Smart Sisters Are Cash Positive

Two women launch a movement to encourage financial literacy

over the years, when you look at the balance in your accounts, have your attitudes served you well?” If their current attitudes toward money haven’t worked for them, SmartSisters suggests they find attitudes that may be appropriate for where they are in life at the present time.

The idea is to convince women to make an attitude adjustment that will empower them to reach future financial goals. “We identify the types of accounts they should have for the goals they have stated for themselves,” Scott explains. “We also show them what they need to do to save and to invest, long-term, short-term–and insurance is a big part of what we talk about as well.”

A big part of the discussion also includes what a mother may consider necessary to have for her children and what the family could actually live without. “It really becomes an educational session about how they can benefit from change,” says Ayo Yetunde, “but [also] how their children may have to go without unnecessary things in order for them to do what they want to do in the future.” For example, she says many mothers will buy their children name-brand clothes that cost $100 a garment rather than save for their children’s college education.

“That gives me an opportunity to tell them what saving for their child’s education can do for their children in the future, and how it benefits them now with their tax savings,” says Ayo Yetunde.

SmartSisters goes out of its way to educate women about the allure of
credit cards and the damage that they can do. Scott and Ayo Yetunde refer to credit card addiction as being hooked on “plastic crack.” “It’s not that [credit cards] don’t have a use as a financial instrument,” says Scott. “But, unfortunately, most of us aren’t using them wisely, preventing ourselves from meeting goals and setting aside money.”

Scott and Ayo Yetunde are always looking for ways to forward the financial literacy movement. When teachers who attended their seminars inquired about using The Inheritance, a fun-to-read novel, in their high schools to teach financial literacy, Scott immediately created a teacher’s guide for the book to speed the process along. The guide has been approved for use in classrooms by the Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that promotes teaching personal finance to young adults. For more information, visit Now that’s a SmartSister!

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