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Building Wealth Across Generations. Acquania Escarne

What dreams do you have of your family building wealth across generations? Entrepreneur, wealth strategist, and personal finance content creator, Acquania Escarne joined me at FinCon 23 and shared her life lessons in building wealth for herself and her family.

After watching loved ones and close friends struggle around financial security, Acquania was inspired to take control of her financial future. At just 16 years old, she opened a Roth IRA – taking the first step into understanding her own ability to build wealth.

Aquania runs the financial literacy platform The Purpose Of Money, focused on helping women of color Build Generational Wealth One Dollar at a Time. Discover Acquania’s inspirational path to building generational wealth through education, investing, entrepreneurship, and protective assets. Learn practical tips and mindset shifts that allow you to earn more, budget better, teach your kids about money, and protect your assets through any life transition.

Resources Mentioned

Acquania’s Website – https://thepurposeofmoney.com

Acquania’s Podcast – The Purpose of Money Podcast

About Acquania

Acquania Escarne is a Wealth Strategist who helps clients across the country build and maintain generational wealth through saving and investing.

With more than a decade of experience, Acquania follows a step-by-step system that helps individuals and families maximize their income and leverage money they are already spending to produce residual and tax-free income.

Acquania’s powerful and direct style of financial coaching and speaking has helped her clients expand their mindset, business, and wealth through her one-on-one coaching programs, events, seminars, and workshops. The strategies that she uses are based on free-market investment strategies and introduce clients to creative ways to build wealth, such as through life insurance.

Her Podcast and Blog, “The Purpose of Money,” teaches Women of Color about saving, investing, and building wealth through real estate, investing in the stock market, life insurance, unique savings strategies, and more. Acquania’s guests are working women and entrepreneurs that have found ways to build wealth and create more freedom in their lives today.

Acquania has been featured in Black Enterprise and Equal Opportunity, a Career Magazine for Minority Graduates. Acquania is also a finance freelance writer who has written for Wealth Noir and Foreclosure.com.

Follow Acquania

Transcript of Episode

[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Aquania, so excited to have you on the show today. We’re here at FinCon 2023.Welcome to the show.

Acquania Escarne: Thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure to be here. This is exciting.

[00:00:44] Bob Wheeler: Well, I’m excited because you are focusing on some things that a lot of people don’t focus on.

And so, but I want to ask just to get this thing started. How did you come to be a diplomat at the State Department? Like, that’s not like, I want to.

[00:01:01] Acquania Escarne: Yeah, no, it’s funny you say that I am that crazy kid who in seventh grade, my class took a trip to Spain and my parents didn’t have a lot of money. So we made a deal.

I would raise money for my spending money, they would split the trip. And I started my first business selling candy to my classmates. And after this trip to Spain, I literally came back and was like, Mom, I want to live and work abroad for the rest of my life. And my mom had worked at different law firms doing administrative tasks and things.

And so her lawyer friends were like, Oh, you should become an international attorney. So fast forward, get to college. I’m on a political science attorney track. And my sophomore year, a friend of mine said to me, Hey, did you know that you could be a diplomat and do summer jobs and, and not have to go to law school?

And I was like, no, how do you sign up for that? And I was actively pursuing money for school anyway, so when he told me about the Pickering, Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship, I applied, along with a gazillion other scholarships, to be honest. And when they called me up for the interview, I was like, had to Google it again, because I was like, what scholarship is this?

I totally forgot. But I made it. I made it. They ended up paying for two years of, uh, undergrad, one year of grad school, in exchange for five years of service. So I took the money, I ran, I had a great time though. I got to do two internships, one in Ecuador and one in D. C. And then when I got sworn in, I did 15 years.

Um, Haiti, Port au Prince, Haiti, before and after the earthquake. Dubai United, Arab Emirates. Um, also had an opportunity to travel to countries all over the world. Do some contracting, some logistics, meet former presidents. So I had a 15 year career in the government. Um, before I even realized my true passion for financial literacy.

So I would say the last five years of my career, um, when I came back from Dubai with my family, that’s when I learned that most Americans don’t have 500 save for an emergency. And to me, that was crazy. So I started this savings challenge online. I discovered, I love to talk about money. Um, and then just turned my platform into now my full time job.

