Welcome to The Heavy Purse. My name is Shannon Ryan and I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids. My passion for financial literacy began at age 13 when my father started his “money lessons” with me over dinner. Like most teenage girls, I would have rather been at the mall with my friends, but over time, his words began to resonant with me and influenced how I viewed money. My father didn’t focus on the stock market or what were the best investments, but instead he taught me something far more important.
He introduced me to emotional competence so that I would learn how to spend my money wisely and on what matters most. Anyone can be taught the ins and outs of how money works, but true financial freedom comes from understanding what drives your emotional response to money and aligning it with your beliefs and goals. Our fears, frustration, anger, loneliness and boredom can cause us to spend mindlessly, typically on things we either can’t afford and/or really don’t want. Our emotional spending prevents us from truly living the life we want and deserve.
True wealth isn’t defined by how much money you have, but by how you use it.
When I left home for college, I noticed how others around me were overwhelmed by their money emotions. They felt guilty for having too much or angry because they had so little. People bought things to make themselves feel better, but still felt empty after the momentary high of buying something to satiate their emotions dissipated. This was not how my father taught me to think about money, and I realized that no one had taught them how to remain emotionally competent when making money decisions the way my father had taught me.
Thanks to my father’s money lessons, I became a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and have helped individuals and businesses feel more financially confident for the past 20 years. During this time, I witnessed firsthand how money hang-ups pass from generation to generation, often unknowingly. Since money is a taboo topic in many homes, kids are forced to learn by trial and mostly error when they leave home. While my father waited until I was a teenager to start our money talks, I realized we needed to start much earlier—before money habits and beliefs were deeply rooted in our kids. I believe ongoing money conversations should begin as early as age three to truly foster a healthy money relationship.
A Father’s Legacy
My father left behind a powerful legacy and one I intended to pass forward some day to my own children. Before I even had my daughters, I started outlining the money lessons I wanted to teach them and dreamed of writing a bedtime story for kids to help make those money conversations easy and natural for both parents and kids. When I had my daughters, Lauren and Taylor, I started talking to them about money when they were toddlers. We kept the conversations simple and fun, and today, at ages 10 and 8, their level of financial literacy exceeds many adults.
Seeing the impact financial literacy has made in their young lives and how financial literacy continues to diminish worldwide, I knew it was time to make my dreams a reality. As I started reworking my ideas, my youngest daughter, Taylor, can running into the kitchen with her purse overflowing with coins to tell me, “My purse is too heavy!” and The Heavy Purse was born. I developed The Heavy Purse to create a community of parents who want to raise financially confident children who are prepared to thrive in this great, big world.
Every single one of us handles money and makes money decisions every day. If we truly want our children to succeed on their own, we need to make sure they know how to make financially confident money decisions.
The Heavy Purse Mission
To help busy parents teach their children simple, value-based principles that guide their money decisions and support their long-term financial well-being.
Financial literacy is one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids, so please join me in my mission to create a more financially literate world. It begins with you and your children.