1. Introduce yourself to our online audience.
Thank you, Lakeithea for inviting me to discuss my class and my new book.
Hello, everyone. My name is Dakota Grady. I am an instructor at the Nashville Community Education (NCE). I teach a personal finance class, Six Steps to Managing Your Money, and have been teaching it since 2016. I am also a financial coach, author, and speaker. Originally, I am from South Carolina but have been living in Tennessee for 5 years. I am passionate about helping people chase their dreams through financial literacy.
2. In your class, “Six Steps to Managing Your Money” you cover what keeps people broke, why do you feel such an honest topic is important to have?
One thing that keeps people broke is not doing a monthly budget. According to Gallup, only 1 in 3 people do a monthly detailed written budget. Personal finance is an important topic because money affects many areas of our lives. It affects us relationally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, (and of course) financially.
3. What would you say are some important things to learn when balancing a budget?
First, I think people need to decide to commit to doing a monthly budget. It won’t happen until you make a decision to be intentional with your money. Second, list all of your monthly income and expenses on a sheet of paper and give each dollar of your income a job (i.e., your money is your employee – you are the boss, so budget like a boss). That means that each dollar of your money will be doing what you tell it to do for you. For example, allocate some of your income to giving, saving, food, shelter, and so forth until each dollar has been allocated or giving a job. Once all of your income is assigned a job, add all of the expenses that have been allocated and subtract that amount from the income. The result should be zero; that means that you have budgeted each dollar of your income. Therefore, you will be living within your means.
4. Why do you feel it’s hard for people to set a budget?
I think that some people need someone to hold them accountable to do a budget. Most importantly, I think people must WANT to do a budget. They may need a budget, but if there is no desire, then people won’t do a budget.
5. Many people say they don’t have room in their budget to save, what’s the trick to saving when you feel you don’t make enough money?
One way is to do a budget. If you don’t know how much money you are earning and spending, then trying to identify how much to save will be difficult. Also, people could reduce their spending in a particular area such as dining out or eliminate cable TV. Another option is to generate additional income by working extra hours or starting a small business on a part-time basis.
6. What are some money issues people can alleviate when they decide to set a budget?
Some money problems people can alleviate are worry and stress about overspending in a certain area, overdrafts in their bank account, money fights with their spouse, declining productivity at work, and guilt and shame of not having enough money to pay bills.
7. How often should someone complete a budget and should a budget always have a goal set to it?
I think people should do a budget each month – a new budget each month because each month is different. A person should have goals when doing a budget. Everyone has different wants and needs, so your budget should reflect those things that you value. I think the most important goal for people to have is consistently living within their means of budgeting.
8. Share with us more information about your book and what inspired you to write about managing your money?
Sure. First, I thank NCE for giving me an outlet to share about my new book!! The title of my book is Financial Hope: Principles for a Prosperous Financial Future. I was inspired by three people actually, Jolene Wee, a former college classmate suggested that I write a book while attending homecoming at one of my alma maters. At that same event a professor, Dwayne Mack, asked me if I had written a book; at the time I had not written one. Lastly, Kiki Ramsey, author, coach, and motivational speaker and someone that I know from childhood told me that she wrote her book in four (4) months when she made a decision to focus. So, I challenged myself to write a book in four (4) months as well; I didn’t meet that goal, but it was established. Also, I have a message of hope to share because people need hope in their marriages, finances, relationships, and in their lives.
9. What are some takeaway’s you hope readers get after reading your book?
I want readers to know that they can move from where they are to where they want to be in their finances. It starts with a plan, and Financial Hope gives them a plan of action. Financial Hope is about Helping Other People become Empowered through financial literacy so that they can chase their dreams and help other people.
10. Any lasting words you want to tell our audience about your class and/or book?
If you are stuck in a rut with your finances and are tired of worrying, don’t have savings for unexpected events, or want to get rid of your debt, I invite you to sign up for my class, Six Steps to Managing Your Money, which will be held on October 2 and October 9, 2018. You can sign up online (HERE).
If you are not able to attend the class and want to improve your financial situation, I invite you to pre-order my book, Financial Hope: Principles for a Prosperous Financial Future, online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book will be released on January 8, 2019. I also offer financial coaching for those that need accountability to stay committed to changing their lives. Have a business or church that have could benefit from this message? Invite me to speak to your team or congregation. You can get more information at www.dakotagrady.com.
No matter where you are on your financial journey, there is hope for you!!
Thank you again, Lakeithea and NCE!!