Episode 98: Interview with Cassie Rajewich and Teaching our Children about Money

In this episode we talk with Cassie Rajewich about money matters and how to help our children learn about money. Cassie shares three practical tips to help us start today. 

Our Guest: Cassie Rajewich

Cassie is a Certified Money Coach supporting mompreneurs to live with less financial overwhelm, and make friends with their finances so they can live out their bravest story.  She currently resides in Southern California with her husband where they are raising their four girls and leaning into their own brave story. 

Books Discussed in This Episode:

Transcript with Links:

Terrie:

Welcome to “Books that Spark,” a podcast for parents and caregivers, celebrating books, that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion, leading to teachable moments with our kids. Today I’m very excited that we have a guest with us. Her name is Cassie Rajewich, and she has been on our program before, but she has a wonderful ministry sharing how to manage finances. And especially she has some pointers that we can use as parents to help our children to understand money and how to manage money. Cassie is a certified money coach supporting mompreneurs to live with less financial overwhelm and make friends with their finances so that they can live out their bravest story. Cassie, thank you for being here today.

Cassie:

Thank you Terrie, for having me,

Terrie:

I want to first let our people know about the work you do and the ministry and the job you have. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do first of all?

Cassie:

Yeah, I am a money coach and I, I really, you know, for a long while I helped single moms with their money, and that was a wonderful, good time, a great learning time. And then I recently transitioned toward helping women with a dream. Maybe they’ve stepped into that dream already, but getting their finances in order to step into it. Or for women who are already making that money, they have a business that’s up and running and they want to leverage that income. And ultimately my goal is to help the Christian entrepreneur live out her bravest story.

Terrie:

That’s wonderful. We wanted to talk today about how we as parents can help our children. We talk a lot about discipleship on this program, and we’re also going to cover some books that deal with finances, but first of all, let’s start with how can we help our children grow in their stewardship and their understanding of how to manage money?

Cassie:

Sometimes we think as parents that we’re not able to teach something that we’re not good at ourselves, or, you know, money’s a finicky topic, especially depending on how you were raised in the home. So we definitely want to unpack the emotions behind it, which is sometimes a journey as well, but we don’t want to not lean in and teach them, especially if it’s something we’re struggling with ourselves.

Terrie:

So how do we overcome that? I mean, I know that we’ve talked a little bit about how, as we are learning, we can help our children come alongside us and learn with us.

Cassie:

Well, I have three practical tips. I think one, you know, Terrie is, and I know your faith background and leaning into the Holy Spirit. We partner with the Holy Spirit in so many areas of our life. We teach our children, we try to teach our children Bible verses. We hope that the Bible verse of teaching our children the ways of him and that they’ll go back to it through the years. So bringing in the money conversation into the home as well. So definitely this isn’t a practical step, but this is let’s first think about bringing the Holy Spirit, inviting him into this money conversation with you and your children, just like we do and partner with him in other ways. But as we ask him and welcome him in the three practical steps, are one–I want you to first think, and this is, you know, you can be advanced in your money goals, but there’s always this change. There’s always a transition. There’s always upping the game–always. And with that, we want to speak life into every situation. So, if you’re surrounded with shame or regret or guilt around your money story, just being authentic and honest about that and welcome the holy spirit in to do a good work in you. Something like I may not be an expert, but I am learning. And while I am learning, I can teach my children.

Terrie:

Yeah, and so many times, I think, especially if we failed in an area, we’re afraid to try to teach our children. We feel like a hypocrite or something. And I think it’s just the opposite is true. It says in 2 Corinthians that, you know, we’ve walked through what we’ve walked through so that we can help others walk through it. And that includes our kids. Just because we’ve messed up doesn’t mean we don’t teach them God’s ways. We know better now. Hopefully, we learned from our mistakes, and we can help share that with our children and encourage them not to make those same mistakes.