It took five years, but it happened.

[00:03:25] Bob Wheeler: That’s, that is so awesome. And let me ask you this piece, though. You became aware that people, colleagues, and just people in general are not prepared for emergencies or unexpected life events, which sort of is life, right? Um, and then you made the submission. Why care?

[00:03:43] Acquania Escarne: Like, why care? You know, that’s a good question, but I just I’ve always liked money. I’ve always liked to talk about money. Um, because when I was in high school, my dad gave me a copy of rich dad, poor dad. And when I read that book cover to cover, even as a 16 year old, I was like, I can’t do all of these things right now, but what can I do?

So, I actually started saving in a Roth IRA for retirement after my first summer job. Yep. And I realized, even then, like, my friends didn’t have Roth IRAs, my friends didn’t have money when my, when my best friend got in a car accident in her aunt’s car, she couldn’t pay the deductible. I was the one who had the money to pay the deductible, and that’s what was a wake up call initially.

But then, even as a government employee, this is what really hit it for me. Um, an officer and his wife died suddenly while they were on vacation and they had to do a GoFundMe account for the funerals and I was like, this isn’t right. Good government employees who made decent salaries are still raising money on GoFundMe to pay their final expenses.

There’s something wrong here. And so… That’s when I realized, okay, most Americans, 500 wrecks their budget, but when a family loses a primary income earner and they don’t have life insurance, there’s an issue that life insurance can solve for pennies on a dollar. Right. Um, so I got life license to be able, I got my life insurance license to be able to talk about money, but then also life insurance because I had that experience and it was my colleague.

You know, and that really, really hit me in a different kind of way. Um, and I would say it was that and the earthquake in Haiti. So I was in Haiti in 2010 when they had the earthquake. And a lot of my colleagues could not, they didn’t have the insurance on their property. They had to replace everything and they didn’t have the savings to do that.

And so that was my other wake up call when I was like, Okay, my colleagues, again, it just kept happening. My colleagues were not prepared. And so, it took a while for me to put all the pieces together, but I started out with the education. And then my own financial advisor actually was like, Why don’t you get licensed?

So you can do even more, like you see the problem and you can help fix one of them, which was the life insurance

[00:06:11] Bob Wheeler: one. Yeah, and you know, a lot of people, life insurance can, is a buzzword that’s either negative or positive. It’s either, it’s a scam, um, and there are very good reasons to be able to have. Term insurance, whole life there, all kinds of different things for different reasons and for different seasons of people’s lives.

So I think that’s, that’s great that you’re out there doing that and educating. What was your childhood like around money? I get a sense if your dad gave you, rich dad, poor dad, that there was a bit more of a conversation than maybe most families. And he was military, so you probably had a little bit of discipline and structure more so than a lot of other

[00:06:50] Acquania Escarne: folks.

Yes, I would definitely agree with that. But… My, interestingly enough, both of my parents were in the military, in the army. My dad did 22 years, my mom did 7. But when I was born, um, at Fort Stewart, they divorced at 1, when I was 1. So I actually grew up with my mom, and my dad continued to travel the world and be, uh, in the military.

There were pros and cons to that. You know, two Christmases, different gifts, whatever. But, I also watched my mother be a full time entrepreneur. And that could have gone one of two ways, right? It could have discouraged me from entrepreneurship, or it could have empowered me, but my mom was a independent woman who could not work for someone else all of my childhood.

But she did multiple businesses. She sold life insurance. She sold credit card equipment and processing services when she got into that industry, before big banks took over putting in ATM machines at gas stations and things like that. My mom, um, had a master’s in accounting and used to work for the IRS seasonally, so she could help process taxes faster.

And so I saw her do a lot of things. And one of the things that I learned from that was the importance of hiring your kids, because my mom was my first boss. Um, and she always paid better than others. But then also, like, entrepreneurship requires grit and determination because There were days when my mom would have windfalls when she would sell an ATM machine.

And then there would be days where it was like, Okay, we’re going to, you know, kind of skimp back on some things because this month wasn’t as profitable as last month. Um, I would say that was a wake up call, but it didn’t discourage me. What it did was encourage me to be a better entrepreneur. So now I have a team, I have a coach.

