www.scottalanturner.com In this episode, we talk to financial rockstar, dad and kid-influencer Scott Alan Turner about his book "Money A to Z" that helps adults explain money concepts to preschoolers. This is great stuff, and when the book comes out in December 2017, proceeds go to help abused kids. Buy one for the littles in your life and several more to give away.
Thank you for tuning in to the Inspire a Kid podcast. This is Scott Hooper and Inspire a Kid is about telling the stories of inspiring kids: adults that were inspired when they were kids, but also kid influencers who are inspiring kids. Today I have with me Scott Alan Turner. Scott's written a book, and I'm going to let him kind of introduce himself, kind of what he does. So Scott, thank you for joining me today.
Thanks, Scott. Pleasure to be on the show [laughter].Our parents were awesome when they named us.
So tell me a little bit about yourself, where you live. Tell me about your life.
Sure thing. Let's see. First, I'm happily married for 12 years. I've got twins. They are four years old, one boy and one girl. Originally from the north-east, met my wonderful wife in Georgia, then we moved to Texas. I call myself the original money moron. I did not get a education about money growing up, very little in fact, and then made a lot of financial mistakes coming out of college and what I do now is teach people about personal finance, and not to make the same mistakes that I did [laughter].
Personal finance? So you actually have a business that deals with personal finance?
Yeah. I help people live like financial rockstars. So I have a show that I take listener questions on; I do that three times a week. I am an author and speaker, and I love educating and teaching people about money.
Awesome. Financial rockstar. So a lot of your lessons are just learned from--
A lot of mistakes, unfortunately [laughter].
A lot of mistakes? That's not bad. That's not bad.
Usually, it's the best way to learn, and it's better when you can teach other people to avoid making mistakes.
Right, no kidding. No kidding. So your book. I read your book because it's a kid's book, and that's my kind of book. Money A to Z. Why did you decide to write a book-- it looks like a children's' book for money, and you're describing things about money. What's the idea behind that?
Sure. So the story behind that is, about a year ago, I was doing a segment on my show kind of like they do on Sesame Street, "Today's show is brought to you by the letter L." Only I would pick obscure financial terms that I knew nothing about, like Latin baseball futures, which is a real thing [laughter], and then I would just make fun of them. And about the same time, I would read stories to my kids at night, and one of them was about apples, talking about different things regarding apples, and teaching them the alphabet. And I thought, well, it was more of a God-inspired thing - I didn't think of it on my own, certainly - "What if I did a book about money and taught my kids the alphabet at the same time?" Started doing a little research on the subject, and there were no other children's books out there at the time that were teaching basic money concepts. You had to be age five, six, and seven before you started learning anything about saving, and they'd be story-related, but nothing about, "Hey, what's a need? Can you define that in a few words and a child would understand it?" And in fact, yes, you can. Two, three, four, five years old, that's who this book is aimed at, and it's a letter of the alphabet, and each one is a simple-- as simple of a money term as I could possibly come up with [laughter].
That's incredible. Yeah, just flipping through it, you have "J is for job." These are words that you don't necessarily-- I mean, it's almost like, the kids might catch it but they don't necessarily understand the concept behind it. "G is for giving." You give them the words for it, so they know, "Hey, okay, this is what it's about. This is why I do it." This is fantastic.
Yeah. I worked with a wonderful artist on this project, who's a friend from high school, and when I first conceptualized it, first I had to figure out, "Can I come up with letters A to Z and make it easy enough?" And after I overcame that challenge, I knew who I wanted to work with on this project. His name is Jeff Grader and he's an amazing artist. I've known him most of my life. So it was like I'm going to hire Jeff. I'm going to pay him whatever he wants because he's the one that can make this happen because he's done children's books before. And he really made my cat and dog, who are the stars of the book, he really made them come alive with each of these different terms. And I know kids are going to get it because when we got the first copies in, I sat down with my kids, they were three-and-a-half at the time, and we started going through the book, and they were pointing at the pictures, and they knew what was going on. One of them is, I think C for Coins is in there. And it's my cat putting some coins in a vending machine. And Bran, my little son, he would say, "Hey, he's putting something in the machine and he's getting crackers out of it." And he gets those concepts. So at that time, I was like, "This is going to work. The kids are going to understand this."
Yeah. Man, I love how you did this. I'm reading it right now so I'm kind of paused. So you have two characters, Riker and Pip. Where did you come up with those names? Just something you came up with or did your kids help you come up with the characters?
