Tuesday, April 3, 2012


It's been a great run here on Blogger... but #MoneyChat has grown and it is time it had it's own space!!! So in a day or two you will be able to check out http://www.themoneychat.com!!!

Thanks for your support the past 3 years - bigger and better things to come so please visit the new site, join the email list, comment on our articles, tweet, re-tweet, facebook, google+ and all that jazz!!!

We appreciate your support!!

-Dorethia Conner

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Family & Finances: Teach Kids About Careers & Money Early!

This week's #MoneyChat guest is Alisa T. Weinstein, author of Earn It, Learn It and @EarnMyKeep on Twitter.  Alisa has a wealth of information to share about helping kids understand the value of money and how we as parents can shape their view of work early on!  
Q1. #MoneyChat: Why do kids view their parents as bottomless ATMs?
Alisa: First off, money’s now digital. There’s direct deposit, online banking, ATMs—to kids, it’s like magic. You stick a plastic card into a machine and POOF! There’s money! It’s not like when we were kids and we’d watch our parents deposit their paychecks at the bank teller’s window. Another pitfall is our desire to give them everything they want. Parents have a hard time holding back because of so many reasons: working long hours, wanting our kids to have more than we did, even just “keeping up with the Joneses.” Unfortunately, indulging our kids too often can inflate their sense of entitlement.

Q2. #MoneyChat: What are some easy ways to help kids learn where money comes from?
Alisa: Make it personal! At dinner, bedtime or in the car, share one specific task or event that took place at work that day. (Did you have a big meeting? How did you prepare for it? Did your customer have a complaint? How did you solve it? Even better: ask your child what her solution would be.) Then explain that adults get paid for the work they do. You can also put your kid to work, adult-style: find a toy or game with a missing piece. Have your kid create a new piece to replace it—in his choice of style, color and material. Then pay him $1 for being a Toy Designer! You can replicate so many careers in this same fun way.

Q3. #MoneyChat: Why not just pay them for completing household chores?
Alisa: Chores are a great opportunity to practice basic life skills. But adults don’t get paid for making their own beds and folding their own laundry. So why pay kids to do it? Plus, paying for chores can negate the “team” atmosphere that occurs when everyone pitches in. Another big one is that paying for chores can send the message that work isn’t fun. Of course we know work’s not always a day at the park, but helping kids explore their passions—and learning one day they could get paid for it—can have a profound effect on their self-efficacy.

Q4. #MoneyChat: What’s the benefit of teaching kids about money and work early?
Alisa: We’re never too old to learn. But the earlier we learn, the more natural the experience is. It’s true for learning a language and riding a bike. Why not financial literacy? The sooner kids start to learn about money and work, saving, sharing and spending, the less they’ll likely labor with these concepts later. For them, responsible money management will be second nature—unlike for so many of us, who struggle to undo money mistakes and break unproductive money habits (NOT fun).

Q5. #MoneyChat: Does teaching kids financial responsibility strengthen more than money management skills?
Alisa: Y-E-S! It’s an exponential effect: teaching kids about money is not just about money. There’s goal setting, decision-making, self-efficacy and more—financial lessons can shape so many different facets of their lives in positive ways. Giving children the opportunity to be in charge of their own money is empowering. It gives them a sense of control and responsibility. And it helps clarify how hard Mom and Dad work to earn money, which ups their appreciation for what we do every day!

Q6. #MoneyChat: What’s the best lesson your parents taught you about money and work?
Alisa: That the work we do can be worth more than the numbers on a paycheck. And that a job well done is worth doing. Both sound cliché, but my parents enjoyed their careers, often sharing stories of their workdays with my brother and myself. And they were honest. I knew there were days my dad couldn’t wait to leave the office, and days my mom’s students gave her a hard time. But it didn’t diminish the message that it was worth finding a career doing something I enjoyed. Would love to pass that on to my own kids.
Q7. #MoneyChat: How can parents make working more exciting to children?
Alisa: Try (and some days it’s way harder than others) to stay positive. Remember that our kids are itching to know what it is we do all day. I still get a kick out of how something that seems trivial to me is exciting to them. And look for ways to let kids experience working, hands-on. Bring your kid into work for a half-day. Or give your child one of your projects and see how she’d solve it. Help your child interview an adult who does what she’d love to do one day. You’d be surprised how many professionals love to talk about their jobs with kids.
Q8. #MoneyChat: What’s the most surprising thing a kid has said to you about working for money?
Alisa: I’m less surprised by the kids than I am by the parents—I’ve received many wonderful notes from those who never thought their children would be interested in earning money by tackling an Earn My Keep career! One of the best was the mom who said her daughter wanted to be pinched, because she thought she was dreaming. But when you position work as a positive experience, and see that little light bulb go off in your kid’s eyes, it’s a welcome reminder of just how satisfying the real world can be.