I don’t try to do all the work. My mom tried to do all the work. And that short, that really shortened the success of her businesses. But she was retired now and she was able to retire. And that’s all I wanted. My dad was always a money savvy person because his grandfather owned real estate in New York.

And worked a gazillion jobs. He was a superintendent. He was a principal. He had a bodega. So, like, my dad always saw grandpa not only in the community, but also making money from the community. And he would go collect rent in person back then, so he would know his tenants. He would help people who were in need.

And my father witnessed all of that. So when he grew up, he was like, I need to own a lot of real estate too. So before 2008, my dad had like 10 properties. You know, tenants, everything. He was building his own empire too. And that all influenced me to want to follow in their footsteps. So I do invest in real estate now.

Um, but everything my parents did, I took to another level. So like. My dad did rentals. I do hotels and multifamily syndication. Totally same real estate space, but very different price marks and returns. My mom had her businesses, but you know, really only worked for herself and never hired others except me.

I have a business now where I have a team. And I’ve made a really conscious effort to grow slowly but responsibly so that I could Have more freedom in my business and come to fincon, you know, or do things like that No,

[00:10:10] Bob Wheeler: absolutely. And for the listeners, I just want to say we don’t all have to build empires to have our financial story be successful Um, it’s certainly a great model to be able to build and invest money and do all that and it’s different for everybody um, and I just think because sometimes Like, I know for me, I was like, I have to own everything, and I have to take on the entire world, and you don’t necessarily have to do that.

I mean, you have to be proactive. Exactly. You’ve got to take care of yourself, and be aware, and financial, financially aware. Let me ask you this. Was there ever a time, because you had a lot of grounded, uh, growing up. Yes. Which a lot, a lot of us.

[00:10:49] Acquania Escarne: Good influences.

[00:10:50] Bob Wheeler: I did not have that. So, um, But I’m wondering if there’s ever been a time where you felt like an imposter or, oh my God, if they find out or, or did you just always, I, I got this dialed in.

[00:11:01] Acquania Escarne: No, I mean, I have to be honest, like I always had held my head high and I always, even as a young adult, dressed professionally and always was ahead of my time. I have an old soul. That’s what my family says. You have an old soul. But in college, I worked two jobs my freshman and sophomore year to be able to be at George Washington University, which at the time was the most expensive institution and was not Ivy League.

Right, right. And I’m on scholarship, but it’s not enough. I’m working these jobs in between going to classes and still applying actively to scholarships until I got that free, that full ride. Right. And so it was hard because some family members are like, well, you left Georgia, you are in that fancy DC, you’re going to that fancy school and it’s 50, 000 a year and they see all these things and I’m like, but do you know that I’m like on three scholarships and there’s still not enough and I’m working so I can eat outside the meal plan, you know, because my meal plan only lasts me half the month.

It was just things like that. That I I had to to adjust to but I knew how to make money I always knew how to make money. So whether it was find another job outside of your Student job that I got on campus or you know, babysit. I always made more money and that’s what people always resonated with like She doesn’t have a lot, but when she has her money, she makes it work.

Right. And that’s why they trust me, to help them make it work. Yeah. When they’re living paycheck to paycheck, or when they inherit thousands and millions of dollars, right? And that’s how I got the trust of so many different types of people. Right. Yeah,

[00:12:47] Bob Wheeler: because you’re out there modeling it. Yeah, yeah.

You’re modeling what you want them to become. So let me ask you this, um, what would you say are some of the struggles that women, especially women of color, Um, face in their financial journeys because there are different struggles for everybody, but I have to imagine There are some struggles that I don’t have to.

[00:13:07] Acquania Escarne: Absolutely, so I always argue that you know, we’re expected to build a legacy and generational wealth But traditionally do not make as much as our male counterparts and that’s not just me saying that we have the stats behind it The wealth gap does exist And there is a difference in pay. I have friends who work in HR and they say women don’t ask for the salaries they want or need and they end up getting less than their equal male counterparts because of it.

So when I realized that, I built ThePurposeOfMoney. com as a platform to help you build wealth no matter how much you’re making. And where you can get started and still grow and still build the legacy. And my target audience is women of color because women of color tend to be single moms or the head of their household.