Well, we have two fur kids, well, we have three fur kids. Two cats and a dog in our family. Our cats are Riker and Jake, and our dog, he's a chihuahua, his name is Pip.
So for-- my wife named him after a famous character in a book, but it escapes me. Rike is obviously a Star Trek character. So I named him. Big Star Trek nut.
So we made them the main characters.
I guess your kids appreciate their own pets being a part of the book.
Absolutely. And then when I opened up the book, they clearly recognized who those animals were.
That's pretty sweet. So have you had any opportunity of as you're sharing this with your friends and with other kids, what's been the feedback? Have you received any?
Yeah. I've given out a number of copies to friends and family, and the feedback so far has been amazing. Everyone loves it. They love the message that it's got. There's really nothing out there like this yet, which I'm really happy about And it was a passion project. I wanted to do something I could leave a legacy for my kids, teach them something, and also help others. All the profits from this book go to charity, children's charities, specifically [inaudible] pretty excited about.
You guys are a specific charity, or is it just as needs come up, or what's the plan?
Yeah. There's a story behind the book. There was a little girl who we, excuse me.
There's a little girl who emailed in my show with a really sad story. She was abused. Wanted to take all the profits and donate them to children's charities.
That is fantastic. [inaudible] I really appreciate your heart for kids, not just your own, but for other kids. What is it about kids that there's a soft spot in you?
Certainly, I love kids and I love animals. And the reason is I want to help people or beings that cannot help themselves. And those are the categories at the top that most people know. Kids can't speak up for themselves, animals, too, which is why I like incorporating the animals that we have into this book. But kids more so [laughter]. They don't have a voice. Sometimes they can't. They don't know what the words to say. And especially with abused kids, they really don't have a voice. And they need somebody to stick up for them and charities to support them.
That's right. Well, I believe the philosophy of Inspire Kid is that in every kid, there is an unlimited potential for greatness.
No matter the race, the color, no matter the ability, no matter where they come from. And so--
I read a great quote - well, it's not a quote, just a fact of life - the other day about people and their potential, and that's everyone is created equal on the inside.
We can't all dunk a basketball, but everyone is-- there's a level playing field out there.
That's right. That's right. To be able to rescue kids, this girl that really captured your heart, to see the innocent abused, to see the innocent, for me, marginalized, it's infuriating, actually, how we treat kids sometimes in the world. And so--
They deserve better.
They do, they do. They do deserve better because inside that kid is unlimited potential and, by golly, they're they're the ones that are going to be following us just to take care of them. It kind of sows good seed into our future. So what are you hoping to get out of the message for the money A to Z for when you go up to a parent and you hand the book to them, say, "Hey, here's a book." And the parent looks at it, "What's this about." What's your spiel?
I think that one of the biggest things kids are missing is a foundation of money education and just values even. I've tried to throw in many values without being too preachy in this book. What is a want and what is a need? And I think that's a big thing with raising kids. If you can teach them just the difference between that, they're - to put it plainly -they're less bratty, so. Great kids that have good core values growing up, they become productive members of society and I hope this is a foundational element that can be incorporated into a child's upbringing before they get to kindergarten that can help be on their way to, again, avoiding the money mistakes that I made early on. And we can put that in every kid so that they know here's needs, here's values, here's wants, here's what dollars are, here's why you get a job, here's why you work, here's all the benefits of knowing how to handle money. And even if a parent doesn't know those things, which I would say the majority of us have not experienced that in our own lives, we don't get that education, I mean that's okay, at least you can teach your kids how to not make the mistakes that you may have made.
So you seem to be real balanced when you talk about core values and that's not really in everybody's vocabulary. Did you have a pretty good upbringing as far as your balanced values look at life? Where did you get your balance here?
I am the youngest of five kids. I was called 'The Happy Accident' I guess we'll say. My next older sibling is 12 years older than I am. Most part I was raised as an only child. Very simple upbringing, we grew out in the country. My dad worked for the town, my mom worked in a coffee shop parttime. We didn't have a lot growing up but we weren't poor or anything like that. But as a simple lifestyle and from them I didn't learn a whole lot of money lessons, but they fed us, they took care of us, they treated us well, we never lacked anything, we always had food and shelter over our head, and vehicles. And I think a lot of it stem from that simple lifestyle. My wife had that same upbringing. Her parents were missionaries, a little bit different. My family was not Christian, not raised in a church at all. But she grew up in a very small town, similar size, 2000 people. And because of those traditions that we had, the way we were raised, we were very similar in that aspect of our lives, and how we want to raise our kids, and how we see the world I guess you would say.
