realized what a cool profession, right? It's a great way to help people avoid mistakes and create a better life and get organized. And it just seemed like a really rewarding profession. So I ended up changing my major my junior year and becoming a financial planning graduate.

Lauren (02:15):
And here you are. And it's stuck, right? So I don't want to project or fast forward but now you've written these books, right? So now you're sort of getting into this idea of educating the future, right? About financial planning. Tell us more about that and kind of the why, how did the spark, how did you actually get to producing the books? So tell us more about not just being a full-time financial planner but also now thinking about these kinds of, if you want to call them, side projects. 

Jamie (02:49):
Yeah. So the writing piece—I've always loved to write, so I did write blogs and company education things for where I worked along the ways, for example, when I worked at a bank, they would come out with the new benefits for the company benefits signup, and I would help explain things to people and I'd get the same questions from people. So I would do a writeup and be like, hey, here's what you think about when you're filling out your 401(k). Here's what this short-term disability policy means and how it works. And so I like to communicate through writing, and I think explaining things through writing is really helpful. So in my current role at Aspyre Wealth Partners—I've been there for about 10 years and that's kind of where the motherhood journey started as well. So when I first started at Aspyre, my first child was six months old, and then I've had three more since. So I found I was living a lot of the experiences clients were going through, right? So you talk about like, oh daycare is really expensive, right? Well, I was dealing with it myself, right? We were working people.

Lauren (03:59):
It’s very relatable.

Jamie (04:00):
How do we figure out how to add this $1,200 a month line item to our budget? Where does it fit? How do we move things around? And then just all the things that go with it, right? You need to buy the bed and stroller and rocking chair and all these new things. And so I was kind of writing about it as I was going through it. And trying to make it kind of funny. So I ended up writing a lot of blogs, kind of targeted to that young mother audience, working moms trying to figure things out and you're balancing all these competing priorities of paying off your own student loans, but you're also now saving for college for a child and all these things. So that's really where the journey began. And I remember thinking I could maybe write a book about this, with the money boss mom vibe, and I actually bought the domain name Money Boss Mom in 2017. Well, I didn't actually write that book until 2021.

Lauren (05:06):
I love it. It's in the works; it's been brewing and everything,

Jamie (05:10):
So, it's percolating. So I started organizing some of my blogs into chapters and just kind of putting them in folders, like, okay, I'll get to this one day.

Lauren (05:18):

Jamie (05:19):
But it took a lot longer than I thought it would. But the first book I actually published was Milton the Money Savvy Pup: Brings Home The Bacon. And that is a kid's book about money that focuses just on the basics of identifying coins and their value, understanding money is earned by working, and sometimes you have to wait and save to get what you want. That book really started because I couldn't find a lot of great books out there for kids about money. Because at this point, I had a three-year-old and a one-year-old, and I was like, oh, I need to start teaching these kids about money.

Lauren (05:57):

Jamie (05:58):
What's out there? So I kind of bought whatever I could find, and then by the time my son, my oldest son, was five, we were shopping at Target one day and he's like, oh, I really need this. And it was a $60 remote control, right? A giant truck thing. And I said that's not in our spending plan today. And his response was, we'll just buy it on Amazon then.

Lauren (06:24):

Jamie (06:24):
And I was like, okay, so clearly my son doesn't understand that buying things on Amazon is actually also a financial purchase. And so I really started digging into like, okay, what concepts can a five-year-old understand about money and how can I put those into a framework where we can talk about it?

Lauren (06:44):
Right. So I have to ask—I'm a mom as well. And I've got two little ones. We do the star system. You earn, you get chores, you do chores, you get stars, and you can earn things like you get to go Starbucks for a cake pop or something. 

Jamie (06:59):
I love it.

Lauren (06:59):
When do you really feel like you can start talking about money to kids? And what kind of things have you learned along the way to be able to help them kind of have those moments, right? Like it's not just stars and this or that but your family is working to, for lack of better words, put food on the table, right? I'd love to hear a little bit more about sort of when that's introduced and how have you helped to sort of create positive saving patterns and just that kind of thing for children.

Jamie (07:32):
Sure. Well, it's a work in progress, you know? 

Lauren (07:36):
Yes, parenting always is.