So they’re handling the finances. So they still have a lot of responsibility on where the money goes and how it grows. So I have chosen that niche to really help that group of women. Um, and I’m used part of my own experience, you know, like, yes, my dad was in the military and always present financially, if not physically, because he lived in Germany and Texas a lot of my childhood.

But my mom still had times where like, Outside of his child support, she had to figure out how are we going to pay this, this, and this through her business. So I have been able to see how a single mom has to navigate budgeting, you know, to pay for school activities or, or food necessities, right? Um, so that part I can definitely relate to and that’s what I’ve been trying, helping people accomplish for themselves.

But I still see that a lot. I still see women who just don’t make enough. Or they are the only breadwinner, and they’re trying to give their children a better life, and the math is not mathing. So, you know, how do we get out of that cycle? Yeah.

[00:15:01] Bob Wheeler: How important is it, um, for women of color to be able to see somebody like themselves represented in

[00:15:07] Acquania Escarne: this space?

I think a hundred percent. It’s necessary because when you see something, then you want to achieve it for yourself. And when you see it being done, they want to do it for themselves. Um, a lot of my friends and family, you know, they trust me, they see what I’m doing, but it wasn’t until I bought my first hotel that they really were paying.

They started to really pay attention and they were just like, I knew you were doing all these things. I get your emails, but how did you buy a hotel? And then I didn’t just buy a hotel, but I bought it with a cousin who we talked about what we were interested in. We talked about investing in real estate and when the opportunity came to me, I shared it with her.

And so one of the things I try to tell people all the time is like, if you have an interest in something, even if you can’t do it, you should talk about it so that other people know you want to do it. And when, when it comes up in conversation, maybe they bring you into the conversation because that’s exactly what happened with me and my cousin.

She told me she wanted to get into real estate. She didn’t like toilets and tenants just like me, but she knew that real estate was a great pass away to make money. So when I interviewed these two women who invest in hotels on my podcast, I learned how the process works, and then I joined their email list, and when a hotel opportunity came, I asked them 10, 000 questions, but I invested, and then I told my cousin about it, too.

So, that’s how two people became hotel owners in my family in one year, in COVID, in 2020. So, like, That has been a game changer and now I have more family members, more friends who are like, teach me your ways, show me how do I become that? What do I need to do to get on that track? And so that’s really been good too because I’ve been able to like plant those seeds of financial literacy and then also be real.

Like I didn’t get here overnight. This is a 10 to 15 year journey of saving, investing in other things first. So that I can do more alternative investing now. Um, and also being transparent about that.

[00:17:10] Bob Wheeler: Transparency is important. Alright, we’re going to take a moment to test your nerve. Okay. Alright, Test Your Nerve is brought to you by themoneynerve.

com If you want to test your nerve and uncover the dirty truth about your finances, visit testyournerve. com for our free quiz. Alright, here we go. We’re going to have some fun. Why dessert before dinner? Is there a life strategy there?

[00:17:34] Acquania Escarne: Yes, absolutely. That is my motto. I love sweets and I love to eat dessert before dinner and I have taught my kids to do the same thing.

Okay. And no judgment guys. That is just one trait as a mom that I am proud I have passed down. I

[00:17:49] Bob Wheeler: love it. Um, what is one thing besides taxes that you really, really, really, really, really don’t like to spend money on, but

[00:17:56] Acquania Escarne: have to? Oh my God. As someone who just paid my tax bill, because I always apply for an extension, that is the number one thing I don’t like to spend money on.

And then I would say the second thing I don’t like to spend money on is avoidable mistakes. Hmm. Things that, like, we could have planned better or earlier. And, you know, insurance helps me solve a lot of those things. Not just life insurance, but health insurance, car insurance, um, just being prepared for when life happens.

Uh, and recently my son broke his arm unexpectedly. Nobody saw that coming. And I was I hate paying medical bills, but I was glad I had a health savings account that’s going to cover it and it didn’t wreck our monthly budget to have to do a ER visit and whatever else comes out of this because he may need surgery and I’m like, oh, I don’t want to do that either.

But I’m prepared because I’ve saved for that. Um, so I would say taxes and medical bills because I hate going to the doctor.

[00:18:55] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, most of us do, I think. What is, um, what’s your, um, what would you say is your biggest financial fail that you’re like, uh, I wished I hadn’t done that, wished I hadn’t invested in that, I wished I hadn’t.

