How to Build Your Own Financial Blueprint Using Secrets from PUSH Money Matters

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the PUSH Money Matters Workshop in Detroit that was hosted by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Chevrolet. The phenomenal speakers really brought the fire!

My goal for attending was to get tips to help my daughter pay for college but I came away with so much more! There was a wealth of information on personal finance that I’m still reviewing from cover to cover.

As a respected mentor once told me, “When you learn, you share.” So here it is, friends, a list of questions from the workshops to manage your money better.

Budgeting – What was your first experience with money? Was it positive or negative?

Dominique Broadway started with a bit of self-reflection and plenty of case studies to get us thinking about what was really going on in our financial life.

Thinking back to my earliest experiences with money led me to the age of seven when I’d go with my mom to do the banking. We would take a bus ride a few times a month to make regular savings deposits. I recall her showing me how to complete the forms and explaining what each line was for. It always made me feel proud to hand the slip and check to the teller. Those trips were the start of good money habits because they gave me a great sense of pride knowing that our savings fund was growing.

Takeaways from budgeting session:

  • Know what your thoughts are towards money and how they impact your finances
  • Face the reality of your decisions.
  • Set money goals and map out how you’ll reach them

Credit – Are credit cards good or bad?

Bill Keen took the stage next and shifted my perspective of credit.

I came from the school of thought that credit cards were bad. Buy the end of his presentation, many of the myths were put to rest. After hearing his personal experience of how he and his wife keeps an 800+ credit score, I’d written in bold letters this goal: I AM GOING TO HAVE SCORES LIKE BILL.

When it comes to using credit, I learned early on to limit credit card usage. Growing up in our household that meant using cards only when paying for emergency home or car repairs. It was rare to see mother running up bills for shopping sprees. Like Bill, I was taught to make payments on time but I wasn’t shown one key thing: Paying monthly balances in full. Bill reminded us that by following this practice, paying on time and in full each month, significantly impacts your credit scores.

Savings – Do you have a mind your own business day?

Gail Perry Mason holds a wealth of information and by the time she left the stage we all had tangible ideas to help us save and make more money.

Like Gail, I learned to systematically track bills and stretch my money very early on. I was taught as a child, as it relates to bills, that out of sight is out of mind. So each week, instead of filing bills away in a drawer, I keep them in plain view to stay on top of due dates and money to set aside. Having bills front and center keeps us in the know of cash needs so that we can proactively plan for weekly spending.

Today, there are many convenient ways, such as Mint.com and YouNeedaBudget.com, to help track bills and manage spending.

Other resources that help with saving include:

  1. RetailMeNot – An app for shopping deals
  2. Freecycle.org – Get items from others for free
  3. Fragrance.net – Get favorite scents for 50% off
  4. Ebates.com – Get money back on purchases
  5. Teeneyes.com – Teenagers get paid to do surveys
  6. Ibotta.com – Scan groceries and get money back
  7. Hip2Save.com – Deals and coupons on everyday purchases
  8. RentTheRunway.com – Rent the latest in fashion at a fraction of the cost
  9. BagBorrowOrSteal.com – Luxury items for less
  10. RedBookShopperPanel.com – Get paid to share your opinions and test products

College Funding – What would your life be like if you had a plan to pay zero for college?

In this workshop, Jeff Taylor posed a question that stopped me in my tracks. It was a game changer because I really hadn’t considered paying absolutely nothing for my daughter’s college tuition. As Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better.” When it comes to funding college, Jeff reminds us that there are three pools of money:

  1. Money from college (work study, scholarships, grants, and debt/loans)
  2. Money from private sources
  3. Money from parents/students

My wake-up call was this. Although I had a plan for my daughter, it was not an effective one. You see, I was applying my own college funding experience as the basis to help her. In reality, our high school experiences are totally different. Funding that I was able to qualify for many years ago were not appropriate match for her and my college funding plan was outdated. Key takeaways from this session:

  • Learn each college’s requirements for a full ride
  • Be willing to apply for 10 scholarships a week
  • Discover legitimate ways to get $2 back for every $1 paid in tuition

That sounds like a pretty tall order but the advice struck a chord with many of us in the audience. Fortunately, Jeff hosts a free webinar on college planning that helps us get up to speed at payzeroforcollege.com.

Entrepreneurship – Are you dancing in the rain?

To close out the workshop, Arian Simone shared her story of being laid off as an employee and making a comeback as an entrepreneur. What I found most valuable was her transparency of what it can really be like when you’re financially strapped and your back is up against the wall. Three lessons from Arian:

  • When things go left, keep your dignity.
  • In moments of exhaustion, press in and rely on your faith.
  • When opportunity knocks, your work ethic, morals and mentors will make room for you.

Hopefully, you were able to attend the sessions either in person or live stream. If not, follow @RPCoalition #PUSHMoneyMatters and @Chevrolet #FindNewRoads to see the event highlights.

Want to attend a live event? The next stop is in Atlanta on Saturday, October 22, 2016! To register, logon to http://www.rainbowpush.org/index.php/moneymatters

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chevy. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chevy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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