Jamie (07:37):
They’re still all too new to rate. They might not be learning anything but what's been fun on our journey is I feel like when you give kids money and you give them some power with it, right? So you give them the decision-making power. So if you say, okay, you earned $5 for these chores you did, and now we will take a trip to Target at the end of the month and you can get whatever you want. It’s your money. And it's really exciting to watch them kind of put things together and see, okay, how much does this actually cost? How much do I have? If I spend money on this, then I won't have any more to buy something else with.

Lauren (08:18):

Jamie (08:20):
And so I feel it’s just really cool to see them start thinking that way. And I don't think they really get there until like seven or eight where they're really thinking about it, really flexing. Because my five-year-olds, they get paid and they have money too but they just give it away to their friends. They'll be like, oh, here, they'll put it in the yard. They just don't value it.

Lauren (08:42):
Yeah, that makes sense though. Which is why I was asking about the age, the timing of this. 

Jamie (08:48):
But I think with older kids, especially my 10-year-old, when we're shopping, he's very thoughtful now about, okay, I'm kind of interested in this thing, and so I'll take a picture of it with my phone. So we have a picture of the item, a picture of the cost, and then he'll leave it there and be like, I just want to think about it. And then we'll walk around some more, he'll shop some more. And now most of the time he actually decides not to buy something and he's like, you know what? I'm going to keep saving for something bigger. I don't know what it is yet but I'm going to keep saving.

Lauren (09:16):

Jamie (09:17):
But my eight-year- old is like, he'll look through a bunch of things, he'll dump it all in the cart, like yeah. And it'll be $70 worth of things. He has $30. So then we have to talk about, okay, well, what's a priority? Do you really think you'll enjoy having this toy? Why do you want this one over this? But I think just the act of decision-making and seeing what things cost is really the learning part of the process. Because technically you want them to kind of spend money on silly things now.

Lauren (09:54):

Jamie (09:55):
And make mistakes and figure this out. So they are learning from the mistakes now while it's not a big deal. But they're not making these mistakes when they're in college or something.

Lauren (10:06):
Absolutely. So I love the idea of books too, right? We're all about books over here, and I feel like there's such a good way to introduce children to the world for whatever it might be. To be able to expose them to just anything, anything from hiking to potty training to just learning about the world, right? Travel, all of it. So you started with this book, right? To be able to help tell the story and the journey but then what sparked you to write more than one book? It's an endeavor to be able to write one alone, let alone multiple. What happened after you wrote the first one and then what sparked the next ones?

Jamie (10:48):
Okay. So the first Milton book, like I had said, I'd researched the different concepts kids can understand at different age groups. And that first one told a good story about waiting and saving and learning you earn money by working. And then I felt like there were just more concepts kids could still understand. So the second book is really about the kind of give, save, spend concept where you have the three jars where each time you get paid you don't just spend it all, you allocate to giving, you allocate to saving, and then you can spend the rest. We actually use those jars with my kids. And so I wanted to kind of solidify that story and what that means because I feel like when kids get money, people never say, how much are you going to save? Yeah. They're always just like, what are you going to buy? Whatcha gonna buy with that? It's burning a hole in your pocket. But there's other things you can do with money instead of just spending it.

Lauren (11:50):
Expanding on that first idea of then what do you do with it? 

Jamie (11:55):
Yeah. So now you're earning the money in the first book, you're identifying the coins and their value, and then okay, now you know there's a better way I can work with this money. 

Lauren (12:04):
Right. Absolutely. 

Jamie (12:05):
And I feel like that saving habit, the earlier you instill that habit of every time I get money, I save a portion of it, that will really help you in adulthood because I feel like a lot of adults struggle with that. And so yeah. If we can make it a habit, that's the goal.

Lauren (12:23):
Okay. So just to also take a step back here, putting on the marketer hat, right? You've spent all these years of writing blog content, raising children, building these communities. Have you found yourself having more and more families come to the firm? Has that attracted that target since you've put that energy out there? Or has it just been that this is sort of a value add to your current clients? I'd love to hear a little bit about that too.