[00:19:07] Acquania Escarne: That’s a good question. So time will tell on the investments I wish I didn’t do. I haven’t found one yet, knock on wood. Um, but one thing I wish I did sooner was invest more into my Roth IRA. Um, in a way that people are talking about today. So I read the Rich Dad Poor Dad and I knew how powerful it could be as an investment, as a realist retirement vehicle.

But I didn’t save more. I should have tried to max out earlier in my career as many years as possible. I didn’t really start to max it out until I got married and then because of our salaries we tapped out really quickly. And I just feel like that was a missed opportunity. But, I can tell other people to do it, and I do.

That’s one of the number one things I tell people to do if they have the income, if they meet the income requirement and they have the money to do it. Um, but that’s my biggest thing, yeah. Cause my Roth would be so much bigger if I had done multiple years of maxing

[00:20:08] Bob Wheeler: out. Fund the Roth IRA if you can.

What’s your financial superpower?

[00:20:16] Acquania Escarne: Uh, does it count if I can turn our savings vacation fund into multiple vacations a year? Absolutely. That is my superpower. So I am a huge saver. And I love vacation. So I created a vacation fund several years ago to make sure we save for a vacation every paycheck. And we travel about three to four times a year easily as a family, not individually, not on business trips.

And, um, recently I turned 40 and we had 72 people join us in Antigua for my 40th birthday. And that was a couple years in the making kind of trip. But I covered three parties, um, and all the fun and people just had to cover their hotel and their flight. So. That was one of my greatest achievements financially.

Awesome. Um, and also a really big celebration. So I bring family together on these trips, and now I have a lot of friends who want to be family. So we’ve adopted quite a few new relatives. I love

[00:21:18] Bob Wheeler: that. And you know what I think is really cool is that, um, You’re saving money, but you’re not doing it just to get the next thing.

Yeah. But to also actually enjoy the fruits of your labor. And I think sometimes we get sidetracked and we’re so focused on the money that we forget that we’re actually supposed to be enjoying it too. So I love that you have found that balance. Yes. Um, so, all right, final rapid question. Um, what’s the emotion you experience the most when it comes to money?

[00:21:49] Acquania Escarne: Believe it or not, this is a, I’ve never told anyone this. I hate invoicing. I know that’s crazy because it means that I’m going to get the money that I’ve earned. Right. But it’s such a… I just really wish I could do more things for free. I’m not trying to be like this humanitarian or whatever, but I really do wish I could just do it for free so that I wouldn’t have to do the invoice.

And then the person either pays right away or they don’t, and then I have to follow up on the invoice, and I hate doing that too. Yeah. So I have this anxiety when it comes to collecting money that’s owed to me. I really just want to give it away. Just give it away so I don’t

[00:22:27] Bob Wheeler: have to have the conversation.

[00:22:30] Acquania Escarne: And my coach is like, you’re crazy. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. You earn the money. What’s the problem? And I’m like, but it’s just so much. And then, what if they don’t agree to it? And she’s like, didn’t they agree to the work? And I’m like, yes. But I, I, that, I’ve never told anyone that. But I still get anxiety invoicing.

[00:22:48] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, and you know what? That’s actually pretty common. Um, I’m not alone. No, I have so many clients that under bill. And they’re, they’re just either, I don’t want to be seen as a bad person. Or I don’t want to be all about the money. Or. Just all the stories we create, even though you negotiate it up front, right?

Yes. Yes. So, it’s, you’re not alone. Okay, so

[00:23:08] Acquania Escarne: I’m not alone. You’re not alone. There’s a club

[00:23:11] Bob Wheeler: for me. There’s a club. Don’t invoice enough. And don’t ask for payment club. Yes. Um, so let me ask, I want to go back to, um, you know, talking about, um, women of color, struggles, and things like that. Um, I’m wondering, for some of the women out there, how do…

You continue on, fight, when there sometimes feels like an invisible or not so invisible barrier that’s holding you back. There’s obstacles, there’s things that say not welcome. How do you, because it might be in their mind and it might be reality.

[00:23:49] Acquania Escarne: Sometimes it is a combination of both. Um, I’ve, so I just talked about this with someone else here today.

