BOND Girl: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?
Jennifer Matthews: The academic answer is a Masters in Communication from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, an MBA from Johns Hopkins, and training as a financial coach. I also was a Delegate at the 2009 Global Summit on Financial Literacy and in 2008, was one of only 100 people invited to participate in the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives Compass in Action Roundtable on Financial Literacy. I also have been a regular guest financial expert on WUSA TV9’s Mind Over Money consumer show in
, participated in two PBS specials, and have done many radio interviews. I am also the author of 12 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part Time Job; The Skinny Book That Makes Your Wallet Fat. Washington, DC
After recovering from a rare form of cancer in 2000, I asked God to use me. His response was this calling to a ministry of personal finance and I am very passionate about it. Helping people improve their finances is my God-given calling, and He gives me direction in what I say and do.
BOND Girl: What would you say would be the first step for anyone wanting to get their financial house in order?
Jennifer Matthews: They need to ACT on it. First Accept that there is a problem that needs to be addressed right now. Then Commit to doing what it takes to make a change for the better. Finally, Take massive, immediate, and consistent action to make the changes happen.
BOND Girl: With the way the economy is, folks losing jobs, their homes etc, what are some ways that people can keep their heads above water and still maintain some peace of mind?
Jennifer Matthews: I call it “raising” the rent. Everyone has God-given natural abilities that someone will pay money for. Use those talents to make a few hundred dollars every month. Examples include: hair (cutting, styling, braiding, etc.), washing cars, cutting lawns, shoveling snow, cleaning houses, running errands (i.e. personal shopper), babysitting, and so much more! These businesses may not make you the next Oprah or Reginald F. Lewis; however, the income will go a long way toward the rent (or mortgage) and helping make ends meet!
Another great resource is my book, 12 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket Every Month Without A Part Time Job. The book helps readers create hundreds of dollars from within their current income by looking at ways to adjust 12 common expenses. Most readers create $300-$500 every month, and one reader created over $1,000 each month from her current income!
BOND Girl: In your opinion what are some financial misconceptions that people need to be aware of?
Jennifer Matthews: There are two: First, people don’t believe they can do better with their money when the truth is that they can! Second, people have given up on their credit scores when there are simple, consistent steps they can take to increase their scores.
BOND Girl: What else can women who have been pretty consistent with paying their bills on time and have a decent credit score do to ensure they are on their Financial “A- GAME?”
SAVINGS!!! Although you can’t take it with you, you can never save too much while you’re here! Have multiple savings and/or investment accounts that are targeted such as emergency fund, retirement, vacation, kid’s college, etc.
Additionally, homeownership is important for asset building. However, it is critically important that the total mortgage (PITI: principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) is well within your comfort zone. In recent years, too many people purchased homes based upon their emotions and not their financial facts, or they refinanced into more than they could afford. Homeownership at the right (personal) price point is a great asset!
BOND Girl: Will this Gathering, Friday October 21s be something that everyone can learn from or is it just for those women who have less than desirable credit?
Jennifer Matthews: Getting your money straight is about far more than just credit scores! Who’s better off…someone with a 750 credit score and $500 to their name, or someone with a 500 credit score, a six-figure bank account, and a 5-figure passive monthly income from investment properties?
At the Gathering, we will cover four areas that everyone needs to be working on simultaneously that will strengthen everyone’s finances.
BOND Girl: What can our guest expect at the “Girl, Get Your Money Straight” October Gathering?
Jennifer Matthews: Laughter! No one wants to be lectured, especially if it’s a sensitive topic like “my” money. We will kick back and have a good time while learning many things that guests can start implementing as soon as they wake up on Saturday morning! I always say that if folks are laughing at me then they are listening and learning!
BOND Girl: Thank you for this opportunity Jennifer and we certainly look forward to seeing you in action come October 21st.
For more information on the "Girl, Get Your Money Straight" October Gathering click here.