Cassie:

Yeah. I think as most humans, right, we want to learn. We want to grow. And there is this odd place, especially within the Christian culture or it’s like, we don’t want to show our kids the bad side of us, right. This is humanity. And this is exactly why Jesus came. So I pray that we would always have a heart of humility. And this is where he brought me from. And this is my gift back to you. This is the redemption of our family line in history.

Terrie:

That’s good. I like that. Okay. And what else?

Cassie:

Number two, again, as we’re partnering with the Holy Spirit and welcoming Him into this financial conversation and our money journey creating let’s, you know, maybe you already have a budget, maybe, maybe it’s all crazy. Maybe you don’t like to touch it. Maybe your husband’s the one that heads that maybe you hit it. And I know that what I’m going to say and ask is, you know, out of the three practical steps, you might only be able to tackle one of them. And this is a little bit of a heavy, especially if you are in a new season of risking or dreaming or going big or being elevated into new places, but creating that family budget that’s family-friendly. It makes room for your financial goals in a marriage, or maybe you’re a single parent, but it’s going to make room for you for your dreams. And it’s also going to bring in your children’s hearts and their desires. And I know that this isn’t within reason, of course, and sports and raising children or activities are very expensive and maybe not for all, but you know, it definitely depends on maybe you’re trying to get out of debt or, but there’s room for everybody at the table. And, and maybe it looks smaller at times, but as you’re honorable with the finances and the portion he’s given you now, as you begin to be honorable and welcome him into that budget and really letting him lead you, I believe that that place expands when we will him into it. So that’s my number two.

Terrie:

Okay. That’s good. Okay. So now I’m going to stop you there for a second. When we were first married, we both were ignorant. completely ignorant about finances. My husband came from a fairly wealthy family while he was growing up and never had to manage money. I came from a very frugal family that pinched every penny. And so I never learned to manage money because they wouldn’t trust me with it. it was–they always managed it for me and I, you know, got whatever they gave to me for whatever. So we had to learn big time. I was so surprised when we finally went to a financial planner to just help us learn how to budget that she told us to plan for entertainment, to plan for sports or whatever. And I thought, but we don’t have any money. We don’t–and she helped us see how we could start working those things into our budget. And so, can you speak to that just a little bit? How do we get all those things in, in a reasonable way? How do we start that?

Cassie:

Well, Terrie, you just said it yourself–you and your husband, what did you do? You made a decision to seek help. You made a decision to get wise counsel as we do that. And it may come in a place of a free resource. It may come in just like this woman you invited in One–she was probably a step ahead of you guys. She can see what you cannot see, but it started with a desire. I am a firm believer in investing in resources and coaches and mentors in every area of our life. And oftentimes it starts with the Holy Spirit. And He’s able to bring that person just for you or maybe that book or maybe that article, or maybe that thought that aligns with His will. It’s just that beginning part of, you know, what I see what I want. I have a desire to pursue. I believe God gives me these things, right? If my heart is pure and good, then I’m going to seek help in this area. Just like we do and you know, getting organized or starting a podcast or, you know, whatever it might be. So I think first it’s got to start there, and it will build out like everything we pursue, if we don’t let up on it, it’s going to build out. So having that belief, kingdom ways, and with that is just, it’s just such an adventure.

Terrie:

Okay. And what’s your third point?

Cassie:

My third point. And this kind of ties in to your question that you just asked on really practical ways. How does that look Cassie? Right. It’s easier to say to go do something. But let’s really break that into actionable steps. And so here’s one for you, and that is boundaries. It has radically changed my life. And again, I’ve heard people say, oh, well, you know, we’re Christians. We can’t put boundaries around or, you know, we’ve got to be nice and sweet and we have to give and we have to love. And there’s a safe space and there is a territory and a land that God has assigned to you, to your marriage, to your home, to your family. And in that He has specific boundaries that are for you and to protect you and to protect your children, to protect their mind, to protect their heart, but also to protect your finances and the plan He has for you financially, if that’s to purchase a home or to advance in your business, to write a book, or to raise your children in a certain area or to move out of state. So there’s boundaries and with boundaries come certain yeses and comes certain nos. So Dr. Henry Cloud has a wonderful library of resources. There’s Boundaries for Kids and Boundaries for Teens and Boundaries for Marriages. And they really ultimately, what they’re going to do is he’s going to help you identify when you need one and how to put it in place. And even in that, like I said, these three practical steps, they’re all kind of a lot to take hold of. And so just focusing on maybe one area at a time, but the boundaries, the real purpose of them is to help you frame the path to move you forward.

