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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Houston-Based Author to Host Annual Financial Literacy Event for Teens

Lonnie R. Mathews, author of Spend Everything

Lonnie R. Mathews, author of Spend Everything

Nationwide — Financial author Lonnie R. Mathews has traveled a long and difficult road to realize his passion in life, armed with degrees in finance and accounting Lonnie has worked as a financial analyst and planner but struggled with his own personal finances for a long time. With persistence and determination, Lonnie continues a process of self-education that has distinguished him as an authority on personal finance and the process of getting out of debt.

Mathews is now recognized as an exciting and inspirational speaker in the area of personal finance. Being in debt most of his adult life, Lonnie and his wife quickly realized that this was not God’s plan for their finances, so they took the necessary steps to become debt free. Because of his newfound freedom, Lonnie published a couple books on personal finance. His latest book is titled Spend Everything, An Inspirational Guide to Money Management. In 2002, Lonnie founded Alliance Financial Ministries, a Houston-based non-profit financial literacy company. The goal of this company is to provide individuals with the education and tools necessary to make sound financial decisions.

In 2011, after speaking to a group of teens at his church about finances Lonnie realized that many of them had little to no prior knowledge about money and how it works. “I was kind of shocked but not really that teens did not know a lot about money, I guess I assumed they were taught in high school,” said Mathews.

It was at that moment Mathews knew it was up to him to change things. In 2012 after receiving a $5,000 grant from Dow Promise and The Dow Chemical Company, MoneyLIVE was created. MoneyLIVE is a fun interactive half-day career and money simulation event designed to educate high school students through a real-life financial simulation. Mathews describes the event as

“MTV meets financial literacy, an event where students arrive and there is a DJ playing music, excitement is in the air and prizes are won all before they are talked to about careers and money,” he adds.

The purpose of this event is to teach students to make wise financial decisions, educate them about finances, and prepare students for a lifetime of good financial decision making. The event is also designed to help the students to connect the dots among career choice, income and the potential lifestyle the can have.

“They go through a real-life money simulation where we pass out their new lifestyle and careers,” the cards would typically say something to the effect of “You’re 25 and you and your spouse bring home $6,500 a month, you have a 5-year old child and you’re in debt,” said Mathews about the program.

The students then go through the financial simulation with the situation they are given and have go around the room to the various stations. At each station is a vendor selling the students all the items they need to run a household and some of the things they don’t need as well. The students have to choose their housing, pay for daycare, pay for groceries, etc. and it is up to them to make their own financial choices that they see most fitting for their new lifestyle.

“It’s a great experience for the kids because they’re like, ‘This isn’t real,’ and I’m like ‘Yes this is,’” says Mathews.

This year’s event will be the 8th annual MoneyLIVE event. Mathews says the program has grown tremendously “from 60 students in our first year to having 350+ students attend MoneyLIVE in 2018.” MoneyLIVE now has workshops for parents to give them valuable information to help their student(s) take the next step in life.

When asked about expanding beyond Houston Mathews said MoneyLIVE has been held in other cities such as Victoria, TX and Austin, TX in the past. “Right now we are focusing on growing the event in Houston and keeping the program FREE for the students and parents.”

MoneyLIVE is made possible by companies such as Veritex Bank, H.E.B, American First National Bank, Community Health Choice, Cadence Bank and others that have a heart for helping students learn about financial literacy in a fun way.

This year MoneyLIVE will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 from 9am – 12pm @ The NRG Center located at 1 Reliant Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054.

To get more information or to register, visit www.moneylive.org. Please contact Lonnie Matthews at (281) 845-3642 for event related questions.