Grandchildren inspired money management book
“Try and leave this world a little better than you found it and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.”
—Robert Baden-Powell in his farewell message to all Scouts
To Marjorie Anderson, life is a series of opportunities to enrich the lives of others. Whether through involvement with her church, her retirement community, or the San Gabriel Writers’ League, Marjorie is in constant motion, seeking out ways to leave a positive mark on society. To her, that’s what being a Christian is all about.
“The Bible says, ‘A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,’” says Marjorie, quoting Proverbs 13:22, one of her favorite Bible verses and the inspiration behind her book, The Key: Wise Money Choices for Teens. “I’ve known for a while that I wanted to leave something behind that my grandkids—Calvin Lee, Jasmine, Kayla, Camille, and Kyle—could all benefit from. But until a few years ago, I didn’t know it would take the form of a book.”
After much prayer and reflection, inspiration struck: The phrase “an inheritance” does not exclusively refer to money or even material objects. “Many times,” explains Marjorie, “knowledge is even more powerful.”
The idea that an inheritance can be intangible formed the backbone of Marjorie’s book, freeing her to use her thirty-plus years of experience as a small business consultant and retired bank executive to pass along crucial information to her grandchildren.
“At first, writing the manuscript was about leaving a legacy for my grandkids,” says Marjorie, “teaching them basic principles of money management and giving them the tools to create strong financial futures.”
However, the more Marjorie thought about the book, the bigger the idea snowballed. Because so many young people are graduating from college with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, car payments, and credit card debt, Marjorie began to see that the need for a concise, foundational financial management book stretched far beyond her own family.
“There are lots of books and resources out there telling people how to get out of debt,” says Marjorie, “but I couldn’t find many useful tools geared toward helping teens make wise money choices. That’s when I knew I had to write this book.”
To do market research for The Key, Marjorie personally surveyed 100 middle school and high school students about a variety of financial and money management issues, including whether they think it’s important to learn money management skills while in middle school and high school, if they manage their own checking or savings accounts, and who most influences their thinking about money.
The survey and its results, which are included in the back section of The Key, indicate that 72 percent of students are “interested in learning more about money management,” and 50 percent of the students surveyed “believe it’s important to learn about money management skills while in middle and high school.”
“The kids are hungry for this type of information,” says Marjorie. “And parents seem even more excited about the material. . . . I’ll tell other people what I’m doing, and they’ll say their kids could use that type of information, too.”
In the end, Marjorie decided to write her book as a study manual, with a glossary, a list of suggested resources, and questions and exercises at the end of each section for students to answer independently or in study sessions with teachers or parents. Not quite seventy-five pages long, The Key includes five sections covering basic topics ranging from “What is finance?” to more advanced subject matter, such as saving for a purpose and investing.
“Children are the future, but we’re failing when it comes to teaching them about money management,” says Marjorie. “Instead of expecting them to figure it out for themselves, we need to be teaching them early on about the basic principles of money management.”
“There’s an old saying that ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’” she says, quoting Benjamin Franklin. “And that’s what I’m trying to do with this book.” Marjorie, now a published author and public speaker, hopes that her book will prevent future generations of teens from making crippling financial mistakes.
The Key can be found in soft cover and in e-book form at most major retail stores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and through Marjorie’s publisher, Xlibris. Additionally, she is currently campaigning to have it introduced into Georgetown ISD’s teaching curriculum.
“My grandkids are so proud of me!” says Marjorie, beaming. “Especially as a grandparent, I feel that sharing this information with the next generation of teens is my duty and responsibility. . . . If kids read and take to heart the lessons in the book, then they can be millionaires long before it’s time for them to retire.”
To learn more about The Key or to watch Majorie’s brief book trailer, visit