Want more? Sure you do! Check out my interview with Alisa about her book Earn It, Learn It  here

Monday, February 27, 2012

Biz Series: Making Conferences Worthwhile!

Congratulating Mark and Tiffany Douglas as
their Detroit Avis Ford Dealership
won the B.E. 100s Award
Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference
On the #MoneyChat Biz Series we discussed conferences and as I prepared to re-write another post - I thought it better to simply update a previously written one. So here goes...

Choose Wisely!

Conferences aren't cheap: registration, hotel, airfare, food, books, etc - all add up. Ask others who have attended conferences about their experience. Check online forums, etc. - you may be able to gain insight on how to prepare.  Determine YOUR goal for attending each conference you choose. Do you want more media attention,  looking to land a job, need more awareness/sponsorships about your non-profit? Make sure the conferences you choose fit what you would like to accomplish.

Who Do You Want To Meet?

Make a list of people you want to meet, researching them and being sure to say hello at the conference. Reach out to them on Twitter, Facebook or  Linkedin - I normally only pick one platform - Twitter is my choice. If you choose Facebook, make sure it's their business page. 

If they've written a book, blog, or article - check it out - comment on it, etc. Be brief, conversational, not stalkerish and definitely not critical or negative. When the conference arrives you've become acquainted and it's better than meeting 'cold'.

At The Conference...

 Me & Ramit Sethi
Financial Blogger Conference
Be social - when you are in business or looking to network for career purposes, you are the salesperson. Standing in the corner scowling and being 'anti' is not cool. No one is going to learn about your business, career path, or anything else about you if they think you will bite them if approached. So, no eating lunch alone, always keep a pleasant look on your face and make sure your body language also says 'hello'.

Don't Be Stuck Up... 

If you attend a conference with the idea that you only want to meet the speakers you will miss out on the wealth of knowledge you can gain from other attendees. I've made great contacts and been blown away by the accomplishments of attendees I've met at various conferences. Get to know the people around you, ask them questions about themselves, don't constantly talk and talk and talk and talk about yourself.

At the After Party...

Yeah - you know there's always an after party - (unless you never got out of that corner). Remember that you are not at home with your buddies. Watch your drinks, language, and character. Save the moves like Jagger for your private time - you are still being watched. People are going to think twice about hiring, booking or otherwise doing business with the person who couldn't quite keep it together.  Have fun, enjoy yourself, but maintain your decorum. 

For my wallflowers - NO... you may not skip the after party! This is where a lot of business is done! Dancing, drinking may not be your thing - no problem, but there's no harm in standing along the sides making pleasant conversation, getting to know people better.

Final Tips:

Go to more than one conference per year if you can. Pick several conferences that relate to your personal, professional goals. 

Don't skip a conference because of something negative someone else says about it. If you want to go then go. Do your own research - your experience will probably be different. 

After the conference, send 'great meeting you' notes via email or handwritten cards to the people you were able to connect with. This is not the time to 'sell' them on how wonderful you are and how they absolutely need to hire you or use your services. 

Also - I could be wrong, but I'm not a fan of the mass email blast 'nice to meet you, here's my business pitch' follow ups. It's impersonal and doesn't say that you are trying to build a relationship. I prefer to send individual emails that note something we discussed during the session. On the other hand, I've walked away from a conference with hundreds of business cards, so I do understand.

DO NOT.... DO NOT ...add people to your email, newsletter, blog list without asking. Getting their business card is not permission to do so = SPAM!  It happens all the time and everyone hates it!! 

Check out this article for more tips in.. 'Don't Be THAT Person!' by @AlfredEdmondJr.

Have something to add to the list? Comment below on your conference pet peeves!

Happy Networking!

Join us every Monday night 8-9p ET for #MoneyChat - Real talk about money & biz!
@DorethiaConner  | @MoneyChatLIVEwww.connercoaching.com

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where to Stash Your College Savings Cash!

You are ready to begin investing for your children’s education – kudos to you! It’s understandable that deciding where to save may be a tough decision to make. We’re here to help! Below are four college savings options for you to evaluate, consider which one or the combination that is best for your family.

