Several of my fellow bloggers have recently shared a more intimate look at the person behind the blog, and I enjoyed getting to know them better. Since imitation is often the best compliment, I decided to do something similar. I am very pleased to introduce you to me—Shannon Ryan: Financial Literacy Advocate.
Who is Shannon Ryan?
A Mom, a wife, a sister, a friend, an Aunt, a daughter, a financial advisor, a speaker, a blogger, an author, a business owner, a rotarian, a board member, a girl scout troop leader, a marathon runner, and an advocate for financial literacy for children and adults. I have a full plate, but I love everything I do, which makes it fun to get out of bed every morning. I’m also very tired when I fall back into bed at night.
What was the first song you danced to as husband and wife?
“All I Ask of You”, the love song from Phantom of the Opera, and we’ve been dancing together for 23 years!!
What was your first thought when you held Lauren? Taylor?
Pure joy. Who knew you could sit for hours and just look at a baby! I did not plan on being a mom, and I am so grateful I did not miss this journey but waited until I was ready to take it.
Why call your book/website The Heavy Purse?
I had the concept of save, spend and share outlined for many years under the name The Piggybankers. I tried to make it work then, but it never panned out so I put the project on the back burner. After 2007 and the collapse of the financial markets due to debt, I knew my message of financial literacy for children and adults was more critical than ever.
Around the same time, my youngest daughter Taylor came flying down the hall with a pink leather change purse filled with coins all excited to tell me, “My purse is too heavy!” and it hit me: a heavy purse is the synonym for wealth. We all have “heavy purses” that we make decisions with every day, regardless of our income level. I realized “The Heavy Purse” was the perfect name and symbol for my book. Within 6 months, I was off and running again.
I’ve had several people ask me if The Heavy Purse is appropriate for boys. The answer is yes. The story is inspired by real events and is very personal to me. The concept of save, spend and share is for everyone, young and old, and the story itself is gender neutral. I have read The Heavy Purse to several large groups of children at local schools and boys responded just as enthusiastically when asked, “how will you save, spend and share your money?” Their enthusiasm and hunger to learn about money continues to amaze me and fills me with hope for their future.
What is the biggest money mistake people make?
Too much debt. The most unhappy people I meet have a mountain of debt that hangs over them and creates stress in their lives. Regardless of income, if you learn to live within your means and make decisions based on what you can afford and in alignment with your values, you will live a happier financial life.
What is the biggest money mistake people make with their kids?
Trying to fill our own childhood disappointment by giving too much to our children without teaching them how to make money decisions aligned with personal values. By doing this, we disable them financially.
What do you want to accomplish with The Heavy Purse?
My greatest desire with The Heavy Purse is to change the thinking in this country of when and how we need to educate children on financial literacy. The country is clearly off track!
If you had one wish … what would it be?
Every night when I tuck my girls into bed, I pray they will be Safe, Healthy and Happy. My wish would be that every human being is Safe, Healthy and Happy. It’s my version of “World Peace”.
The Heavy Purse Store is now open! My new downloadable Money Club Workbooks are now on sale. Each workbook provides five targeted lessons to help you graise Financially Confident Kids. Please check them out in The Heavy Purse Store.