Terrie:

I like that. Speaking of boundaries and making those decisions, can you speak a little bit to the dysfunction. I mean, so many of us either were raised with an attitude of, like you said, of not placing boundaries because we’re Christians trying to do good things. And if anyone asks, we’re supposed to give. How do we recognize when we have a dysfunctional attitude about finances, and how can we work to not pass that on to our kids?

Cassie:

That’s so good. And again, I do believe it starts with, you know, a conversation and curiosity and desire, but beyond that, you know, and I don’t want to ever come off as if I haven’t, you know–I do what I do because of the long journey I’ve had. I’ve had a dysfunctional marriage that did not succeed. And I have also been given in my next marriage, a very wise husband who started listening to Dave Ramsey. And we, and we both, when we first met, we had combined a hundred thousand dollars worth of debt. So we’ve had a long journey. How does one finally get to that healthy point of the boundaries? So, and knowing, knowing when, and again, I’m going back to inviting the Holy Spirit in, but there are also practical framework, and we cleared out all of our debt. Okay. Well, in that, I had to say a lot of nos, but I had to get very creative because I wanted to make space for my children and yeses. In that three years, I was a single mom, and I wanted to make room for her to feel loved and heard and seen in her childhood during those three years. And then, I put a thousand-dollar emergency fund. That was my starter fund. I paid off my debt. Then I had three to six months savings. So, you know, you just chip away believing the mindset that I am, you know–as Christians, oftentimes we just, you know–I was definitely raised with a father who gave and gave and gave and gave, and he did not set up parameters to protect necessarily at times his family–for their needs. And instead we gave and gave. And so there is this framework that you need, that you protect your place so that you can continue to build so that you can give, and using Dave Ramsey, give like no one else and not deplete your own place. And then of course there are times because we want to advance in our thinking, we want to advance our mindset to have a kingdom mindset, you know, and with that comes humility and knowing that we have exactly what we have because of God and trusting Him with our finances and giving it back to Him. But then it’s okay. There’s also this, I have to listen to His voice if He says, “I want you to give that,” even though it looks like its’s outside of the framework. So there’s a fine line of not being too rigid, but also knowing, okay, He wants me, you know, in the New Testament, He says, tithing, really? We did away with that. I want you to give, as I tell you to give. When I tell you to give, and it may be whatever, partnering with the Holy Spirit in that. And that means we’ve got to have a clean line of distraction and being able to hear His voice too. So it’s practical steps, there’s a framework, and then there’s also just when He calls you to do something, you do it, trusting Him. He’ll replenish you and repair you and restore you.

Terrie:

Oh, I love that so much. You have some books to share with us that could be helpful with talking to our kids about money.

Cassie:

Yeah. I, I love Abe’s books. There’s, you know, there’s several thrift store online, and gosh, we can get a lot of books nowadays for a relatively inexpensive price. And then there is the library. So, I have a few books I picked out just to hit on different areas. I personally love the author, Michael Michalowics for those business savvy families and women. He has a great book called Profit First, but he also wrote a book for littler kids, and it’s called My Money Bunnies, and it’s just a fun money management for kids for more of the little ones to bring in that conversation about money, the importance of managing money, and just inspiring them at the same time. So that’s called My Money Bunnies, and that’s going to be more for your little ones.

