Real Life. Real People.
Book Description

The Book Club Approach To Personal Finance & Life 101

Can You Connect These Dots?

  • A stay-at-home mom ("Red") and her retired executive sister ("Black") write a book titled What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!
  • Their self-published book is launched by Neiman Marcus in August 2009.
  • Red and Black are invited to develop and teach a financial literacy program to the Class of 2010 at KIPP Houston High School.
  • The book is approved by the (Texas) State Board of Education less than a month after being submitted.

It started with a question …

In the Q&A portion of our first speaking engagement shortly after Neiman Marcus launched our book, someone asked the seemingly innocent question, "Why isn't this taught in school?" How were we to know that just months later we would be developing and teaching a 12-week program to the Class of 2010 at KIPP Houston High School? Or that it would result in What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired! being approved as a Personal Financial Literacy ("PFL") textbook by the (Texas) State Board of Education.

Despite the challenge of its title, What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired! began a very interesting (and unexpected) journey. Once people realize that Red's husband's being fired was merely the catalyst that forced her to take control of her life, they're eager to eavesdrop on Black's practical, step-by-step strategies that allowed Red to create a life based on lasting values.

What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired! is being embraced by men and women, ranging from high school seniors to senior citizens, and we've been approached by individuals, schools, organizations, churches and synagogues who want to use the book for educational, philosophical and spiritual purposes, as well as just plain reading pleasure. Many people have asked us if we had a "user's guide," so when we developed our submittal for the Texas Education Agency ("TEA") to qualify our book and program as PFL materials, we expanded it to cover "Life 101" topics. Recognizing that it couldn't be constructed to be "one size fits all" when your audiences are so diversified (teachers, organizations, book clubs, families and individuals) and have different objectives, we created a three-in-one approach.

1. Life 101

Red's journey into reality began with personal finance, but soon expanded to include more fundamental concepts such as values, time management, piles of paper, and handling stress.

2. Personal Finance

Specific financial topics, including 100% of the ones mandated by the (Texas) State Board of Education, include subjects such as assets and liabilities, credit cards, budgets, long-term financial planning and insurance. However, our approach may be different than other financial literacy programs because we believe teaching someone to balance their checkbook is math. Personal financial literacy should be about thinking whether or not you should make that expenditure. Our book isn't just about personal finance — it's about making smart conscious decisions, regardless of the subject matter, based on your values and priorities.

3. Philosophical

The Book Club Approach to Personal Finance & Life 101 includes the philosophical questions used on our class agendas, as well as others that have come up in class or during the Q&A periods at our speaking engagements. We believe they provide interesting food for thought and will generate informative discussions, whether used for educational, philosophical or spiritual purposes, or merely to generate conversation

Our TEA submittal ultimately became the basis of The Book Club Approach to Personal Finance & Life 101. Some may find it an unusual approach, but we ask readers to keep in mind that Black created a hybrid publishing model when neither traditional publishing nor self-publishing worked for her. She also created four separate portals on this website because she realizes different users have very different needs. In other words, taking an unusual approach isn't anything unusual for Black!