By: Gwen Smith
We recently caught up with Charles Nguyen, a financial educator, who provides guidance and direction in settling your finances. Charles has walked the walk and has recovered from a financial disaster that almost cost him his family. He visited our studio to help you begin to take baby steps towards securing your finances for you and your children. For full details of Charles’s interview, listen to The Dr. Gwen Show. We, however, provide a summary for you here that will hopefully provide some direction and guidance for you on your already very busy and no doubt, overwhelming journey as a parent.
Charles’ guidance supports a three-step journey to financial freedom:

  • Making money
  • Keeping it
  • Growing it

We wanted to engage Charles in dealing with the money already coming into your household and to provide resources that would support you in handling it. The first step in doing this is to start a spending plan. This is done by first knowing where your money is going. You may download the Mint App on your smartphone to assist in keeping tack of your spending and financial status.
Writing down what the dreams and goals you have is an important step towards planning for your future. Without a map or goals to guide you, it will be uncertain when you have achieved your goals. Once you know where you are going, and what resources are available to you, you can begin to look for ways to increase your income, either by asking for a raise, looking for additional opportunities or taking on a business that could generate additional income if you are falling short.
Establishing a budget or spending plan can now be targeted to match income goals and dreams. Additionally, Charles discusses saving, that is spending less than you earn, and being responsible with credit cards. Credit should be considered as a part of your bank account and cash resources that are immediately available. Avoid spending more than is available in your account to cover the bill fully at the end of the month. In doing so, you teach children the value of money. By seeing you handle money responsibly, they also grow up to do the same. Responsibility with finances can also be provided by giving an allowance to children. Allowances should be provided with a specific goal in mind: teaching the child to earn. This is a valuable lesson which when learned will create adults who believe in earning and working for whatever they want instead of feeling entitled.
Listen to the interview on The Dr. Gwen Show.
The Dr. Gwen
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