Friday, January 3, 2014

Discipline Not Deprivation Explained Interview

We here at BOND Inc are excited to share with you the interview with our upcoming special guest speaker Dr. Maria James, founder of Pocket of Money, LLC. What better way to start off a brand new year than to discuss such a topic as finances.

BOND Girl: Hello Dr. James, thank you for allowing the time to interview you for the upcoming January Gathering discussion on finances. Could you tell our readers a little bit about you?
Dr. James: I've always loved finance from the beginning. Coming from a large family, I discovered a lot about managing money growing up and discovered my skills with organizing and handling money. I opened an entrepreneurial business at the age of ten by selling juleps (a frozen treat made from juice) for 25 cents a cup during the summer and I learned important lessons about business and finance. Those lessons lasted forever and over the years I was always reading things that dealt with personal finance.

Graduate school allowed me to further develop strategic planning and scientific analytical thinking and apply those methods to money management. The Money Scientist was born. On a stipend of $27,000 (about $23,000 after taxes), I saved over $10,000. Applying scientific methodology to money allowed me to create a money strategy that elevated my lifestyle and grew a nonprofit. As of 2013, I have been the Director of Finance at HWHN for eight years. 

BOND Girl: Why should folks really be concerned about how they view money and their habits with money? 
Dr. James: Financial success is important as money touches every aspect of our lives. Your money mindset (your ideology around money or the way you view acquiring and spending money), greatly influences your money habits and therefore affects your financial success. Your money habits determine how well you'll manage your income, how well you'll save, and build wealth. Knowing your money mindset helps you to work with it and develop better money habits so you can build wealth.

BOND Girl: Where do you think most women go wrong when it comes to their finances?
Dr. James: I find many mistakes are more likely to correlate with age and lack of personal finance education. I believe not pursuing personal finance literacy is one of the top mistakes. Allowing someone else to handle all aspects of your finances, e.g. the spending plan, taxes, insurance, investing etc, is another top mistake. In the past this mistake was more commonly found in married women, but as more women are empowered about finances and take an active role in the money management, that is changing.

BOND Girl: Any recommendations for women who are looking to get married? How should they handle the topic on finances with their potential spouse?
Dr. James: Communication is king and queen.  Disagreements and miscommunication about money is one of the leading causes of marital arguments and divorce. Discuss with

your potential spouse your past financial history. Both parties should be well aware of any debt or financial obligations the other person will bring into the marriage. Discuss each person's money mindset and emotions surrounding money, what is each person's background e.g. from homes of lack or plenty.  Discuss how finances will be handled and how financial burdens will be shared, e.g. joint vs separate accounts. There is no one right way for sharing the finances, as long as each partner fully agrees and is committed to the plan. Do what works for you as a couple.

BOND Girl: What would you say to the sister who is over her head in debt and sees no end in sight?

Dr. James: There is hope. When you feel out of control of your money, there's a lot of stress and confusion as to what should be the next step, where to start. The first step is to determine who you owe and how much you owe them. Get very clear on the numbers, this can be overwhelming but it is a necessary first step. The next step is to design a money strategy to determine how much you can use to pay down the debt and how to cut costs or increase income to pay down the debt even faster. The third step is to pick the account with the smallest amount and pay that first. This provides a nice boost of confidence and strengthens your resolve, this is very important. Once that first account is completely paid off. You move on to the debt that has the next smallest amount, and the next and the next until you're done. You do what you can, the key thing is to make the commitment to paying off all your debt and to start!

BOND Girl: Dr. James, if you could set the stage for the “Discipline not Deprivation” January BOND Gathering- what should our guest expect for that evening?

Dr. James: All participants should expect an interactive workshop where they will receive information on key personal finance concepts that will allow them to get financially fit. The information will help them to save money, reduce debt, and position themselves to build wealth while still enjoying the now.

BOND Girl: So say I’m the type of woman who’s pretty good with saving money and paying my bills on time, would I find any benefit in attending this January Gathering?

Dr. James: Yes! Income and credit management goes much further beyond saving money and paying bills on time. If you're living within your means, but still haven't achieved financial success there is content for you as well. I will also talk about building wealth and using your money to make money.

BOND Girl: Are there any other thought’s you’d like to share with our readers?

Dr. James: Come ready to learn, ask questions and have fun!

BOND Girl: Dr. James, thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing you on January 17th. The RSVPs are steadily rolling in. I suspect that this will be a topic that many women can benefit from.

To read Dr. Maria James’ full bio, CLICK HERE. For more information and to RSVP for the January 17th 2014 Gathering, “Discipline Not Deprivation” CLICK HERE. Please grab your seat now as the price will increase at the door.

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