In April, 120,000 copies of Dale Alexander’s book were sent, in partnership with the Georgia State Board of Education (SBOE), to the students who make up the state’s class of 2023. “‘The Talk’ (About Money), A Young Adult’s Guide to the One Decision That Changes Everything,” outlines tips to help young adults prepare to manage their finances. A certified financial planner, Dale set out to give back by educating the group of people that needed it most.
“The single greatest ‘life’ decision a young adult will ever make is making 70% their 100%,” Dale said. When they get their first real job, it will be the biggest paycheck they’ve ever gotten. And, instead of spending 100% of that first check, they can make a decision to live on 70%, invest 20% and give away 10%.
Originally from south Georgia, the Canton resident has lived in Cherokee County since 1991. He is married to Kimberly, and they have three adult kids, Sophie, Grant and Davis. Because of his training, Dale knew it was necessary to lay a strong financial foundation by instilling the importance of managing money in his kids. Before writing his book, he not only shared his message with his children, he also shared it with a variety of corporations, conferences, school convocations and media outlets.
It was through giving “the talk” to students across the state that he connected with the Georgia SBOE, which, like those in many other states, is placing an emphasis on financial literacy. Dale’s goal is not only to continue reaching youth in Georgia but also to get his message to the 4 million seniors in U.S. public high schools. If you’re interested in learning more about the book or sharing his message with the young adults in your life, visit www.thetalkaboutmoney.com. There also is a free, 55-minute lesson online.
What should students know about money?
Starting off getting money habits right from your first job check is the most important “life” decision you will make. If we don’t get money right, half of our marriages will be gone, and many of the other half won’t be what they could be due to the weight of money.
How can parents prepare children for a great financial future?
Talk to them about money, and get great resources for them to learn about it. Most importantly, model good money habits.
How did your journey of discussing finances with young people begin?
I was fortunate to fall in love with the study of money, and that led me to talk to my children about it all the time. It’s tragic, but it’s something very few parents do today. One night, my son Grant said, “Dad, you need to tell all of our friends this story.” Over 2019 Christmas break, everyone got together — pizza all over the place! That’s where it all began, and now the story has reached millions.
What can students with part-time jobs do?
Begin a habit of investing in the stock market through mutual funds, and give to something that breaks your heart.
What can adults who didn’t start living on 70% do?
Two things. 1) Every “new” dollar — a raise, bonus, garage sale proceeds, funds becoming available after paying off a car loan, etc. — never take more than half of it from now on. If you can take none of it, put it all aside. You’ll be dependent on less and less of your income. 2) Any money you’re saving, get it invested in the right places — mutual funds, the stock market — so the money is working more efficiently for you.
Why should I give money away?
Life gets a new perspective when you start giving. Giving reminds us that our life is more than about us. It instills hope, as the mind doesn’t allow itself to feel hopeless when it is giving hope.