Thanks for letting us into your history, that's pretty cool. So what person or people-- it sounds like your parents were actually good influences on you. Who's really had the most inspiration in your life to really propel you to this place that you are right now?
Yeah, the turning point in my life I can point at was age 25, 26, that I went from not knowing anything about money, having student loans, credit card debt, car loans way too much house than I needed, single guy at the time with a massive mortgage. I started listening to this guy on the radio, his name was Clark Howard. He's been on the radio for 30 years and he's a consumer advocate. And from him, I started to learn about money.And within a short period of time, I kind of did a 180, got all my finances in order, went from net worth a negative I call it to building wealth and really understanding how money functions. And here's how you should get a car loan, here's how you should take out a mortgage, here's how much mortgage you should get, here's the proper way to invest so you don't lose all your money like I did [laughter] previously. And he's really been an inspiration over the years I listened to him. He was on the radio three hours a day, 5 days a week. And I think I listened for several years straight.
Man, you never know where your inspiration's going to come from.
And at that time I was in IT working for for a corporation. I branched out of there, started doing my own businesses. And really [personal finance?] I didn't get into it a couple years ago. But because of something happened so many years ago and hearing that guy on the radio, I'm now able to have the audience I do today and educate people on those things I didn't know about back then.
So tell us how to listen to your stuff, how to get ahold of the book. How can we get ahold of you?
Yeah, my website is scottalanturner.com. A-L-A-N. The book is not quite available yet. We're just waiting for the big shipment to come in from China. It's on the boat right now, as we're speak [laughter]. But we are going to have it on Amazon in time for Christmas. So probably December 1st.
Awesome. Again, the book is Money A to Z, by Scott Alan Turner. And your show that you have-- it's radio? Podcast? What is it?
Podcast. It is on the radio, as well, if you live in Los Angeles [laughter].
Oh, Los Angeles. Nice. Okay.
And wake up very early on Sunday morning, so [laughter].
Yeah. So what's the podcast name?
Podcast is Scott Alan Turner. It's Scott Alan Turner Show. It's on three days a week. I answer listener questions.
About money, business, and life. And I truly enjoy it. I have a great passion helping people out and hearing the success stories that they're had in their lives.
So I've got to ask, what's the-- what's, maybe, one or two of the weirdest financial questions-- kind of putting you on the spot here. But what are some weird financial questions that you get?'
I never say that any are weird. People think they're asking, "I don't know about X." Or, "I don't know about Y." Well, as I say, no one ever came out of the womb knowing the answer to that question [laughter].
So there's no wrong question. I got one last week. It was a bit of a sad story. A lady emailed me, says, "My brother's in jail for the next two years. I've got power of attorney. He's got a 401k with $95,000 in it. Well, how should I handle that for the next two years, for when he gets out?" So I had to walk her through the different options that she had, in order to handle that money. Another good example, my friends-- now friends, Steve and Laura-- they started listening to the show a couple years ago-- not the best at managing money. And in that time we'd kind of become friends. And they sent me a email [laughter] earlier this summer says, "Hey. We're on the beach. We blew off a couple days of work because we've got our finances in order because of your show and listening to it. And we implement the stuff you done. And we're working our way toward financial freedom. Today it's the middle of the week. Here's a picture of the beach. We're sitting here. We're having a picnic. We camped out last night. And thank you so much for the information."
Wow. What great encouragement. That's pretty awesome. Sounds like your doing a great, great work. Thank you for inspiring kids. And really appreciate the idea of thinking about kids. Of course, it helps when you have young ones and you want to [laughter]-- you want them to get off on the right foot, right? I think when you have kids it changes everything. But I'm looking forward to sharing your book with a lot of my people. The kids that I-- the parents that I interact with and their families. It's a great, great book. I really appreciate you being with me here, Scott. And thank you. One more time, it's scottalanturner.com. And you can tune into-- search for your podcast on-- so Scott Alan Turner Show, is that--?
Okay. Fantastic. Well, so y'all get out there in December. I want y'all to go find Scott's book, Money A to Z. And I want you to buy one for yourself, and buy 10 more and get out there and hand them to people because we need to start teaching our kids about money now. I really appreciate you being on the show, man.
Thanks, Scott. Thanks, appreciate it.
Appreciate it. That was awesome.