Cassie:

And then I have Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze. They’ve got quite a few out there, but for the older ones, I have a seven year old, and I’ve introduced Junior’s Adventures Storytime book set. It’s a set of books. It’s got a character and his parents, and they’re teaching him different lessons on chores or earning money, or even going out somewhere and spending all of the money and the boundaries the parents put in place after he blows through all his cash at the fair. It’s helping both kids and parents kind of guide them through those conversations where we’re really, we wanna reach back into our pocket. Oh, we went to the fair though, and it’s 20 minutes in and now they spent all their money. So that’s a neat little set that we’ve enjoyed in our family. Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze also partnered together father and daughter, and they wrote Smart Money, Smart Kids. And that’s a really good book for all ages, but just to have a mindset around biblical and also practical steps to helping you raise your kids in smart money ways.

Terrie:

That’s great. Okay. And you have one more, right?

Cassie:

Yes. This third one is titled Teaching Your Child about Money, and it’s really to also help the moms and the dads be an example. So it goes more into what you were talking about as far as our own hearts and examining our own ways. And you know, a lot of times our emotions, our ill emotions or our lack of being healed in ways. Things that we take on from our family line drives our finances. So fear, doubt, worry, anxiousness, these emotions, these things tend to drive our own money story. And so I think this book, I’ve not read it, but I really liked the idea of he’s gonna really come into the reflection of the parent’s heart and helping you navigate through a lot of those in a biblical stewardship way.

Terrie:

Those sound great. Thank you. Well, thank you so much for taking your time to share with us today. I know money is such a, like you said, a touchy issue sometimes, but it’s an important one. And the Bible talks so much about money in stewardship, and we need to really make that a part of what we’re teaching our children and while we’re growing and learning too. So thank you for taking your time and sharing with us today.

Cassie:

Oh, Terrie, thank you so much. It’s always a delight when we get together and get to share together.

Terrie:

Thank you for joining us for “Books that Spark,” a podcast, celebrating books, that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussions, as we disciple our children and help them follow Christ with their whole hearts, if you would like to join me on my mailing list and get my monthly newsletter and also receive notifications when I post a podcast or a blog post, you can reach me at TerrieHellardBrown.com. Also for the month of May, we are doing our Small Kids, Small Talk texting texts because May can be a crazy month with so much going on. We can turn into just information sharers instead of really connecting with our children, seeing where their hearts and their heads are during this end of the year and this busy season. And instead of being completely overwhelmed, we can take a few moments each day just to connect with our children in very authentic and important ways. And so for the month of May, you can receive a text each day. If you sign up by commenting on any of my social media with the word “text,” or you can go to my website again at terriehellardbrown.com, and there is a link to sign up there. You will get a text each day with a prayer prompt and an important question or a fun question that you can discuss with your children that will spark some interesting conversations as you’re commuting to and from your different events, or as you’re sitting around the table at home. So I hope that you’ll join us for this month of May, for the fun of just really purposefully connecting with each other, connected, even though may can be crazy and can be busy. In addition to that, if you would like to get in touch with Cassie, you can reach her at CassieRajewich.com. And so if you would like to contact Cassie to get some of her free resources or to hire her as a financial consultant, you can reach her at CassieRajewich.com. Remember to like and share this podcast. We really appreciate it when you do that. It helps boost our podcast to where it is more visible to people who don’t know about it yet, and would really benefit from hearing the interviews, learning of the different books that are available that can really bless our families and bless our children.

Your Host:

Terrie Hellard-Brown writes and speaks to help children and adults find God’s purpose and plan for their lives. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids. Her podcast posts each Tuesday morning.

Her blog posts discuss living as a disciple of Christ while parenting our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of our lives to disciple our children.

Terrie uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on “the spectrum”), 37 years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 32 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers.

Her motto is “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be WONDERFUL” and keeps her childlike joy by writing children’s stories, delighting over pink dolphins, and frequently laughing till it hurts.

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