BetterInvesting volunteer Jackie Cummings Koski of Cincinnati was recently interviewed by the DailyWorth website about growing up in a home where money was tight and fighting her way to financial freedom.
She had the basic framework for success down: hard work, economizing and sound money management.
Although she was off to a noteworthy start on her own, discovering BetterInvesting made a good thing better, Jackie says.
“A few years ago, I decided to check out a meeting of an investment club in Cincinnati, Ohio, supported by BetterInvesting, the world’s largest investor-education nonprofit,” she told the site. “I loved it right away. Most of the people were older than me — so they had a lot to teach — but we were all the same in that we were interested in making the best use of our money.
“Today, I am president of the Cincinnati Model Investment Club and serve on BetterInvesting’s Regional Board of Directors. I love leading a proactive financial life instead of a reactive one. I don’t buy things wondering how I’m going to pay for them later; I already know how I am going to pay for things before I buy them. If I have an unexpected expense, my emergency fund acts like a cushion.
“I’ve saved for retirement and medical care. I have about 40 percent equity in my home. If I want to purchase another home or car, I can structure my loan however I want and get the best mortgage rates because of my credit score.”
Life as a single mother has been a key motivator in Jackie’s life. As we reported in the January/February issue of BetterInvesting Magazine, Jackie wrote a book, Money Letters 2 My Daughter, to share the lessons she’s learned with Amber, now 17.
“Each chapter tackles a different topic, and each one is signed: ‘Duly-taxed Mom,’ ‘Giving (not loaning) Mom,’ ‘Mom paying herself first,’ etc.,” Jackie told the DailyWorth. “My daughter’s 17 now, and though I know she can’t appreciate many of the lessons yet, the book will be there when she can. In my heart, I feel it will give her the gift of financial freedom I so desperately fought for my whole life. And then she’ll have options, too.”
The lectures seem to have sunk in. Amber, a high school senior, told BetterInvesting that with her mother’s advice and matching funds, she saved enough money to pay cash for a Volkswagen Jetta, a purchase she researched and negotiated.
“The most important financial thing for people my age to know is to save money,” Amber says. “I am really good about how I spend my money. I look for sales and try to always get the best deal.”
Hey Mom, someone’s paying attention!
BetterInvesting is a national nonprofit organization that has been empowering individual investors since 1951. Founded in Detroit, the association (formerly known as National Association of Investors Corporation) was born out of the conviction that anyone can become a successful long-term investor by following commonsense investing practices. BetterInvesting has helped more than 5 million people become better, more informed investors by providing webinars, in-person events, easy-to-use online tools for analyzing stocks and mutual funds, a monthly magazine and a community of volunteers and like-minded investors. For more information about BetterInvesting, visit its website at http://www.betterinvesting.org/investing/landing/openhouse/blog/index.html or call toll free (877) 275-6242.