Financial Wellness For You and Your Family Begins With Your Mindset, Not Your Bank Account

Money Minded Families, a fast, easy read reveals how families, with a simple shift in perspective, can achieve financial and personal wellness.

Stephanie W. Mackara, JD


Q and A with Stephanie Mackara, author of Money Minded Families

When I turned 45 (over 2 years ago!) it was a big moment for me. Not because I felt old or unaccomplished but because I realized that half of my life was behind me…at least I hope I have another full half to live.

In our financial planning work, in order to determine “how long money will last after retirement,” we use the planning age of “90” as the end of a person’s plan or life.

It hit me hard that I was halfway there – and not only that, but I lost my own father at 60, so I was once again reminded of how precious our time here truly is. I paused, for a very long time, to consider my journey and took time to reflect on what thing or things I still wanted to accomplish.

One of my passions is financial literacy, especially when it comes to children. I have a teenage son to whom we are trying to provide a strong emotional, social, physical, and financial foundation.

There is no lack of information to help our children socially and emotionally in this new world of social media and all things technological, but there are very few – if any – resources to help parents guide children to build a strong financial foundation in this new world we find ourselves in.

I don’t think I am alone, and so I decided that I would write a book to help families create better practices and mindsets in order to help them and their children live “financially well.”

Money Minded Families explores how we can align our individual values with finances while planning for a more secure financial future.

It looks at how we can save, spend, share, and invest with a purpose. I supply financial basics for families and directions on creating a family mission statement in order to help drive mindful financial choices.

With the help of this book’s holistic financial guidance, families can take steps to live their best financial lives rather than simply getting by. Readers will find advice on:

  • Practicing financial mindfulness
  • Understanding the current financial landscape
  • Spending with a focus on personal values
  • Understanding key financial concepts
  • Engaging in healthy financial socialization
  • Becoming financially independent

Today’s financial environment creates unique challenges, including concerns over Social Security, sky-high college costs, and debt. Kids are more likely to make their buying decisions online rather than in stores.

It’s important that children’s knowledge about money begins at home. When parents actively teach their kids about money, it can contribute to their chances of future financial success.

Within Money Minded Families, parents will find tools for evaluating and improving their own financial wellness. They can also teach their children about positive financial health using the book’s activities, which are organized by age.

So much! The book began as more of a prescriptive book. One that would allow me to share what I have learned in my profession regarding spending, saving, sharing, and investing.

But, the more research I did, the more I realized that we are truly in a different place than we have ever been in history, one that requires a major perspective shift.

Additionally, we as parents often don’t have the requisite mindset or actions for teaching our children. This led me to research and understand the best way for adults and children to acquire financial knowledge.

Specifically, for our children, the best way for them to acquire knowledge isn’t teaching them the math of investing or even how to open a bank account, but instead, it’s positive “financial socialization.”

Financial socialization is the process by which young people acquire the standards, values, norms, skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to become functioning consumers in the marketplace.

Financial socialization is how most people learn how to handle their financial affairs—good or bad. Who do you think are their primary teachers?

You got it: Parents. But then I realized most parents have never experienced positive financial socialization, and even if they have, our children are living in a very different world than we did.

Every hour of every day, parents are “teaching” their children about finances, among many other things, with their own behavior. If you make a habit of spending unconsciously or irresponsibly, you run the risk not only of creating your own negative financial situation but also of passing your financially unhealthy behavior onto your children.

I found that parental influence through financial socialization has a “direct and significant” influence on the attitudes and financial behavior of children and young adults. And most of us are going through these financial decisions and actions mindlessly.

Money Minded Families helps parents to evaluate their own money persona and provides tools to help them create better habits for both themselves and their children.

To be a money‐minded family means that we are mindful of our finances, and we use them to express our family’s core values. Financially well children are a result of this lifestyle.

When you think of the word “wellness,” most people think of emotional or physical health. This book shows that our financial wellness is inextricably connected and is a component of our holistic wellness and must be nurtured in much the same way.

Anyone who is around children. A good portion of the book focuses on how we, as adults, must take a close look at what messages we are intentionally or unintentionally sending to our children as it relates to money.

As a society, we must change our financial habits, increase our financial knowledge and incorporate financial wellness practices into our lifestyle. I believe reading this book can help people open their mind and their eyes to a more positive financial future.

Much of what we do with our finances is mindless, so bringing mindfulness into our financial lives starts with being mindful, or conscious, of our good and bad habits and course correcting when necessary.

Being aware of our flows of money, seeking clarity around our investments, and understanding our personal balance sheet. All of these things help to inform us to make better decisions; this is being money minded.

As it relates to our children, as they say in psychology, they are tabula rasa or a blank slate. Through financial socialization, we, as parents and influencers, have the power to provide them with mindful money habits to carry them through the rest of their lives.

After reading Money Minded Families, I hope you and your children go on a journey that leads you to financial freedom.

I hope that you can teach your children how to feed their own financial needs and wants and ultimately set them on a successful path toward their financial well-being.

I also hope this book will help adults who may not have a healthy relationship with money to reflect on the reasons behind their own financial habits and begin to live a life of financial wellness.

I’d like this book to be used as a tool to help you guide your children and to be shared with your children. The goal is to help raise strong, educated people with the know‐how and desire to set and achieve financial goals for themselves, save and spend with clarity, and understand the value and purpose of their work and material things.

We do this by understanding and perhaps redefining our own money personalities and working to create positive financial socialization for our children.

Further Resources

Family Mission Statement

Check out our downloadable guide to helping your family form a deeper bond, connect to a shared purpose, and drive you to inspire and achieve personal wealth. 

The Save, Send & Share Project

Use this to help guide your young children to form good monetary habits from an early age.

Ten Steps to Financial Wellness

Create your financial wellness plan and fuel a positive relationship with money