Hi Everyone and welcome to the Family section of Frank Money Talk! I know that it can be difficult to discuss money at home. Whether it’s lingering beliefs from how we were raised, or fear that our children will judge us for our financial mistakes, talking about money quickly becomes off-limits. Time passes and then our children are adults, being forced to make complex financial decisions without basic knowledge about how money works. You want the best for your children, but how do you explain one of the most important aspects of life? People often tell me that they just wish they had some help breaking the ice. A way to explain any financial topic in simple terms so that children can have a solid foundation. I’m here to help! On this page and throughout this website, you’ll find free resources, including printable budget templates, savings challenges and even coloring pages from my children’s book about money!
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from California and was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Q: What do you write about?
A: I write about financial dignity, money mindfulness and how to retire with purpose. We need to start talking about financial literacy as early as feasible, so I began tailoring my message to a younger audience. First it was high school students, and now my latest book is for 7–11-year-olds.
Q: Do you have a specific writing style?
A: I want to distill the main ideas and cut out the fluff. I like using examples or stories that convey an actionable message. If the reader can’t walk away with practical tools or asking themselves better questions, then I wasn’t persuasive enough, or respectful of their time.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?
A: I began writing in middle school. I had a teacher who encouraged me, and that belief stuck. Writing is a skill that serves everyone, regardless of their career or interests. It’s been especially valuable to me in articulating complex financial topics in a simple, palatable way.
Q: Why do you write?
A: Writing is a creative outlet for me. There are so many possibilities when you let your imagination loose. You could fill a room with 100 people, writing on the same topic, and you’d end up with 100 unique pieces of work.
It’s also a great way to communicate with readers that I might not otherwise get to meet. It allows me to organize my thoughts and present them so that they can formulate their own opinions at their own pace. I like to provide my sources and encourage people to do their own research.
Q: Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
A: Write every day, even if it’s just for five minutes. You’ll find that once you get started, the ideas will flow. Write without judgement of your work and don’t try to edit as you go. Write about topics you enjoy, or whatever comes to mind. That way it’s fun and makes you think.
Write how you speak, as if you were speaking to a friend. Treat your audience with respect, and you’ll connect with them instantly. That’s because there is someone out there that will only connect with the way you present something. Even if it’s something they’ve heard before, it will land differently coming from you.
Q: What do you think makes a good story?
A: A good story is simple, yet immersive. The characters must be relatable, and their plight must be familiar, as if the story was about someone you know. This allows the reader to be part of the action and anticipate what might happen next. When a problem or circumstance appears, the reader must be invested in the outcome. They need to have the space to interpret what is happening, and what the consequences are for the decisions that the characters make. I enjoy reading or watching a story where after it’s over, I wonder what I’d do if I were in their shoes.
Years later, the reader might forget some details of the story, but the feelings of that journey stay with them. When they tap into those feelings, the reader is reminded of the lessons learned. And if they were to read the story again, they’d even catch something new.
Q: Do you see writing as a career?
A: I absolutely see writing as a career. There are so many ways to earn a living while feeling fulfilled as a writer. There will always be demand for someone who can articulate concepts through writing. Writing can give a voice to people who would otherwise not be heard.
Writing doesn’t have to be a full-time career. There is nothing wrong with it being just a hobby, but to write professionally requires discipline. I’d recommend someone freelancing and building up their portfolio. They can get a sense of their niche, and even get paid to learn new and exciting things. Once they know they have developed the skills, the mindset, and the industry savvy, they can transition into full-time.
Q: Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
A: Success in writing for me is taking the action to turn my thoughts into things. Simply getting the ideas onto the paper is enough. My hope is that as I evolve, my writing evolves too. And that I’m always courageous enough to express my thoughts.
Q: What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
A: I want people to feel more capable. I want them to come through the journey with me and be more confident because of it. Regardless of where the reader is at in their life, from feeling at their best and most successful, to being in their most challenging times, I want to give them something to aspire to.
Q: Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?
A: My new book follows four children who each receive $20 from their grandparents. They get to decide what to do with the money, and how each choice brings a different outcome. The pages are full color and designed to get readers thinking what they’d do in the characters’ shoes.
I wrote this book so that kids and their parents can start talking about money. Beliefs about money begin to be formed at an early age. Children are bombarded with advertisements and messaging that they need to have the newest and nicest things to be happy. This gets mixed in with the beliefs they learn from their family and form the basis for a lifetime of behaviors.
Too often young adults learn by trial and error, ending up in debt and feeling like they don’t have a lot of options. This book is the first step to having better conversations about how money works.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share? How can people learn more?
A: Head over to my website, where you can download free coloring sheets and spending trackers, learn tips to save money, and even ask me your financial questions on any topic. You can also find my latest book “What Would You Do With $20” on Amazon.
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