Sometimes when you’ve gone through the budget. You’ve cut all the expenses you can cut you still realize you don’t make enough money, right? Right and I and sometimes I am the person who has to get someone to see that you would you do not make enough money your expenses your Essential expenses exceed your income right period And I’ve encouraged women to seek higher employment more different employment higher salaries Um, and they are in a toxic work environment where they can’t even ask their current employer for a raise.

Or they’re not comfortable doing so because they have a creepy boss, or whatever the circumstance may be. Um, and then in a lot of cases, it may be an educational thing. Because they didn’t seek the skills and higher education necessary to earn more money, they are limited to these administrative jobs.

and they just don’t see how they’re going to ever make more. If, if a technician, if an aide or a technician gets X dollars, how do you make more money in that field without having the necessary education or time to get more money? So that’s been a struggle for some people, um, and their life’s not set up to just go back to school.

You know, that’s another thing I see. So, um, I try to get them to think creatively. Okay, well, even though you don’t necessarily have the ability to go back to school, what are some of the things you love to do, you have a passion for, and you’re good at? What are some of the things your family constantly comes to you about to do for them?

What if you charge people to do that? Virtual assistant, you know, personal assistant. Um, things that someone has the skills to do, and they’re even maybe doing at work, but now they can charge outside of work to do it.

[00:25:43] Bob Wheeler: We have to pause one second. Yes,

[00:25:46] Acquania Escarne: pause. Yep. Change it, or reset, or whatever.

[00:25:52] Bob Wheeler: Alright, yeah.

So, then let me ask you this. So, what’s the first step for somebody out there listening right now, like my budget, exp Doesn’t work out. Um, I’m not enough, but I need to save more. Whatever the story is, what’s the first step for somebody out there to start to change their financial story and to be able to start creating generational wealth?

[00:26:15] Acquania Escarne: I think the first step is to know your numbers. Um, I actually have this process where I help people go through their expenses. and their income. And then we look at everything because a lot of people do call it budgeting by looking at the bank account, but they’re not actually looking at the numbers. So I’ve had a case where someone tries to tell me, Oh, you know, I spend like 20 bucks a week on uber.

But then I look at the bank statement. I’m like, No, you spend 400 bucks a month on uber and you literally have a car like this is a real story. I had a client who had a car was paying for a car insurance. Transcribed Car note and still took public transportation because it was easier or they didn’t feel like driving and they were spending 400 on Uber in addition to the regular car expenses.

And I was like, talk about a huge savings opportunity. You can kick one of these to the curb. Right. You know, if you’re not going to drive the car, sell it. If you’re not going to, if you are going to keep the car, use it and kick the public transportation. That’s costing you 400 a month. Um, and they were screaming, I’m broke, and I’m like, here’s 400, you know?

Um, I’ve also helped, um, people realize money that is sitting right in front of them, like, they’re using credit cards, they’re paying them off every month, but they’re not using the rewards. Right. Why aren’t you using the rewards? That’s cash for you, vacations for you, other, you know? So those are things where they can kind of figure it out, but knowing your numbers and knowing what they really are, not guessing, not assuming like, Oh, I think I know what does it actually say?

And I like to do an average of the last two to three months. So we’re not just looking at last month when you might have had like the kids got sick or whatever, but like, what are you consistently spending? Once we get, um, pay stubs, expenses, um, down into, I actually have a software I use to kind of calculate it.

Then we look at, okay, what is your real cash flow or lack of cash flow? And, um, can we cut from here? A lot of times we can cut in the eating out, in the entertainment. Um, but once we’ve cut that, we look at any redundancy. Like, are you and your husband both paying for insurance? Should you be on a family plan?

I’ve had that, I’ve seen that, right? They’re overpaying for the benefits that both of their jobs offer. Um, you know, are you invested in something that’s not serving you, you know, and it’s not making any money for you, but someone told you to do it. So we look at investments too and see like how that’s doing.

So know your numbers. And then when the numbers don’t look right or have room for improvement, make those rooms for improvement. Um, savings, not having enough in emergency fund because they didn’t even know what they should have because they’re not tracking what they really need each month. So I’m putting that in front of them.

