Kiersten is a freelance writer and coach. As a writer,…
Your business and book are titled It’$ My Money. Why did you decide on that name and what do you want people to think about when they hear it?
It’$ My Money is just that. I want people to think about it — it’s their money. They should want to be the best stewardesses of their money. They should want to know how to treat their money well. How to make their money grow. How to make their money work for them. And how to earn more money passively. The mission is to provide them with the tips, tools, and strategies to do just that.
Being that it’s Financial Literacy Month, what does financial literacy mean to you and why is it important?
It means being educated, being very literate in financial topics so that you can be the best stewardess of your money. I was not financially literate when I was young. If I had been given financial literacy at home or at school, I would have started on my financial journey much sooner. What I understood about money was to go to work, make it, and pay the bills. I didn’t know there were other things to do with your money, to make the same money that you earn. I thought it was the people who grew up with money and inherited things who made the home purchases and did the investing.
You’ve mentioned being a single mother before you were a financial coach and how money was not a part of regular conversations with your daughter.
I kept the money conversation to myself. I didn’t want to burden my daughter with money topics. I was the adult, the one who needed to take care of the finances.
She understood to go to the machine and get the money, but she never understood how to get the money out of the machine. I never went inside the bank with her. She didn’t know that my company directly deposited the money into the account.
Do you feel there is a particular age when people should start receiving financial education?
When we are repetitive about anything in our homes, I think young people pick that up. I know people as little as two and three can repeat words to songs. The way they can do this is because they’re hearing the song over and over again. That’s when we start picking things up. I feel like financial literacy can begin at whatever age that a child is beginning to recite songs. So constantly saying that money is a good thing, saving money is good. The age really depends on the child, when they are able to retain and recite the information. [Dixon also has coloring books on her website to support early financial literacy.]
What are the barriers preventing people from becoming financially independent?
The information is not readily available to people who need it. A lot of people do not know what they don’t know. Some people aren’t great with money because they haven’t been taught how to do so. I think the barrier is being in underserved areas and in environments that don’t provide the information to young people. Young people learn that they must go on to higher education to get a profession that makes a certain amount of money. But they must understand what to do with the money. They have to understand what not to do with the money. You must teach them how to manage the money before they start earning larger sums of money.
You hear a lot on social media about influencers earning six figures. But revenue and how much you made from it are two different numbers. You didn’t see the expenses it took to make it and how much money they have leftover to pay their bills. My mission is to teach people the fundamentals: how to budget, how to track your income versus your expenses, and how to earn more money by doing things you like. You can’t start building a house with a roof.
What would you say to a person that is hesitant to work on their finances?
“Just do it. I’m doing what I’m doing today because my finances were jacked up. If I let that hinder me from trying to learn, I wouldn’t be where I am today. There are a bunch of people in the world who don’t have it all together. There are people who have gotten it right and messed up again. If you’re reading this, know that you’re not alone.”
Dixon further encourages you, the use free sources like her podcast called The Money Exchange or her blog, to help you on your financial journey. Although working with someone like an advisor or coach will help you get where you want faster, there is no excuse for getting started.
How can someone stay on track with their finances?
“Houses are built brick by brick, don’t try to put all the bricks on at the same time on a rainy day. Often people are trying to climb out of debt. If it took you some time to get into debt, it’ll take you some time to get out. Go step by step and stay committed to the process. And once you get it down packed, trust me you’re not going to want the house to fall. So, if you take it brick by brick and understand how your placing each brick and monitoring it before you know it you’ll have a finished product. Don’t compare yourself to others, stay at your own pace. “
What do you hope people gain from reading and using your book?
“I hope you would gain a deeper understanding of the various financial fundamentals. Budgeting, when and how to do so. Where to save and why. I also give information on how to best choose a side hustle. It’s a guide, it’s written in journal format so you can write your answers for what’s best for you. It has a robust glossary so it can help you with some of the terms. You want to fully understand what you’re reading. My goal is for you to pass on what you’ve learned to others or pass the actual book on. Revisit the book regularly to remind yourself of the areas you might not be great at, so you can get the tips again and remind yourself of why you started. “
Any other financial advice you have for our readers?
“Pay yourself first. Automate your savings and forget about it. And that’s the definition of paying yourself first. If you’re reading this and you haven’t started yet, don’t start with $500 every paycheck. Start with $20 and do that across 2 months or 4 months and if that’s not blowing your paycheck, then increase it. Start small, stay consistent, and increase while you go along.”
“The only situation that can place a limitation on your elevation to your destination is procrastination. All you can do is be intentional about the future.”
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Kiersten is a freelance writer and coach. As a writer, she has written for Travel Noire, Passion Passport, BAUCE mag, and various travel and lifestyle blogs. As a writer, her goal is to write content that inspires others to take action. As a coach, her goal is to empower women to be their most authentic selves. In her free time, you can find her dancing to any song any where.