529 College Savings Plans

529 College Savings plans are a very attractive solution to saving for college. They were created in 1996 in section 529 of the IRS code – hence the name. They are essentially mutual funds for college savings. Therefore, they contain a mix of investments in stocks, bonds, real estate, and money market funds. Over the life of the account, contribution limits range from $100,000 - $300,000 based on the rules of your state and your money grows tax free. You don’t have to buy a 529 only in the state you live in; research which state offers the best plan for your goals and you can invest there. Another bonus is the low investment minimums – you can open an account with as little as $25 in most cases.  There’s no age limit on beneficiaries or time limit on distributions..... (More)


Looking to jump start YOUR 2012 money management or business game plan? 

Join us for #MoneyChat every Monday night 8-9p ET on Twitter!
On Twitter? #Follow: @DorethiaConner & @MoneyChatLive 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Biz: A Medical Savings Account for the Self Employed?

by Benita Tyler, Business Accountant & Tax Planner www.tbsusa.com

Q. I run my own company and plan to hire two employees this year. I'm researching medical savings account and wondered if there is any tax advantages for me as a self-employed business owner?

AFrom the standpoint of tax planning, two Medical Savings Account (MSA) that you should consider are the Archer MSA and the Medicare Advantage MSA. Both plans operate like an IRA to lower your taxable income and income tax with tax free savings contributions. However, unlike IRA's where there may be a penalty for early withdrawal, an MSA provides you with access to tax-free withdrawals without penalty as long as they are used to pay for health care costs. 

Some points to note for each account are: 
  • The Archer MSA is restricted to self-employed and/or the employees of small businesses 
  • The Medicare Advantage requires you to be enrolled in Medicare in order to qualify. 
In addition to the tax advantages there is also the benefit of paying lower health care premiums. The offset to lower premiums, however, is higher deductibles which is something to factor in as you decide which health coverage is right for you. 

Note: Ms. Tyler is not compensated for suggesting these plans and is not responsible whether or not it works for you. She's simply giving alternatives for you to research and make a decision that suits your needs... Okay? Good! Thanks for reading!
Benita Tyler, the Financial Messenger and President of TBS USA,  started as a business support company in 1999.  In 2000, Benita began advising business owners on income taxes and helping them customize financial systems to increase profits and savings.  In 2003, Benita pioneered the “Wealthy Place Appraisal” a proprietary 7-step process that she uses to help business owners determine which decisions are moving them closer to wealth goals and which are causing them to lose ground. 

Get your appraisal and more at tbsusa.com! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Choosing a College: In-State vs. Private Universities....

So you are thinking about what type of college your child might attend and calculating the costs. Should they go to public, should they go to private and how will you pay for either one? It’s important to be prepared and intentional, as planning for college also affects how quickly you reach other personal finance goals. We all know that private schools can cost up to 3x’s more than a public university.   Therefore not only consider  your budget, but also make sure the school is a good fit for your child’s personality and study habits.  Here are a few tips   to help you along the way.

Know the difference! 
  • Public colleges – (average tuition, room/board range: 13,000 - $30,000 per year) funded by the State, therefore tuition isn't the only source of funding allowing for lower tuition rates, more scholarships available.  In-state college is going to be cheaper as they give preference to residents. 
  • Private colleges – (average tuition, room/board range: 35,000 – 50,000 per year) funded by tuition and ... (More)

Join us for #MoneyChat every Monday night 8-9p ET on Twitter!

On Twitter? #Follow: 
@DorethiaConner & @MoneyChatLive 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#MoneyChat Biz Series: Startup Reality!

Hey #MoneyChat FAM! I hope you all are doing well... I'm confined to my couch with Theraflu and a box of tissues... the Detroit winter has been so mild, some of us (ME) forgot it was indeed... WINTER!  I wanted to make sure I posted this recap of Monday's chat that kicked off our Biz Series. Check it out, share it with your friends and JOIN US for #MoneyChat every Monday night 8-9p. ET! 


As a business coach, I work with a lot of people who are looking to leave their jobs eventually and start their own business. Part of helping them do that is also making sure they have a realistic view of what it will truly take.....

... of sleeping in, long vacations, and loads of dough? WAKE UP! Entrepreneurship is hard work. You may get tired of hearing people say make sure you choose a business you will love, that you are passionate about, but it's the best advice ever. When the days get long, when you have to pay everyone but yourself, when you have not had a vacation in several years - you will NEED that love and passion. 

One poster said she had friends who had started businesses and were using names that weren't registered. That's a waste of energy and demonstrates a lack of seriousness about your business. Why go through the trouble of building a brand, getting postcards, business cards, etc. and your name isn't registered? Someone else could legitimately use the same name because they took the time to get their paperwork in order. Take care of your paperwork, your taxes, keep your books in order from the start.