[00:29:07] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. Let me ask you this. How do you balance? You’ve got two sons. Mm hmm. Uh, you’re creating generational wealth. Mm hmm. Then how do you keep them financially accountable, financially responsible without saying, mom is gonna give me all this money, mommy and daddy got me covered, right?

Because there, I have seen kids that Inherit generational wealth and then do nothing with it or squander it. And so how do you find that balance of empowering them and making sure that they’re gonna, uh, steward this money that gets passed on?

[00:29:44] Acquania Escarne: No, that’s a great question. I actually have taught my kids what I wanted to know at the same time, right?

And being a good example for them. So, for example, when my sons go grocery shopping with me, um, I, I have a calculator, I have a list. I don’t like to deviate mostly from the list unless it’s something I forgot to write down. And I was doing this every time we went grocery shopping. One time, my oldest was like, Mommy, that’s not on the list.

Are you sure that we can get it? Like holding me accountable and just like checking me. And I was like, you know what? You’re right. I don’t really need this ice cream, even though it’s on sale. You always need ice cream. And so let me put this back because I have to be the example for him. You know, like you’re right.

And, you know, I do those types of examples by living them in my life, right? Um, and then I’m also transparent. When my son comes into money, whether it’s birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, I encourage him to save a portion of it, tide a portion of it. And then I ask him, you know, how do you want to spend the rest?

But I never require it. I tell him, it’s still your money. If you choose to tie none of it, I can’t make you. If you choose to save none of it, I can’t make you. But the next time we go to the store and you ask me for something, I’m going to ask you, where’s your money? Right? And he’s always like, when it’s my money, he wants it.

When it’s his money, he thinks twice about it. So true. Actually, I don’t want it and here’s the reasons why. So he’s been able to justify to himself and to me why he does or doesn’t still want something. And even when he does want it, I make him pay for it. So like, one time he wanted a video game and my husband was like, you’re not gonna really make him pay you for it.

And I said, why? I don’t want the video game. He wants the video game. He paid me in coins. I took his coins. Most people are like, oh, didn’t you give it back? No, I took his coins. I… I don’t really necessarily need the coins, but it was a lesson that, hey, if I want something, I have to pay for it. And my husband laughed at me because he was like, did you make him pay the tax and the shipping?

I said, absolutely, because I would have to pay the tax and the shipping. So he needs to understand the total cost of what he’s asking for. And that has really helped him make better decisions later. You know, he comes into gift cards, and he’s very responsible about what he spends them on. So, that’s how you do it.

[00:32:14] Bob Wheeler: No, and I think it’s awesome, and I know some people will say, Well, that’s a lot of work. Yeah, it is a lot of work, but if you put in the investment of time with children, then there

[00:32:23] Acquania Escarne: is a payoff. Yeah, you don’t have to bail them out later. Right. Which is the goal. I don’t want to bail him out of any situation later.

Um, and I, and I can even see now that he is one of the brighter ones out of his friends because of the way that he approaches those decisions.

[00:32:41] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome because in those decisions and in the thought process, you’re doing that in other aspects of your life as well. Learning to analyze, think about impact long term, short term.

And so that’s such a great skill. I want to I want to ask a question that, and again, because I know that you’re working with women of color, and I feel like it’s a very important thing, um, and I want to spotlight that. I’m curious, from your perspective, um, generational wealth and women of color, what’s the historical relationship?

[00:33:16] Acquania Escarne: That’s a good question. I don’t have the stats on it. That’s specific to women of color, a lot of stats will say most families will liquidate generational wealth between the second, third, or fourth generation. So it doesn’t last very long. My goal is to change that. Um, but I also want women to be empowered to make decisions and to leave an inheritance.

So, you know, I talk about this on my show and I’ve talked about it on my blog. Like, my grandfather left me a small inheritance. that I just continued to invest. Um, part of that inheritance paid for my 40th birthday party. But I was married, I still am, but I was married at the time I inherited this money.

And we recently had this discussion like, do you feel your spouse is entitled to some of that money when you inherit it in marriage? And I was like, that is a really good question because it depends on how you handle your money, right? Right. Um, my husband and I are a team joint bank account. And we put things in an account that we pay for together and there’s no animosity about that.

