Hello, my name is Deb Avara and I am an Assistant Professor at Amarillo College. I hold two Master Degrees, and teach Sociology.
When I was in my early 40’s, I read an article that said – if you would open an account with $1000 then save $1000 per year, from age 19 – 30 inclusive, in a 12% interest bearing account, you would have over $1 million by the time you reach 65. I said “What??” Not possible. That’s only $22k invested on my part.
Unfortunately, it was true. And I had missed out.
Then I wondered – why had I missed out? Why didn’t I know this? My mom taught me to save, and pay bills on time, and save, and stick to a budget, and save, and don’t buy things you can’t afford, and save… well, you get the picture. But she never taught me about compound interest – because she didn’t know either. And nowhere along the line did I learn it on my own – until I read that article. And that upset me. I had run several successful businesses; I prepared taxes for 13 years, even taught tax school. I considered myself pretty money savvy.
So I figured – if I didn’t know this – my students probably didn’t know this either. In 2005, I started taking one day out of my lectures, and I taught them about compound interest, 401ks and Roth IRAs. One student even called me a liar – “If it was so easy, why wasn’t everyone doing it?” I responded – “Did you know about it?” He said “No.” There you go. Since 2005, I’ve had over 5,000 students, and only three have said they knew this. The need for Basic Money Management education at an early age is enormous!
When the crash hit in 2007 – 08, students started asking more questions. Now I needed 2 days to explain the why and how of what was happening. And God said “Write it down.” And that’s when I started writing.
My first Money Management Seminar was for ESE students, summer 2012. In spring 2013, I knocked on doors and raised $3,000. An $8,000 grant from Xcel Energy in the falls of 2013 & 2014 allowed me to continue offering classes:
- Uniting Parents
- GED and Faith City Ministry
- Martha’s Home
- Salvation Army
- Faith City Ministry
- Domestic Violence Shelter
- Amarillo and Hereford ISD – GED and ESL
- Family Support Services
The results are exciting and phenomenal!
The game is my newest product, realizing that ALL STUDENTS CAN LEARN THROUGH GAMES! Why not make it fun while learning how to budget and manage your money?
I would love the opportunity to speak with you about conducting a Basic Money Management Seminar in your area.