Tag Archives: finance

Avast ye, Matey!

teacher_colaberation_pc_400_clr_3388Okay, so I’m not especially good at “pirate talk.” (“Avast” means “get a load of this!”)

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a new page on the site called “PCSS Pirate Specials.” The page is designed to give you a cursory glance at what is truly an awesome program. If you’re ready to just jump right into some specifics, read on!

The program is actually underway and the second series starts Oct. 15th. One of the sessions is Career Exploration for sophomores. There are currently 19 students enrolled.

What’s needed right now are “guest speakers.” I put that in quotes because you don’t have to be a polished presenter. You just have to be willing to talk with these kids. (You are paired with teacher.)

The program is designed to get these kids thinking about their future careers/aspirations so they can plan more appropriately when they sign up for classes in high school. You get to talk with the kids for about a half hour on topics like what you studied in high school that helped prepare you, the kinds of summer work you looked for, what you wish you had done differently in high school to get better prepared,  and the kinds of decisions you had to make about schooling after high school.

As long as it’s legal, any career or job is fair game. What’s it like to be a carpenter? Is there a future in banking? Have you started your own business? Do you work in the woods?

I’m sure you can talk about it for thirty minutes. I’m even more sure the kids will have some questions for you and I can guarantee you’ll enjoy it and feel good after! Teaching skills aren’t required. A little sense of adventure would perhaps help, but mostly you just need to be willing to share your experience with some kids. When you’re ready to invest a half hour in some kids call or email MSAD 4 Curriculum Director Elaine Bartley at ebartley@sad4.org or call 876-4378 to see what times are available. Most of the slots are around lunch time so you can do it during your break! I can certainly nag, encourage, and beg. Just let me know what it takes to get you involved!

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”

– Stacia Tauscher

Financial Literacy Starts With You!

stick_figure_wheel_barrow_gold_150_clr_8612And maybe Jack Falvey. Jack’s a friend and colleague–you might recognize his name from the back cover of my book, Small People–Big Brains. An official version of who Jack is reads like this:

Jack Falvey is a widely published freelance business writer, contributing to Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News in the areas of sales, sales management and marketing. He teaches professional sales and sales management at both University of Massachusetts Boston and at his alma mater, Boston College.

Falvey is currently a fellow at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire where he offers daily Investor Education Briefs as part of the Ethics in Governance: Stewardship and Investor Education Initiative.

Jack’s recently embarked on this daily series of Investor Education Briefs (or tips) and I’ve had the good fortune to be part of a “test group.” That means I’ve been enjoying these daily briefs for a few weeks now, so I can tell you that they are truly brief, educational, and enjoyable. One of my personal favorites was his message to people who say “I don’t believe in life insurance.” Jack notes that life insurance isn’t a religion. It’s a product with a purpose. In some circumstances it works. In others it doesn’t.

He’ll make you think.

It might seem ironic, but these nuggets that will increase your financial fluency are free! You can sign up at

 http://www.anselm.edu/investor-education-brief

You Can!

You Can—Raise cash as a crop! This fast-paced, participative program will explore the opportunities we all have for “non-traditional” ways of raising cash through cost avoidance, part time work, cash crops from your farm, gardens and hobbies. You may want to start a home-based business… or just explore the value of bartering with friends and neighbors. When your wallet’s almost empty, this class will encourage you to open your mind and develop a plan. Part of the You Can Series sponsored by P.V.A.E.C. and Piscataquis County Extension… class will be held two weeks from today, March 13–call 564-6525 and sign up today!

Class Announcement — You Can!

You Can–Raise Cash As A Crop!

This fast-paced, participative program will explore the opportunities we all have for “non-traditional” ways of raising cash through cost avoidance, part time work, cash crops from your farm, garden and hobbies. You may want to start a home-based business… or just explore the value of bartering with friends and neighbors. When your wallet’s almost empty, this course will encourage you to open your mind and develop a plan…

Tuesday, March 13th at 6:30 PM at SeDoMoCha in Dover Foxcroft. Course fee is only $10. Register by calling the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative at 564-6525 or register online.


Check out the entire series of “You Can” courses at the PVAEC website! You’ll find lots of “traditional skills” courses regarding food preservation, seed starting, raising backyard chickens… a great program of practical and affordable classes made possible through a collaboration between PVAEC and the UMaine County Extension Service in Piscataquis County.

Federal Budget 101

As an instructor I’m a big admirer of people who find ways to make information understandable–isn’t that the job of a teacher? While the following email crossed my screen from a political perspective, I was impressed with the simplicity of it and how “eye opening” it is. See what you think!

Federal Budget 101

The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars.  Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms.  Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

  •  U.S. Income: $2,170,000,000,000
  •  Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
  •  New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
  •  National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
  •  Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

 It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to.  Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family .

  • Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700 
  • Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200  
  • Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500  
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Amount cut from the budget: $385

So, in effect last month Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385  from its annual budget.  What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending? 

Now after years of this, the Jones family has $142,710 of debt on its credit card (which is the equivalent of the national debt). 

You would think the Jones family would recognize and address this situation, but it does not. Neither does Congress. 

The root of the debt problem is that the voters typically do not send people to Congress to save money. They are sent there to bring home the bacon to their own home state.  To effect budget change, we need to change the job description and give Congress new marching orders. 

It is  awfully hard (but not impossible) to reverse course and tell the government to stop borrowing money from our children and spending it now. 

In effect, what we have is a reverse mortgage on the country.  The problem is that the voters have become addicted to the money. 

Moreover, the American voters are still in the denial stage, and do not want to face the possibility of going into rehab. 

Attributed to: DAVID THOMAS, Chief Executive Officer — Equitas Capital Advisors LLC