But we do have like our personal accounts where we can do fun stuff. Um, but when I inherited that money, my husband never said half is his or what are we doing with our inheritance. He just totally was like, great job, go grandpa and have fun. But then the conversation that I was in, some people were like, I would never want to give any of that to…

Your partner because it was left to you, right? And they were right and then they were like I’m gonna set my will in a way that my kids Partners will never be entitled to X Y Z and I was like, well if you tell them and teach them the ways to handle money I don’t think that’s gonna be an issue because they’re gonna pick a partner who sees money the way they do.

Yeah, right. Absolutely One of the things that I’ve seen is and even in my life my husband and I before we got married when he proposed We looked for a financial advisor together. We interviewed multiple candidates, and we picked a person who could bring us on the same page because I came from knowing about money and having a retirement at 16, and my husband was like, I just paid my bills on time.

I didn’t, you know, retirement, what? You know, passport, what? So, I definitely think when you, um, for women of color, that’s key. Especially if we are going to have partners. I also am a big advocate for prenups. Um, because a lot of women of color are getting married later in life when they already have houses and investments and a financial foundation.

And I’ve seen my dad get divorced, uh, friends get divorced, and it has wrecked their finances. So another thing I would say is what can affect your ability to provide, to give generational wealth is divorce. Yeah. Right? And so protect your, protect yourself. Yeah.

[00:36:09] Bob Wheeler: I love that. I love that. Words of wisdom. So, we are at our Eminem moment, our sweet spot, money and motivation, and I’m wondering if you have a practical tip or a piece of wealth of wisdom for our

[00:36:21] Acquania Escarne: listeners.

I would say my practical tip is, you actually said it, um, we’re here to work hard and play hard, and I want us to save and invest, but know that we are supposed to use some of that money to enjoy life too. And I hope that we are setting those examples with our family and enjoying our money with our

[00:36:39] Bob Wheeler: family.

I love that. And I just think we can’t say it enough because I think I spent a lot of time trying to make sure I got more instead of stopping and saying, Oh, wow. And tomorrow’s not promised. And if we don’t take some time to enjoy now, we may not be around later, even though we think we will. And so the whole point is to have some pleasure and joy and connection and family.

Um, and it’s not all about how much, how much money can I get my bank. It’s definitely a balance. Um, you know, here’s what I’ve really enjoyed about this conversation. I think I can really sum it up pretty quickly. It’s get educated. Yes. Get educated, whether it’s knowing the numbers, uh, knowing the facts about a certain investment, um, and awareness.

Like, that is so important. And it doesn’t matter if you have nothing or you have lots. If you know where you are, you can figure out how you need to get where you want to get. Yeah, you got to start with the facts. Yeah, and I really appreciate that you’re out there doing that. Um, I think general generational wealth is so important and I think there are so many people who have not Ever received that.

And so they haven’t learned how to steward that. And I think what you’re doing is, is really great service out there. So I so appreciate what you’re doing. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Tell us where people can find you online and social media.

[00:38:02] Acquania Escarne: Absolutely. So my website is the purpose of money.

com and I am most active on Instagram at the purpose of money. So follow me there for wealth building tips and strategies on everything from real estate to life insurance, to personal finance. I’m on YouTube under at Aquania Escarne and on Twitter at Purpose underscore Money. So check me out on any of the social media platforms.

I’d love to hang out with you guys a little further.

[00:38:31] Bob Wheeler: That sounds great. Aquania, thank you so much and have a great rest of FinCon. Yes.

[00:38:36] Acquania Escarne: Thank you.

This was awesome. Thank you. Great conversation, great questions. You gave me some ideas, too. I’m always like, off the cuff on my podcast. But when I have like, script and outline,

[00:38:50] Bob Wheeler: I’m more focused. Here’s the thing, like, sometimes I don’t even use what I have. But I try, like, there’s certain things I know I want to bring in.

And sometimes it’ll take people down a really emotional path. Or, like, I never know where it’s gonna go. Um, but it just, uh, at least having it, in case I get sidetracked. I can, oh, let me, let me pull back, but there are certain, like, I like it to be conversational, but I also do a little research, like, even in a little

[00:39:21] Acquania Escarne: bit of time.

Yeah, you did. You were like, I was like, wait! I do

[00:39:27] Bob Wheeler: my research because I want, um, because I want it to be a real conversation. I want people to know that I’m not just superficially going, oh, thanks for…

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