Jamie (12:50):
Yeah. So I would say right now, the clients I work with now and the clients I bring to the firm typically are people in their 30s and 40s, dual working parents who have kids at home. They're figuring out life and life changes every couple years when you have another kid or whatever, so I think it has really zoned in on parents as that's who I'm best at working with. And I feel like when I started the books, I thought it would be a great gift for clients, like if they're having a baby or if they were older clients who are having grandkids. But it has been a good marketing tool where I don't really pursue these people as clients but they see some content, they see my books, and then they might reach out to me to do some planning.

Lauren (13:44):
Yeah. It’s sort of an indirect effort. You don't realize you're adding value out to that community and then it just happens to, I dunno, like breeds, right? So it's something you write. It sort of comes with it. It's a validating, I guess answer, if you will. Even if that wasn't the intent, sometimes that's the best, right? It's not the intent but it's just literally like, this is something I'm passionate about, I want to make the world better, and I see an opportunity here. And it happens that it not only helped but it's creating other people you can help too.

Jamie (14:16):
Um, exactly. Yeah.

Lauren (14:17):
It's a win-win.

Jamie (14:19):

Lauren (14:19):
That's so great. So, okay, just taking another step back here. So now you've kind of leaned more into this idea of supporting this, you said 30s and 40s, group. Putting together books about financial literacy, I'm sure it's opened up other conversations in this space around financial literacy, educating children, the next generation. What kind of things are you hearing, I'll call it in the financial planning world, related to these kinds of conversations? I love to hear if there's certain undercurrents or themes or just if you notice patterns of other people who go, I'm so grateful you did this, I also needed those books, or what are you hearing?

Jamie (15:01):
Well, I feel like in the industry in general, literacy has always been something that's very important. And it's something that people aren't learning in school. So what they do learn, they are picking up from their parents, just by observation or they're learning by trial and error and they're making a lot of mistakes along the way. So there's been a big focus and a lot of great organizations are really working on financial literacy, content, activities, books, and those sorts of things. But I feel like a lot of the conversation I hear with practitioners now is like, literacy is one piece of it. The education is important, and if you don't have that baseline education it's hard to make good decisions but the biggest factor is really the behavior side of the equation too.

So, you might know what you should be doing but do you do that and why not? So kind of looking at more of the bigger picture with whoever you're talking to or working with or yourself if you're analyzing the way you act around money, and people do what they do with money in a subconscious way almost. It's their Money Scripts® by Dr. Brad Klontz of how they grew up and how they learned about money. They might hoard money for some reason because they saw their parents suffer or they might be a spendthrift because they never had anything growing up so they want to buy all the things now that they can. 

So a lot of it's getting to the behavior side of things too, and working around, okay, I know this about myself now, or I know this about my client now—what systems can we put in place to make this more streamlined for them so they can say yes without having to think about it or getting in their own way.

Lauren (16:51):
That's absolutely fair. It's meeting the individual where they are. But I also think a lot of what you're working on too is bringing up that next generation and creating those positive behavior patterns. And helping just to be aware of that and creating a tool to be able to do that. I would imagine even just talking with your clients too, those kinds of conversations probably help their children and so on and so forth. So it would come full circle. So fun. Well, this is really great to hear about. As I mentioned when we started too, just kind of opening up here, I also just admire that you've put yourself out there as a mother, as a working professional, because it's not an easy fleet, right? It's totally hats off to working parents because being one of them, I know it's just part of it. So I love that you put yourself out there but not only have you been able to hold that professional space but also to be able to support the next generation. So it's like I said, many win-wins.

Jamie (17:59):
Thank you. It's exciting and I think if you can give your children the tools to at least understand financial concepts and give them some space to practice things while they're still young and under your roof, I think that'll just set them up for a lot of success in the future.

Lauren (18:17):
Yeah. So fair. So any last thoughts?

Jamie (18:22):
I don't think so. I'm working on a couple more Milton books. I have a good night story I'm working on that doesn't really have a lot to do with money but it's cute. And then one more that's more gratitude focused in terms of we always want to buy new things but also being grateful for what we already have and celebrating that. So hopefully those will come out, probably next year in 2024.

Lauren (18:51):
Oh, I love it. We'll have to watch out for that. Well, thank you so much for your time. We'll make sure to include some links below as well to the books and to your bio and all those good things. But again, thank you and I'm excited for those books to come out.

Jamie (19:03):
Oh, thanks Lauren.

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